Recovery Through Multifaceted Rehabilitation
Kindred Hospital Melbourne’s rehabilitation team restores daily function, allowing patients to live as independently as possible
On February 22, Melbourne-resident John, a 57-year-old retired postal carrier originally from New York City, was admitted to Kindred Hospital Melbourne. He arrived in weak condition, having suffered acute respiratory failure, pneumonia and pulmonary embolus following orthopedic surgery. During his initial evaluation, John scored low on basic daily tasks, such as grooming, dressing and bathing. He couldn’t stand or walk and overall suffered from limited mobility.
After four weeks of physical and occupational rehabilitation, followed by a week of speech therapy, John made major improvements. The expertise of Kindred Hospital Melbourne’s rehabilitation team, coupled with John’s determination and resolve, allowed him to regain his ability to dress and bathe himself, as well as walk over 500 feet with a walker. On March 25, John was discharged home and has since been living his life as independently as possible.
A THREE-PART REHABILITATION TEAM
Unlike traditional short-term hospitals, Kindred Hospital Melbourne is a long-term acute care facility treating medically complex patients for an average length of stay between 25 and 30 days. A member of the Kindred Healthcare network, the 60-bed hospital typically treats patients who require a ventilator, have complex wounds or suffer from an infectious disease. An interdisciplinary approach to health care, with an emphasis on rehabilitation, is utilized to help each patient heal and regain optimal strength.
Within Kindred Hospital Melbourne’s rehabilitation department, disciplines are essentially broken into three areas: physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy. Specialists will work with patients up to five days a week, depending on the patient’s tolerance level.
The physical therapy team, consisting of a certified physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA), aims to restore each patient’s physical functional activities, increasing movement and reducing pain. The PT evaluates and develops an individualized plan of care for each patient, and treatment is provided on a daily basis by both the PT and PTA. The Melbourne long-term acute care hospital also employs a specialist to assist with wound care, wheelchair seating and positioning.
Meanwhile, the rehabilitation team’s occupational therapist (OT) and certified occupational therapist assistant (COTA) aid patients in participating in daily purposeful activities such as dressing, bathing, grooming and simulation of household chores and duties, to help them lead normal lives.
Speech-language pathologists evaluate and diagnose speech, language and cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders. Kindred Hospital Melbourne’s specialists utilize advanced services including VitalStim®, which unites the power of electrical stimulation with the benefits of swallowing exercises; Modified Barium Swallow Studies, which use an X-ray to determine the root cause of swallowing problems; and Passy Muir Valve Training. The Passy Muir Valve Training gives tracheotomy patients an opportunity to speak and communicate, and helps to improve respiratory status for quicker ventilator weaning when used in-line with the ventilator. It also speeds up initiation of an oral diet.
Rehabilitation represents only one facet of Kindred Hospital’s interdisciplinary approach to care and recovery. Members from various departments are routinely brought together to evaluate, make determinations and recommendations for each patient.
“Our team works together through daily care management meetings including all department heads of all disciplines discuss patient care,” says Cotshott. “In addition, weekly interdisciplinary team meetings are held to ensure all departments are on the same page with regard to each patient’s plan of care.”
COMBINING STRENGTHS FOR BETTER OUTCOMES
The rehabilitation services are provided by RehabCare, Kindred’s rehabilitation division. In June, Kindred Healthcare merged with RehabCare Group to create the premier provider of rehabilitation services and post-acute care in the U.S. with operations in 46 states. The combined company operates long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing and rehabilitation centers and is the largest provider of rehabilitation therapy contract services.
The result is “the nation’s largest employer of well-trained and dedicated physical, occupational and speech therapists,” according to RehabCare’s website.
Says Cotshott: “The merger reflects Kindred Hospital’s commitment to its patients and the family members with whom we interact with on a daily basis. Moving forward, our interdisciplinary team will continue to work together on a daily basis to provide quality rehabilitation and maximize each patient’s fullest potential and function.”