The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a variety of challenges for hospital systems, especially within rehabilitation programs treating those recovering from COVID-19 and other medical complexities.

In addition to properly training and educating clinical staff on how to successfully care for this growing population, innovative technology and family member experience have proven to be vital throughout the pandemic as well as a tool for treating the current and future medically complex population.

Medically Complex: Significance of Tech Integration and Family Experience

Here are two additional areas of focus for hospitals helping to ensure this population is efficiently and effectively treated, even beyond COVID-19:

  1. Adapting Through Tech Innovation

    Having access to the latest innovative solutions allows providers to not only deliver vital care through equipment or devices, but connect patients with their families separated by distance – especially during ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. For example, the usage of telehealth technology has rapidly increased since the beginning of COVID-19, with baby boomers accounting for the greatest portion of new users. The overall increase is 155% - jumping from 9% pre-pandemic to 23%.11

    By embracing new technologies, rehabilitation programs and their patients can achieve greater levels of success while increasing patient satisfaction, both physically and mentally.

  2. Patient and Family Member Experience

    Support from hospital staff throughout a patient’s care journey is just as critical for patient outcomes and family involvement. These various forms of support include:

    Follow-up Calls: Working follow-up calls into standard discharge procedure can produce optimal outcomes for both patients and rehabilitation programs, especially since methods of in-person communication are strained due to the ongoing pandemic. Further, follow-up calls give patients and their caregivers the opportunity to ask questions and resolve any misunderstandings.

    Supporting the Adult Child Caregiver:
    For most medically complex patients, an adult child takes on the role of caregiver. Initiatives to support the caregiver can help rehabilitation programs reduce readmissions and improve patient outcomes all while strengthening the relationship between the provider and the consumer.

    By integrating expertise around key areas including staffing, tech innovation and patient and caregiver experience, rehabilitation programs can continue to reach new levels of success.

    Read: “Medically Complex: Preparing Your Clinical Staff” to learn about the roles that play a vital part in addressing the growing medically complex population.

Read our latest whitepaper “Rise of Medically Complex Patients: Prepare Your Rehabilitation Program” to learn more.


 References:

  1. How Covid-19 transformed virtual care preferences, according to our 7,000-patient survey. (2021, January 12). Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://www.advisory.com/Blog/2021/01/Covid-19-telehealth
  2. Jill I Cameron. Supporting Caregivers Across the Care Continuum. University of Toronto: Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. http://www.gtarehabnetwork.ca/uploads/File/bpd/2017/Concurrent_AM-B_Caregivers_across_Continuum_Jill_Cameron.pdf
By Kindred Rehabilitation