An injury or an illness and suddenly life is changed forever.
Individuals seeking to regain their strength, skills and abilities following a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation or other medical event are faced with many decisions – not the least of which is what happens next. For many patients, these post-acute care options include inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, long-term acute care, home health agencies and sub-acute or skilled nursing facilities.
Studies show that that where a person chooses to go for rehabilitation can make all the difference is his or her recovery. In fact, research indicates that people who choose an inpatient rehabilitation hospital achieve better outcomes, have fewer complications and live longer than those treated in other post-acute care settings.
What is an inpatient rehabilitation hospital?
Inpatient rehabilitation hospitals (sometimes referred to as inpatient rehabilitation facilities, or IRFs) help patients achieve their greatest potential outcomes by delivering highly specialized and team-based acute medical rehabilitation. The team is led by a physician with specialized rehabilitation training and experience and includes rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, social workers and many other allied health professionals such as psychologists and neuropsychologists, respiratory therapists, recreation therapists, cognitive therapists, dietitians, and case managers. Many rehabilitation hospitals also offer an extensive range of outpatient rehabilitation services and resources.
Working closely together, the team tailors treatment to the individual needs and goals of persons who have sustained conditions such:
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Major multiple trauma
- Cancer rehabilitation
- Total hip or knee replacements
- Hip or femur fractures
- Cardiovascular or pulmonary issues
- Lower extremity amputation
- Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron diseases, polyneuropathy, or muscular dystrophy
- Other complex medical and debilitating conditions
- Outpatient therapy services
When can a patient begin acute rehabilitation?
Evidence shows that the sooner individuals begin rehabilitation, the stronger their outcomes are likely to be. For that reason, nurse liaisons and admissions representatives work closely with the referring hospital and/or physician to facilitate the earliest possible start to rehabilitation. Admission is based on patient's medical history, the ability to participate in three hours of therapy daily and individual rehabilitation goals.
Find a Rehabilitation Hospital
Click here to find an AMRPA member rehabilitation hospital near you.
Click here to see the complete registry of Medicare-enrolled inpatient rehabilitation hospitals.