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What Is Skilled and Subacute Rehab, and How Do You Choose the Right Program?

After an extended stay at a hospital, you or your loved one may need some assistance returning to daily life. Depending on the severity of the event that precipitated the stay, hospital treatment may only be the first step toward a full recovery. Approximately 20% of patients discharged from hospitals will need another level of care before going home.

Post-hospital recovery may include an inpatient rehabilitation program, skilled or subacute rehab, assisted living, etc., designed to help you regain physical function and independent mobility. Subacute or skilled rehab usually follows a hospital stay (aka acute care) and helps patients recover from serious cardiac episodes or traumatic injuries. Discharged patients can be admitted to rehab immediately or within 33 days of their hospital stays.

At a subacute or skilled rehabilitation center, you can benefit from personalized, multidisciplinary rehab in a highly specialized setting. A team will provide treatment for any physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, or vocational issues that may appear after the initial event. These post-hospital rehabilitation services aim to help you return home and/or back to work.

Finding the Right Skilled or Subacute Program

A general hospital setting may not be the best place to receive the rehabilitation a patient needs. For example, a hospital may provide high-quality acute care during a cardiac health crisis, but it might not be the best place for cardiac rehabilitation. In this case, a skilled nursing facility would better provide the specialized cardiac care you need for successful post-hospital recovery.

At a subacute rehab center or skilled nursing facility, doctors, nurses, care providers, and therapists all work together to maximize your recovery — often at a much lower cost. However, not all subacute or skilled rehabilitation centers and facilities are equal. Before selecting one, consider the qualities that will matter most during the recovery period, such as:

1. The Facility’s Experience

The specialized care that a rehab facility can provide you or your loved one is the main reason to enroll in a skilled recovery program. Make sure the facility you select has experience treating the health concern at hand. It should be able to provide data that reveals the quality of its care.

If possible, choose a facility that wants to meet not only patients’ needs, but the local community’s needs as well. When a skilled or subacute rehab facility positively impacts the surrounding area, then you know you can entrust it to treat you or a loved one.

2. The Availability of Skilled Nurses

Care providers and nurses do not share the same responsibilities throughout the inpatient rehabilitation process. Skilled nursing involves more than just assistance with daily activities and mobility. At a skilled or subacute rehabilitation facility, nurses will also clean wounds, monitor tube feedings, and track health statuses. To ensure proper care, the facility you should choose should have several skilled nurses.

3. The Variety of Specialists and Services

Cardiac, pulmonary, neuro-orthopedic, and other major health events can significantly impact your physical mobility, independence, and day-to-day life. Subacute or skilled rehabilitation will help you regain that independence, but it takes a multidisciplinary team of specialists to guide you through several different rehabilitation services.

The more disciplines a facility provides, the greater the chances of a successful and speedy post-hospital recovery. For example, after a cardiac episode, a physical and occupational therapist can work with you to design an exercise program for cardiovascular endurance, a dietician can recommend the best heart-healthy nutrition plan, and a therapist can help you reduce your episode-induced stress.

4. The Level of Program Customization

Having a well-rounded team of skilled nurses, therapists, and health specialists is vital to any skilled or subacute recovery program (cardiac or otherwise). Yet customizing a successful rehab program takes more than just medical expertise. Every patient has unique health needs, and a good rehab program should take them into consideration.

In summary, choose a skilled rehab facility that specializes in comprehensive, patient-centered care. Marquis Health Service has centers that can meet your needs, and we have a track record of various specialized care. Contact us to learn more about how we can best serve you.