"Local rehabilitation stories make this anniversary special"

NCH Healthcare System — Local rehabilitation stories make this anniversary special
We have so many good things happening at NCH that sometimes it is hard to keep up. Let me highlight just two of them.

First, this is National Rehabilitation Week, and we celebrate our rehab facility with great pride.

We treat more than 1,000 patients yearly in our 60-bed, 5 South Rehab Unit, many recovering from acute injury such as stroke or trauma, and others with chronic debilitating conditions, eager to regain their productive lives. Our team has continued its 21-year tradition of full accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, whose examiners validated our services as of the “highest quality.”

About 18 percent of rehab patients have had a stroke and require an intensive program to regain mobility, self-care skills and the ability to communicate. According to Heather Baker, administrative director of the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center, “These types of conditions not only affect the patient, but also the family. It's important when choosing a rehab provider that the family learns about the outcomes of services provided. For example, the stroke patients served at NCH have a higher functional gain, and the percentage of patients returning home is greater than the national average.”

One part of our rehab celebration will be “Just Desserts,” at 4 p.m. today in Telford, where we will recognize many who have made spectacular rehab recoveries, including:

Rob C., a young stroke victim came to the rehab unit requiring total assistance, unable to swallow and only communicated by pointing to a picture board. He left the unit able to get by with minimal assistance, driving a power chair. According to Colleen Murphy, Emily Sola and Benedikte Stovall, “Rob has a great and supportive family, who along with the rehab team laughed a lot and cried a lot.”

Geri S. is a man of “few words but very talkative eyebrows,” according to therapist Sally Tillotson. Geri suffered a stroke after open-heart surgery but was determined, ambitious, quick and, even, “had a loyal and caring ex-wife who wouldn't let him get away with a thing,” said Tillotson.

Ian B. was determined to recover from day one. “He was like a sponge wanting homework to do back in his room and was a huge cheerleader for his fellow patients,” said Sandy Hutchinson and Deb Pignatiello. Ian even had a fellow musician entertain everyone at happy hour while Ian danced.

Second, CNO Michele Thoman conducted her third set of Nursing Forums introducing the new Nursing website, found on our internal MyNCH.org site.

Gerald McGinnis, our Cerner RN colleague, displayed upcoming changes in documentation spurred by suggestions from PowerChart users and the Shared Governance Information Technology team. We will soon migrate to central monitoring, where all surgical beds on both campuses will have cardiac monitors in one location. We will add 801 intravenous smart pumps controlled remotely by nurses and physicians to download patient information to the electronic medical record. And as new members of the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, we will conduct a confidential nursing survey that will help us continue to improve the care we provide.

Allen S. Weiss is the president and CEO of the NCH Healthcare System. 
Contact Dr. Weiss by clicking HERE

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Press Release (10/11/10) - Local rehabilitation stories make this anniversary special