Rehabilitation services at Tri-City Medical Center include a 10-bed acute rehabilitation unit, inpatient services, and outpatient services and are all designed to help patients regain independence and return to their everyday activities as soon as possible following a serious injury or illness. The most common conditions that patients are recovering from include neurological disorders, stroke, total knee or hip joint replacements, spine surgery, amputations, and brain and spinal cord injuries.
Alona Stein, PT, DPT, MHA, PRPC, COMT, oversees all of the hospital’s rehabilitation programs and a team of 30+ specialists who “are huge advocates for our patients and want to see them thrive. For them, this is not a job; it is their passion, and they are dedicated to their craft.”
A multidisciplinary team of physical, occupational and speech therapists, as well as a rehab psychologist, medical director, rehabilitation nurse, clinical social worker and nutritionist meet twice a week to assess a patient’s progress while staying in the 10-bed, acute rehab unit.
“We may be a small unit, but this is extremely beneficial to our patients as it provides strong continuity of care because patients are guaranteed to see the same members of their care team each time,” saidDr. Stein.
Prior to accepting patients into the acute rehab program, the medical director and the acute rehabilitation liaison will evaluate these individuals while at the hospital bedside, based on their doctor’s and/or their therapists’ recommendation that they would be good candidates for acute rehab. Since acute rehab is a short term, high intensity program that requires three hours of therapy per day (not consecutively), the acute rehab team wants to ensure that patients will be able to tolerate the therapy and are committed. The goal is to get them out of bed and walking as quickly as possible to improve their functional outcomes. Acute rehab services may last from 10-17 days, depending on insurance coverage and level of function at the time of admit.
“Patients in high intensity acute rehab are able to return home sooner than if they are placed in a skilled nursing facility where rehab is more of a longer duration and lower intensity,” said Ms. Stein. “We know that patients actually heal better in their own home and that is it better for their emotional wellbeing as well. These individuals have sustained life-changing injuries or are dealing with serious illnesses, which is why having a psychologist on our team is critical to their overall recovery.”
Once they are functionally safe and have returned home, then patients can continue with outpatient rehab at TCMC or utilize an independent home health agency. The hospital also offers community classes for those living with Parkinson’s disease or experiencing speech or communication issues, as well as a stroke exercise group.
“We work with each patient to determine the best plan of care before they are discharged to ensure their safety and that they have family support during this time.” Added Dr. Stein. “Family plays a big part in recovery. We provide education and counseling to address any questions or concerns they may have, and offer caregiver training, home safety evaluations and community service referrals. Ultimately, we all want these patients to have the best quality of life possible and return to their normal activities of daily living.”