Finding the right rehabilitation facility can be challenging because there are many factors to consider, says Yana Shumyatcher, MD, a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist at Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation Hospital at Euclid Hospital. “Asking the right questions can help,” she says.
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Below, find ten questions to ask when choosing a rehab facility:
1. Does it offer programs specific to your needs?
You should check if physicians at the facility prescribe therapies for specific services. These can include rehabilitation after stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, amputation, orthopaedic surgery, cardiac rehabilitation and organ transplantation.
2. Is 24-hour care provided and how qualified is the staff?
Check if around-the-clock physician coverage is provided. Also, check if the nursing staff includes registered nurses certified in rehabilitation nursing and if they are experienced in acute care.
3. How are treatment plans developed?
Find out how treatment plans are developed at any facility you are considering. Physicians and nurses may work with physical, occupational, speech/language and recreational therapists, psychologists and social workers to develop patient treatment plans.
4. How often is therapy provided?
Patients should receive at least three hours of therapy daily, five days a week, as required for licensed rehabilitation facilities.
5. What supplemental services are offered?
Find out what other services the facilities offer, which could include programming in horticulture, art, music, relaxation, cooking, pet therapy, balance/coordination and stroke exercise. They may also have support groups.
6. Do caregivers assist with discharge and insurance questions?
You might ask if patients are assigned to social workers or case managers, who can help coordinate services needed at home and who can also help verify insurance benefits.
7. Is family participation encouraged?
A partnership involving the patient, family and medical providers is essential to maximizing every opportunity for recovery. Find out how involved family members may be and if they are encouraged to observe therapy, participate in key meetings and learn how to assist in the care of the patient
8. Are outpatient physician and therapy services offered?
Ask if there will be comprehensive services, including outpatient therapy and home care, available through rehabilitation professionals in your area.
9. Is access to patient electronic medical records provided?
Find out if each patient’s rehabilitation team can access his or her medical history, medication lists, radiology and laboratory results, and treatment status electronically.
10. Do patients have on-site access to other specialists?
Find out if medical and surgical subspecialists, therapists and physiatrists are also available.
Clearing the Path from Hospital to Home