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Reduce Hospitalization with Therapy

Tuesday, 11 June 2024 09:00 AM

Reduce Rehospitalization with Inpatient PT and OT Prior to Discharge.

KENNESAW, GA / ACCESSWIRE / June 11, 2024 / Hospital readmission is a big issue in the healthcare industry. Rehospitalizations are costly for hospitals, and they are difficult for the patient and their family to manage as well.

Rehospitalization happens when a patient is discharged from the hospital, only to be readmitted again soon after being discharged to home or a long-term care facility.

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are a vital piece of the puzzle in reducing rehospitalizations as Sheewayne Sandoval, President and CEO of BenCura Rehabilitation Services explains.

"Most of the indicators healthcare providers look at as they transition the patient through the continuum of care is related to their medical condition, and for good reason," said Sandoval. "However, this leaves the functional ability to the patient and their family at home, rather than intertwining it throughout their hospital stay. In the patient's head, in addition to the medical condition, they're also thinking about whether they'll be able to use the bathroom on their own, if they'll be able to work in their garden once they get home, if a family member will have to move in with them.

"Understanding function and ability is just as important as understanding the medical condition. Bring light to functionality and its impact on rehospitalization is key. What PT and OT can do is to begin focusing on functionality day one of a hospital stay. This can be done through multiple processes, including, identifying a patient's prior level of function, identifying a patient's current functional status, identifying a patient's discharge location and needs, and communicating this information during an initial interdisciplinary meeting and throughout a hospital stay. Valuable insights such as this, educates the medical team and family caregivers on how function and living environment affects safety. Thus, reducing the risk of falls and other injuries, that could lead to rehospitalizations."

In addition, functional ability, or a decrease in function, after a patient returns home or to long-term care, can also be an early indicator or a warning of medical changes. Giving patients and family members insight prior to discharge on how ability or lack thereof, can be a warning of medical changes and can be advantageous in preventing rehospitalizations. Early detection will allow early involvement from a medical care provider that could guide patient care at home or at a long-term care facility, whether through telehealth or some other means, to prevent rehospitalizations. By making sure rehabilitative services like physical, occupational therapy and speech therapy are a part of the care for the patient, therapy services can help ensure a patient is truly ready for the next step-whether it might be going home or going to a skilled nursing facility after their hospital stay.

BenCura offers outsourced rehabilitative management services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy.

"We are experts in recovery, and we are experts in function to improve quality of life," said Sandoval. "When you're outsourcing therapy to a company like ours that understands interdisciplinary care, it means better outcomes for our partner facilities and their patients. We have designed our company structure for best practices and optimal outcomes, with systems in place to fit the needs of a hospital's goals, to reduce rehospitalizations, and we are ahead of the game."

Sandoval continued, saying the BenCura team has designed solutions like standardized communications for functional deficits, risk and living environments, aimed to identify a severity rating for discharge settings. Educating other care team members on the role of PT and OT as it pertains to discharge planning, having therapy, throughout a hospital stay, play a major role during an interdisciplinary planning meeting, and maximizing a patient's function in preparation for their transition from hospital to post-acute care, has been pivotal points in decreasing rehospitalizations.

"We teach our therapists the importance of being available and educating caregivers, other care providers, and patients on functional deficits as opposed to having the role as a therapist of seeing a patient for 30 or 45 minutes in therapy and then going to the next and then the next. Our goal is to educate and train our therapists to not only provide direct individualized physical therapy and occupational therapy in the rehab gym or hospital room, but to transition our goals, treatments, and recommendations, into an interdisciplinary collaboration and away from the traditional siloed approach."

BenCura Rehabilitation Services is a premier contract rehabilitation service committed to providing quality care to patients. BenCura partners with acute care and critical access hospitals as well as skilled nursing facilities to provide high quality physical, speech, and occupational therapy at a lower cost than traditional in-house models. For more information about BenCura Rehabilitation Services and our partnership with hospitals and long-term care facilities, please visit:

For more information or to schedule an interview with Sheewayne Sandoval, CEO of BenCura:

Livia Bircher
Phone: 229.326.0066
Email: [email protected]


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