How to Choose a Rehabilitation Hospital
Top 5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Rehabilitation Center
Choosing a rehabilitation center for yourself or a loved one can be difficult. With so many factors to consider, you may not know where to start! The experts at Magee Rehabilitation have provided the top five questions to consider when choosing a rehabilitation center that is right for you!
1.Does the facility meet your rehabilitation needs? Do they offer the services you require?
One of the first things to consider when researching what rehabilitation hospital is right for you is to look at the services offered by the facility. What programs and services do they offer for patient with your particular diagnosis or condition? Magee covers a wide range of care options for patients with different needs.
Consideration of the facility’s experience working with patients like yourself is very important. How experienced is the staff with this type of injury? How many patients has the facility treated with injuries similar to yours? Magee Rehabilitation Hospital breaks things down to make these decisions easy for potential patients, check out Magee’s facts and figures here.
What is the typical length of stay in a rehabilitation hospital? The answer to this question depends on several factors, including what type of insurance you have, your level of injury and your rehabilitation goals. It’s important to note that patients can receive rehab in a variety of settings. These settings include an inpatient rehabilitation facility (like Magee), a subacute facility or unit or a skilled nursing facility.
An inpatient rehabilitation facility provides three hours of therapy a day, for a total of 15 hours each week. A subacute facility provides two to three hours each day and a skilled nursing facility provides one to two hours each day. In each of these inpatient settings, the patient must need 24 hour nursing care.
Acute inpatient rehabilitation is meant to be a shorter length of stay. This can be days, weeks or months.
2. Does your health insurance cover the therapy or services you need?
Does your health insurance cover all of your expenses? If not, what will and will not be covered? Understanding your coverage is an important part of choosing a rehab facility that cannot go overlooked. Check with your insurance provider to see if your acute rehabilitation policy will work with Magee Rehabilitation Hospital. For more information, contact the Admissions staff at a location near you at to discuss your options.
3. Does the facility setting work for you?
The type of facility setting that your illness or injury requires is important to understand. Between acute, inpatient and outpatient facilities, what type of setting is best for YOU?
Take into consideration the physical set up of services. Is the hospital clean? Is the environment friendly? Is there a separate area (floor/building/wing) for patients with each type of disability, or will they be treated with other types of patients? Are there any specialized programs or clinics offered for this type of injury? Are there primary therapists assigned upon admission? Will they change?
Consider what a typical day would look like at the facility. What should you expect from a daily program? How often and for how long each day do patients get treatments by specialists? How many hours a day do patient’s spend in therapy, and what is the schedule? What specialized equipment is available in the therapy areas? Will the treatment team develop a rehabilitation plan with short and long term goals?
Keep in mind the level of specialized are your injury requires. Is there physician coverage seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day? What is the nurse to patient ratio? Is therapy one-on-one?
Family involvement can play a major role in your recovery, so it is important to consider how your family and/or caregivers will be involved in your treatment. Are family members encouraged to participate in rehab programs? Are psychological sessions available for family members as well? Will a case manager be assigned to coordinate treatment and act as a contact for staff and family members? Are these support groups for caregivers? What are the family living arrangements, if needed? Does the staff take time to train you and your family or caregivers about what care you will need at home?
Aside from the rehabilitation services provided by the facility, it is important to think about what else they offer patients. Is it more than just rehab? What other types of specialty therapies or programs are available? Magee Rehabilitation Hospital offers a wide variety of programs outside of traditional therapies that create a sense of community among patients. These programs include art therapy, music therapy, horticultural therapy, therapy dog, pet therapy.
The way in which a rehabilitation facility helps to support patients in dealing with their emotional experiences as a result of their disability or injury is another factor to consider in your research. Are there peer mentor programs available? Are there support groups?
It is important to consider how the facility continues your care throughout every stage of your recovery. Does the facility offer services for critical care, inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient services? After discharge from inpatient care, what can be expected from the facility? Does the inpatient Case Manager follow you after discharge? What therapy is available after the inpatient stay is done? Are there day programs? Outpatient programs? Health and wellness center for people with a disability? Is there a lifetime system of care? If so, does this include physicians, nurses, therapy consults and case management?
4. How experienced are the Physicians, Nurses and Staff?
In choosing a rehabilitation facility, you’ll want to be confident that the staff understands your unique needs. Taking a look at the tenure and certifications of the hospital’s staff members can be a helpful indication of the facility’s expertise. Asking questions about the staff such as, is the physician in charge a Psychiatrist (specialized Physical Medicine and Rehab doctor)? Is the physician board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) as well as certified in the sub-specialty of this type of injury? How long has the physician in charge been directing programs specializing in this type of injury?
You’ll also want to make sure that you are able to get a holistic examination, requiring access to physicians outside of the immediate department that handles your care. Are there consultants available at the facility or nearby medical centers? Do they include neurosurgery, neurology, urology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, neuropsychology, internal medicine, gynecology, speech pathology, pulmonary medicine, general surgery and psychiatry? Are psychologists onsite or an outside service?
5. What are the quality outcomes of the facility?
One of the most important aspects to consider is the experiences of other patients with your injury or disability. Patient satisfaction speaks volumes of a facility’s ability to care for and treat individuals. Taking a look at the testimonials of previous, or current patients can be immensely helpful in making your decision. Check out what the patients at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital have to say here.
The official recognition of the facility is also an important factor to consider. Is the specific program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and The Joint Commission?
As a patient, you’ll want to feel comfort knowing that you are receiving the best treatment options available. A facility’s involvement in the conduction of research to better understand or treat disabilities is indicative of the quality of care patients will receive there. Does the program participate in any form of research (basic science, clinical research, pharmacological or outcomes research)?