June 18, 2009
Rehab Ready Rooms Designed With Stroke Patients in Mind
Augusta, GA—Because of changes in health care delivery, patients who survive debilitating strokes are discharged from acute care hospitals sooner and arrive at rehabilitation hospitals with greater medical needs than in the past, making therapy intervention harder to tolerate early in their admission.
For these patients, even the short wheelchair ride to a gym for therapy can leave them too exhausted to fully benefit from therapy activities.
Walton Rehabilitation Health System has responded to this change by developing the region’s first rehab-ready stroke unit. Designed by nurses and therapists with the needs of the stroke patient in mind, the rooms are outfitted so that patients can begin their therapy activities right in their own rooms, and families are able to get involved, too. “The goal of therapy is to help patients build and regain strength,” said Karen Lasher, RN, Patient Care Administrator at Walton Rehabilitation Health System. “By bringing therapy to our stroke patients, patients are able to start therapy immediately in the convenience of their own rooms while medically recovering from their stroke.”
In designing the rooms, Walton’s nurses and therapists were asked, “What does rehab-ready mean to you?”, and their solutions were incorporated into the redesign. Amenities include:
- Ambulation bars and mirrors. The ambulation bar assist patients during balance and walking exercises and mirrors help patients view their body and extremity spatial position.
- Extra large bathrooms. Toileting transfers are enhanced by extra space and convenient grab bar placement. Roll-in showers make it easy for wheelchair or stretcher users to bathe. Knock-out doors allow for immediate access should a patient need critical assistance.
- ADL-ready sinks. Wheelchair-accessible sink areas enable therapists to work with patients on exercises focusing on activities of daily living, or ADLs, like washing the face or brushing teeth. Sinks also include motion-sensor soap and towel dispensers for patients’ ease, comfort and independence.
- Flat-screen TVs. The large TVs are easy to view and can be used as educational tools when combined with the hospital’s instructional DVDs.
- Sleep chairs. The chairs fold out into a cot that provides an area for a family member to stay the night, which is helpful so family members can learn how to take care of a patient’s needs at home even during the nighttime hours.
- Family support. Because the equipment is available right in the room, families are able to practice exercises with their loved one on their own.
All stroke unit staff also completed a comprehensive three-day stroke core curriculum prior to working on the unit. “Because this unit is specifically designed for stroke patients, we wanted to ensure that all unit staff are qualified in stroke care,” said Lasher.
The new unit was funded through a $1 million dollar capital campaign conducted by the Walton Foundation for Independence. “While we specialize in the rehabilitation of all patients, from minor acute injuries to comprehensive therapy for catastrophic cases, Walton has been awarded specialty certification in stroke rehabilitation by The Joint Commission,” said Dennis Skelley, President and CEO of Walton Rehabilitation Health System. “The overwhelming support that we received to build our specialized stroke unit further emphasizes the great need for rehab-ready stroke rooms in our region, especially considering that we lie at the buckle of the Stroke Belt.”
Media Contact: Danielle Wong Moores, PR Specialist, 706-434-0150
<< Go Back