Tips On Choosing A Facility
One of the most important – and difficult – decisions you may face is the selection of a rehabilitation facility. Philosophies and capabilities can be vastly different from one facility to the next. While some facilities are traditional rehab, others are more focused towards providing nursing home-type accommodations. Look for rehab facilities that cover the entire spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services from physicians and therapists to case managers and dieticians.
As you carefully explore your options and tour prospective facilities, you are encouraged to consider asking these five questions:
Accreditation Of The Facility
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations accredits rehabilitation facilities. The officials visit facilities with this accreditation after a set period to conduct extensive, multi-day evaluations covering all aspects of care.
Specialization Of The Facility
Medicare gives certified stamp of approval for facilities that specialize in rehabilitation care. That means the staff is specifically trained in acute rehabilitation care. Check to see if the facility offers other specialized programs such aquatic therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy or even brain injury, stroke, orthopedic and cardiac rehabilitation programs. Look also for a facility that has a physician on site 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, and preferably with internist with critical care training.
Cleanliness Of The Facility
Consider how you feel as you walk into the door. Make sure it does not carry odors or look dirty. Patient rooms should contain certain home comforts such as TVs, phones, and showers/baths. Check if the décor is appealing, soothing and functional. Also if there are pleasant outdoor areas and if indoor hallways tidy and spacious.
Consider The Nurse To Patient Ratio
One nurse to every five or six patients is considered ideal. Quality nurse-to-patient ratios are said to yield substantial benefits, such as faster healing and positive outlooks. Be careful of facilities that are heavily comprised of CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants)staff. CNAs are not registered nurses specializing in rehabilitation care.
How Much Therapy Will The Patient Receive
On average, rehabilitation facilities provide far more therapy than nursing homes. A good range for therapy hours would be from 1 to 3 per day, though spread out at different intervals during the day. Therapy should also be progressive as the patient recovers their strength during their stay. As for the type of therapy they receive, it varies depending upon the therapists and specialists assigned to the case.
Treat The Choice Like Buying A Home
Don’t allow the decisions of which facility is best for your loved one fall to hospital case workers. When asking questions about the facility, make sure you talk with a caseworker about the staff at the rehab facility before sending a patient there. Even after you’ve come across a facility that appeals to you, shop around until fully satisfied. This is a vital decision that must be made wisely and compassionately.