Published on January 20, 2012

Efficient Health Care With Genesis Day Rehabilitation

U.S. Rep. Loebsack tours first-in-Iowa program

The patient came into the Genesis Day Rehabilitation Program that day feeling short of breath. He thought he had a cold. Nurse Shani Marland suspected his condition was more serious.

She was right: She assessed the patient and discovered his pulse oximetry levels were lower than normal. His lungs didn’t sound good.

“Shani immediately took the patient to the Emergency Room and found out he actually had a pulmonary embolism. Thanks to her on-site assessment, she probably saved the man’s life,” explained Jan King, Director of Genesis Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

King told this success story to Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack when he made a Jan. 12 tour of the new Day Rehabilitation Program at Genesis Medical Center, West Central Park in Davenport.

The program, the first in Iowa and the only one in the Quad Cities region, serves as a bridge for patients who no longer require hospitalization but still need intensive, regular rehabilitation after a serious illness or injury. Patients receive the necessary level of therapy during the day, and then return home at night.

This story of the rehabilitation patient with the pulmonary embolism highlights a key advantage of the program: There’s oversight by a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation and a registered nurse on the scene providing clinical care.

There’s also laboratory testing and other diagnostic services available when needed, along with physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and therapeutic recreation.

Patients are happier if they can stay at home, and there’s a substantial costsavings to the hospital and payers. Once patients no longer need this intensity of rehabilitation services, they transition to a traditional outpatient clinic, King said.

Congressman Loebsack liked what he saw: “It’s all about efficiency and keeping costs down for patients and taxpayers, yet giving the quality of care that’s needed,” he said. “This is a fantastic program, and the comprehensive nature of it is impressive.

“People are concerned about the rising cost of health care. The more efficiently the care can be delivered, the better it’s going to be -- not just for patients but for all of us. This program is good for the patient, good for the hospital and providers, and good for taxpayers, as well.”

Since the program began in November, much attention has been given to ensuring that the right types of patients are admitted, said Carol Rehder, Manager of Physical Therapy at Genesis. Now, it’s time to promote the program to a wider audience and make more physicians aware of its availability.

“We’re very excited about the program,” Rehder says. “It’s serving an important niche in the region and filling a gap between inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.”

Nurse Shani Marland, R.N., finds great satisfaction in seeing patients receive intensive rehabilitation during the day and returning to their homes at night. For example, patients with new tracheostomies can more easily live at home, instead of having to spend time in skilled care, because they know they will receive a nurse’s care during the day. At the program, their caregivers receive education on their loved ones’ care needs, which they can then use at home.

“From a rehab perspective, there’s really no place like home,” Marland says. “With a program like this, patients can come out of inpatient rehabilitation sooner. They can receive medical oversight during Day Rehabilitation and go home at night. They and their families feel safer and more reassured that they’re being monitored for any health concerns.”

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