Rehab Select Blog

The Value of Cardiac Rehab in a Short Term Care Facility

Posted by Bobby Stephenson

Jun 7, 2014 8:30:00 AM

the_value_of_cardiarehab_in_a_skilled_nursing_facilityWhen a patient suffers an acute cardiac episode like a heart attack, he/she is taken immediately to the hospital and given life-saving interventions.

The very nature of hospitals means that they provide acute care during critical times. Once patients are well enough to leave the hospital but not well enough to go home, the next step is cardiac rehabilitation.

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Why consider cardiac rehabilitation at a short term care facility?

Cardiac rehabilitation programs are specialized and individualized. It starts where a patient is and then builds from there. Patients discharged from the hospital may be physically weak, may have comorbidities (other health conditions, such as diabetes) in addition to cardiac difficulties, and may need other help to return to "normal" life, such as a rebuilding of cognitive abilities in addition to physical ones.

Short term rehab is the best option for cardiac rehabilitation because:

It is cost-effective

While other options for post acute cardiac rehabilitation exist, like in-home nursing care, rehabilitation at a skilled nursing facility is the more cost-effective option for most. They are the resource that provides the comprehensive services needed for rehabilitation (physical, cognitive, and occupational therapy, nutritional and emotional counseling) all in one convenient inpatient facility. There's no need to go elsewhere for other services because everything is provided as part of the rehabilitative program during recovery.

It provides patients a safe environment to recover in – but with a focus on regaining independence

Short term care centers still provide the same hands-on medical care hospitals do – but with a difference. Short term rehab facilities focus is not simply to "take care of" the patient, but to return him or her as much health and independence as possible.

Because of that, patients and their families are fully expected to participate in their own rehabilitation programs as soon as they come through the door. Patients and their families are part of – not observers of – the medical team, fully involved in every decision during the process.

Even with that, however, the short term care facility has a major responsibility in making sure patients stay safe. Therefore, they are expected to function at the current level of ability, but won't be pushed to do more in a way that's unsafe. The result is that patients can focus on regaining independence with no fear of injury or relapse.

They provide customized programs specific to each patient's current and projected abilities and goals

Care in a skilled nursing facility is physician-driven, but there are also other health professionals involved in the recovery process. These include therapists, counselors, nutritionists, and more. This broad-based holistic approach gives patients the best chance of recovery.

Patients – and their families – are part of the medical team and fully involved in every part of the rehabilitative process and plan

Healthcare professionals in short term rehab facilities know that rehabilitation doesn't stop once patients go home. Because of that, they train patients and their families how to continue to provide care at home. Proper dispensing of medications, dietary changes, and ongoing exercise protocols are just some of the things patients and families may learn so that they can provide their own continuing care even after patients leave the facility.


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Topics: Cardiac Rehab, Short Term Rehab