Straight Talk - "Today we celebrate the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging & Rehabilitation"

January 23, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Today we celebrate the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging & Rehabilitation. In fact, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of this extraordinary rehabilitation center at NCH.

Over the past quarter century, Brookdale has cared for some 21,000 patients, recovering from strokes, brain injury; surgery of all types, including total hip or total knee replacements; severe medical illnesses, such as heart or lung disease; and any condition benefitting from intense medical management, nursing, physical, occupational, speech, and case management services. Over the past few months alone, Brookdale has experienced a growth of 32% in patients, as more and more physicians and community members become aware of this 54-bed unit’s amazing potential.

Administrative Director Heather Baker, speaking for the clinical director team including Sue Graziano, Karen Judd, and Medical Director Dr. David Pitts, outlined the growth in referrals.

Digitalization, says Heather, enables us to contemporaneously track incoming patients who might benefit from Brookdale. We can objectively monitor the progress of Brookdale patients receiving this highly prescriptive program, and assist families with anticipated discharge to home or a skilled-care nursing home facility. The Brookdale team shares sophisticated business and clinical reporting tools through electronic platforms to track progress toward goals and provide real-time opportunities for redirection as needed. An example is the Daily Flash Report, which profiles comparative data on volume, length of stay indicators, as well as community outreach efforts.

We also regularly compare our performance with national benchmarks. In nine major categories—stroke, fractures, joint replacement, brain injury, spinal cord injury, neurology, cardiac, multi-trauma, and debility—NCH exceeds the national average related to patients successfully discharging to home. We use benchmarking, best practices and predictive modeling to bring evidence-based medicine and management to enhance therapy and improve outcomes.

The goal for patients, their families, and our NCH team is to maximize a patient’s outcome as safely and quickly as possible. Interdisciplinary team meetings help focus on the goals set by the rehabilitating patient and the clinical team. Again, metrics and sharing information contained in the Phase Report reflects where each patient is on the journey to recovery and communicates this progress to everyone.

Using this communication model, Brookdale is able to care for more patients as the average time needed in hospital for each patient has decreased. Stated simply, if we can help patients reach their optimal goal in less time, then the patient, the hospital and the community are all getting “more bang for the buck.” Our metrics track both functional gains and return to the community to measure success.

All of this good and precise work has culminated in Brookdale receiving a superb rating by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, an independent, international accrediting agency. Without question, Brookdale is helping our neighbors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. And that, in itself, is ample reason to celebrate.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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