BOSTON, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A life-altering event, followed by a miraculous recovery. This is the story of Gabrielle Giffords, the U.S. House of Representatives member who recovered from a near-fatal gunshot head wound. Most Americans will never face a similar fate, however, other medical conditions – including stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, neurological disorders (like Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis), complex orthopedic issues, and amputation – will require intensive rehabilitative therapy. For those affected, the question becomes, Will I receive the same quality of care as Gabrielle Giffords?
When preparing to leave a hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU), decisions are needed regarding care. Here's what patients need to know to choose the best rehab facility. For more resources, visit www.chooseyourrehab.com.
Freedom of Choice
"Although they may not know it, patients have considerable say about where they go following discharge from ICUs," says Deniz Ozel, M.D., medical director, New England Rehabilitation Hospital, a world class rehabilitative hospital located in Woburn, Massachusetts. "Working with their case managers, they can become empowered and affect the decision-making process."
Arthur Williams, M.D., medical director at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital, another leading rehabilitative hospital in Braintree, Massachusetts, concurs. "Case managers are uniquely qualified to understand a patient's diagnosis, insurance coverage, and make recommendations for a discharge plan," says Williams. "It's their job to find the right balance between medical care and rehabilitative therapy to help patients reach their goals and objectives."
Typically, options include:
Skilled nursing facilities – offering less intensive rehabilitation therapy with management of non-complex medical issues;
Long term acute hospitals – offering management of multiple system failure with less focus on rehabilitation; and
Inpatient rehabilitative facilities – offering intensive rehabilitation services, with management of complex medical issues.
Inpatient rehabilitative facilities, dedicated to short-term rehabilitation, are ideal for those who have suffered a significant medical event, yet well enough to benefit from intensive therapy.
Patients with no prior rehab experience should network for recommendations. The case manager also should be able to refer local providers.
With referrals in hand, here's what to ask:
1. How will the facility help me reach my goals? Does it have success treating my type of injury? Look for a comprehensive plan of care. Ask about specialty programs for your condition.
2. How much therapy will I receive? Intensive programs offer a minimum of three hours of therapy a day, five days a week.
3. Who will provide my care? How often will I see a doctor or specialist? Ask who will comprise your team and if physician oversight is provided 24/7.
4. What technology is available that will benefit me? New devices incorporating functional electrical stimulation and robotics offer a track record of success.
5. How does the facility compare against the competition? Ask about accreditations like those from The Joint Commission, use of Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores, and patient satisfaction surveys.
For more questions to ask, visit www.chooseyourrehab.com.
Lori Moretti or Meg Fitzgerald
617.536.3400 / firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE New England Rehabilitation Hospital