With greater emphasis being placed on care transitions and readmission rates, inpatient rehabilitation units have the incredible potential to become high-performing centers of excellence that create greater patient access and enhance the performance of the entire hospital. However, without key fundamentals, issues such as medical oversight and improper medical staffing can occur.

Discover three best practices to help overcome medical oversight and staffing issues, and how integration of these practices can generate positive rehabilitation outcomes for your facility.

  1. Become CARF-accredited.

    Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) can help demonstrate to patients, payers and referral sources the quality of clinical care, service delivery and overall excellence of your rehabilitation services.

    Further, CARF and Joint Commission certifications improve the comprehensiveness of patient treatment and the range of patients a program may treat, as well as support improved program performance. On average, CARF-accredited programs experience a 26% increase in annual patients served, as well as a 37% increase in accordance to quality standards.1

  2. Choose medical directors carefully.

    A medical director who fully understands changing regulations and has peer support will have a positive impact on the success of the rehabilitation unit overall. It is important to ensure medical directors are engaged members of the team and have the tools they need to drive program results. It’s also crucial to remain flexible as the healthcare landscape fluctuates due to regulatory changes and population needs.

  3. Invest in staff education and utilize an interdisciplinary approach.

    Ongoing training and education for managers and staff is critical for the delivery of quality care, skill enhancement and leadership development. It is also an investment in achieving productivity and employee retention through providing career development and job satisfaction – two vital components in how staff members deliver care to their patients.2

    The interdisciplinary team approach within the hospital is also important, as it has shown proven results during times of public health uncertainty – ensuring a consistent patient experience across the care continuum. Program directors should serve as ambassadors to integrate nursing and therapy staff, and coordinate external resources.

There are many attributes that make up a successful rehabilitation unit; however, without the combination of these three best practices, a facility will lack the skills to ensure the long-term outcomes needed for an efficient program.

Read our whitepaper, “10 Steps to Optimize Your Hospital’s Rehabilitation Unit,” to learn about the key strategies hospital leaders are integrating to position a rehabilitation unit or hospital for continued success.


  1. CARF International. Accreditation Benefits. http://www.carf.org/Accreditation/ValueOfAccreditation/Benefits/
  2. Chaghari, M., Saffari, M., Ebadi, A., & Ameryoun, A. (2017, January). Empowering education: A new model for In-service training of nursing staff. Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5238493/
By Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services