Short term rehab programs can be of great benefit to patients who are recovering from a medical incident, such as injury, surgery, stroke or heart attack, aiding them in recovering strength, function, mobility and independence. These programs can also be of great assistance to people who are suffering with chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease, among others, helping them learn to manage these conditions more efficiently and reduce their impact on day-to-day quality of life. If such a program has been recommended for you, here are 2 very important factors in short term rehab success—information that can help you choose the right program to make the most of your rehab experience.
A comprehensive, team-driven approach to rehabilitation
The most successful short term rehab programs are those that use a team approach in the rehabilitation of the patients they serve. These programs employ a multidisciplinary team of rehabilitation specialists to ensure that all bases are covered as they work to help patients set and meet their recovery and rehabilitation goals.
Excellent teams are physician-led and include highly qualified doctors, nurses, pain management specialists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, social workers and counselors, among others. They will be overseen by dedicated care coordinators/case managers to ensure that collaboration and communication among team members, outside healthcare providers, patients and other interested parties is efficient, effective and productive.
This sort of tightly coordinated care promotes success by ensuring that everyone involved—including the patients themselves—are on the same page, ensuring consistent, high-quality care throughout the rehabilitation process.
Individualized, patient-centered treatment
Individualized treatment and care is essential to a successful short term rehab experience. That's because no two patients are exactly the same, even if they present with the same diagnosis. For instance, knee replacement patients who are very athletic will have different needs and rehab goals than knee replacement patients who have more sedentary lifestyles, requiring very different treatment approaches.
For that reason, it is important to choose a short term rehab program that is committed to treating each patient as an individual. This means looking for a program that takes the time to do a thorough assessment of each patient, examining their medical history and performing a physical examination to determine current condition and ability levels. Additionally, an excellent rehabilitation team will engage patients in the evaluation and treatment planning process, actively pursuing input from them regarding their individual needs, goals, lifestyle and concerns. This is information that is crucial to the development of a personalized, patient-centered—and therefore more effective—treatment plan.
In short, setting yourself up for short term rehab success means choosing a rehab program/facility that is as invested in ensuring that you meet your specific rehabilitation goals as you are. To ensure your best possible rehabilitation results, do a little shopping around. Ask for recommendations from your healthcare team, speak to family, friends or neighbors who have rehab experience and visit several facilities—or, if necessary, send a trusted family member or friend—before you commit to a particular short term rehab program.