JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Brooks Rehabilitation is pleased to announce the launch of an essential research study that will advance the use of telehealth for rehabilitation in response to public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Partners Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital complete the team of leading rehabilitation providers supporting the creation and deployment of the study, with the goal to obtain vital data and feedback that will be used to shape the future of telehealth for patients and providers.
COVID-19 has been a catalyst to many changes in healthcare, including the expansion of telehealth in rehabilitation.
“This virus has been a catalyst to many changes in all of healthcare, including the expansion of virtual visits via telehealth. The study will focus on the experiences of rehabilitation patients and providers during the pandemic and will further inform how telehealth rehab services are performed in the future,” said Dr. Raine Osborne, Director of Research at Brooks Rehabilitation and study co-principal investigator.
Without the ability to treat patients in person, the continuity of patient care has been put at risk. Rehabilitation professionals express concern over the loss of vital touch points needed to facilitate patient treatment and progress, as barriers like a lack of appropriate technology or access to telehealth portals prove to be immediate hurdles. Historically, telehealth has hit a myriad of roadblocks due to regulatory and reimbursement issues. The pandemic has pushed through the necessity for innovation in patient care via virtual platforms, and this timely study will provide insight into the widespread, vital changes needed in order to continue to advance rehabilitation care.
“Many previously perceived barriers of telehealth have become invalidated, and patients and providers are seeing benefits of these services. Virtual services will continue to become an expectation of innovative healthcare and provide consumers with the access and convenience that they are looking for from their healthcare services,” said Emily Rumery, OTD and Virtual Services Coordinator for Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals.
Virtual visits serve as an innovative means to interact with patients in a way that reduces personal protective equipment utilization amid a national shortage, as well as decreases exposure to COVID-19. Information gleaned from the study will further elevate safety for patients and providers, as well as build on the foundational methods for virtual care facilities like Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital have been working on in recent years.
“Since we started on this journey four years ago, we have put processes in place to integrate telehealth workflow into existing patient care, so it did not become ‘one more thing.’ The education we provided the medical staff, other clinicians and patient service coordinators really helped when we flipped the switch to virtual outpatient services during the first wave of the pandemic. The foundation was already there,” said Jason Peoples, co-principal investigator, Director of Technology and Innovation, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.
“Critical to this research is identifying barriers that need to be overcome to ensure individuals of all abilities, including those with limited movement and speech capacity, can use telehealth fully,” said Dr. Judith Burnfield, co-principal investigator, and Director of Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals’ Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering.
Results will provide essential information that will help drive the creation of telehealth resources for patients and shape the way telehealth is executed in rehabilitation. In addition, findings will support initiatives and legislation needed in order to meet the needs of patients and providers nationwide.
The survey will target rehabilitation patients and providers who have received and delivered care since the pandemic was first declared by President Trump on March 11, 2020. Data is anticipated to be available early 2021.
About Brooks Rehabilitation For 50 years, Brooks Rehabilitation, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., has been a comprehensive source for physical rehabilitation services. As a nonprofit organization, Brooks operates one of the nation’s largest inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in the U.S. with 160 beds, one of the region’s largest home healthcare agencies, over 40 outpatient therapy clinics, a Center for Inpatient Rehabilitation in partnership with Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, the Brooks Rehabilitation Medical Group, two skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and memory care. Brooks will treat more than 55,000 patients through their system of care each year. In addition, Brooks operates the Clinical Research Center, which specializes in research for stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury and more to advance the science of rehabilitation. Brooks also provides many low or no cost community programs and services such as the Brooks Clubhouse, Brooks Aphasia Center and Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation to improve the quality of life for people living with physical disabilities. For more information, visit brooksrehab.org. Connect with us via Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.
About Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, nationally accredited, rehabilitation hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since 1891, Mary Free Bed has restored hope and freedom through rehabilitation for children and adults with brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries, multiple traumas, amputations, cancer and other diagnoses. The combination of more than 110 specialized medical and sports rehabilitation programs and an exclusive focus on rehabilitation enables specialty physicians and staff to help patients achieve extraordinary clinical results. The Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Network includes 38 hospitals in Michigan and Indiana. Mary Free Bed also manages rehabilitation care for 351 inpatient beds and with an extensive outpatient system. For more information, visit maryfreebed.com. Connect with us via Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.
About Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals offers world-class physical and medical rehabilitation and research. Specializing in brain and spinal cord trauma, stroke and neurological conditions for adults and children, Madonna takes the most medically complex cases. We offer hope and healing and return patients back to their communities at a higher rate than industry benchmarks. Learn more at madonna.org. Connect with us via Facebook.
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