Healthcare apps on your smartphone can put tools in the palm of your hand that help you manage a condition, promote your well-being or recover from an illness or injury. One app that’s helping produce better health outcomes in physical, occupational and speech therapy is RehabTracker, developed by Kindred Rehabilitation Services (KRS).

The Secret to Supporting a Loved Ones Rehabilitation

This app is available to anyone who receives care at KRS-served healthcare facilities, and it allows you to work with the therapy team to set personal goals for your care and put them into the app to track your progress. Then, your care team will update the information on the app after every visit. You can use your mobile device to see and track your progress in real time, share that progress with invited family and friends and receive messages of support from loved ones.

Once RehabTracker launched in early 2018, data began showing that people became more engaged in their rehabilitation and improved their health outcomes. For example, on average, people using RehabTracker* were more able to perform basic daily tasks independently, which is referred to as their Functional Independence Measure (FIM), and were more likely to go home after rehabilitation rather than another healthcare setting.

Jason Zachariah, President of KRS, said RehabTracker is demonstrating the correlation between patient engagement and outcomes.

“With forward-thinking rehabilitation and intuitive technology like our RehabTracker patient engagement app, our 7,000 therapists are better able to help patients get back to their lives,” Zachariah said. “We know that motivated and engaged patients typically respond better to rehabilitation care and as a result have better outcomes, so we leveraged the popular app platform to provide a convenient means to help them track and share their progress.”

Three of the first locations to begin using the app with patients in northern Indiana are part of the Community Healthcare System®. Therapists at Community Hospital (Munster), St. Mary’s Medical Center (Hobart) and St. Catherine Hospital (East Chicago) began encouraging acute rehabilitation unit patients and family members to try RehabTracker during the first quarter of 2018. The early results are encouraging:

Functional Independence Measure (FIM)

2017

April 2018

 

Patients Going Home (as opposed to other settings)

2017

April 2018

Community Hospital

27.40

29.24

 

Community Hospital

72.1%

74.7%

St. Catherine Hospital

25.39

33.03

 

St. Catherine Hospital

72.3%

77.2%

St. Mary Medical Center

29.88

31.80

 

St. Mary Medical Center

82.9%

82.9%


“For patients who have had a stroke or an injury such as a hip fracture, RehabTracker enables them to view their goals, track progress and enhance communication in their support circle,” explained Muhammad Khan, a KRS physical therapist and program director at St. Catherine Hospital. “Motivation is the key for patient success in rehabilitation. These patients are medically complex and they need to be motivated with lots of encouragement on a daily basis to help them progress. Engaging the patient in daily targets helps to get them home.”

RehabTracker is compliant with federal health information privacy rules, and KRS looks to begin offering the app in Kindred’s inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and long-term acute care hospitals for patients who require rehabilitation as part of their care plan.

One of the many benefits of the mobile app platform is the ability to add features and improve usability based upon user feedback. A recently added photo feature, for instance, allows patients to share images of their therapy progress, and more enhancements are in the works.

If you or a loved one need inpatient rehabilitation as a next step in your recovery, consider a KRS-served location for both high quality care and innovative technology that keeps you engaged and on the right track.

*Data as of June 2018, from usage by 450 patients at 42 acute rehabilitation units and eight skilled nursing facilities served by KRS.