Today in PT Community

Steve Youngblood, PT, CCI Director of Inpatient Rehabilitative Services

Editor’s note: This post is brought to you by Lakeland Regional Health Systems.

In August 2015, the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation will be opening at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. The organization recognizes the huge benefit a rehab center would have for our community to provide exceptional care close to home.

As a therapist with almost 20 years of experience, I have had the privilege of working with some great rehab professionals, nurses, physicians, social workers and other members of the team at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Currently, the 851-bed facility provides a wonderful learning environment for rehab professionals with a wide variety of diagnoses on multiple floors with multiple specialties. Sometimes though, the need for a new innovative rehab center is best told through the unique stories and struggles of a few patients who experienced the need for this level of care.

One story I remember is that of a woman involved in a motor vehicle crash whose injuries made many believe she might never walk again. Tireless efforts of a collaborative team of rehab professionals, nurses, physicians and ancillary support were able to progress her to a level where she was ready to be discharged to an acute rehab center.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to follow up with this patient to hear about her post-acute stay. She related that it was traumatic physically for her to endure a three (3) hour ambulance trip to the nearest rehab center. Further, it placed a large degree of stress on the family, many of whom had to take leaves of absence, or quit their jobs to relocate to the city where the rehab was located. Logistically, it was even harder to set up resources after discharge due to the long distance and phone calls. Having the opportunity to meet former patients allowed me to truly appreciate the plethora of struggles that occur when a traumatic event turns the patient — and their world — upside down.

Another story is one of a man who suffered a hemorrhagic stroke whose only support was his wife of 50 years. The lack of an acute rehab center close by made it a huge struggle for her. For several weeks, she had to travel long distances back and forth to be there for her spouse while he underwent his rehab.

Her involvement greatly helped with the patient’s improvement, and it was apparent every time she would walk in the room when he was receiving therapy. It further emphasized how important a person’s family, friend, colleague, or coach can be in there journey to recovery.

With the opening of the brand-new 32-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility, patients will participate in evidence-based care pathways (CVA and TBI) that will evolve as the evidence evolves, and the facility will offer state-of-the-art technology to enhance patient care, facilitate clinician documentation and improve the patient experience.

We are attempting to break down the traditional barriers and silos associated with inpatient rehabilitation services and, quite frankly, this is really a unique opportunity to design a brand new model of care. This step is just the first in redesigning care across the continuum. The Bannasch Institute also aims to be very active in clinical and systems research in order to contribute to the body of evidence and the greater good.

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About the author

Steve Youngblood, PT, CCI
Director of Inpatient Rehabilitative Services