Why is Inpatient Rehabilitation Important?

Why is Inpatient Rehabilitation Important?
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Inpatient rehabilitation is incredibly important to the recovery process. Whether this is post-surgical rehab or recovering from a stroke, the sooner the patients can begin to regain function and mobility, the better. It can increase patient satisfaction. Many studies show that patients who receive physical therapy are satisfied with their care and outcomes. Inpatient therapy programs have four main benefits that the right partner can help you achieve. 

  • It helps the early recovery process
  • It can increase patient satisfaction
  • It can lower costly readmissions- in the current regulatory climate, readmissions can be costly for you and the hospital. There is evidence that physical therapy and rehabilitation can help hospitals lower their readmission rate.
  • It can be a positive contributor to your bottom line- an efficiently run physical therapy and rehab department can lead to increased reimbursement and decreased overhead, becoming a positive contributor to the hospital and patient. 

These care centers are for people who need rehabilitation, but how do you choose one?  You want to ask yourself what you are looking for and understand the different types of inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) - provide intensive rehabilitation services to patients after an injury, illness, or surgery. Rehabilitation programs at IRFs are supervised by rehabilitation physicians and include services such as physical and occupational therapy, rehabilitation nursing, and speech-language pathology.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility – provides temporary skilled nursing and subacute rehab often after a hospital stay.
  • Nursing Home – this is a residential setting, providing permanent custodial assistance.  Nursing homes often have “rehab units” that offer sub-acute rehabilitation.
  • Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTACHs) – serve patients with complex needs requiring intense, extended care for more than 25 days

There are many types of therapists that offer different therapies with inpatient rehabilitation.

  • Physiatrist - specializes in rehabilitation following injuries, accidents, or illness.
  • Neurologist - specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of stroke and other diseases of the brain and spinal cord 
  • Rehabilitation nurse - helps people with disabilities and helps survivors manage health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure and adjust to life. 
  • Physical therapist - helps with problems in moving and balance, suggesting exercises to strengthen muscles for walking, standing, and other activities. 
  • Occupational therapist - helps with strategies to manage daily activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, writing, and cooking.
  • Speech-language pathologist - helps with talking, reading, and writing, and shares strategies to help with swallowing problems. 
  • Dietician - teaches survivors about healthy eating and special diets
  • Social Worker - helps survivors make decisions about rehab programs, living arrangements, insurance, and home support services.
  • Recreation Therapist - helps with strategies to improve thinking and movement skills needed to join in recreational activities. 

     Rehabilitation services, which are often found right in most hospitals if not just off campus, help people return to daily life and live in a normal or near-normal way. They usually provide an intensive rehabilitation program and patients who are admitted must be able to tolerate up to three hours of intense rehabilitation services per day.  

Most inpatient care facilities are serving patients that are suffering from Stroke, Traumatic or non-traumatic brain injury, Traumatic or non-traumatic spinal cord injury, Neurological disorder, Fracture of the lower extremity, Replacement of the lower extremity joint, Other orthopedic condition, Amputation of the lower extremity, or other amputation, Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain Barre syndrome, and burns.

All rehabilitation is not the same, so you want to know what type of facility you need and what they do to best suit your needs in inpatient rehabilitation. Talking with your doctor and understanding your options, available resources, and who to choose for the best rehabilitation is ultimately in your control and in your hands. 

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