Challenges and Lessons Learned for Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation of Persons With COVID-19: Clinical Presentation, Assessment, Needs, and Services Utilization

Susan Maltser, Erika Trovato, Heidi N. Fusco, Cristina P. Sison, Anne Felicia Ambrose, Joseph Herrera, Sean Murphy, Steven Kirshblum, Matthew N. Bartels, Leslie Bagay, Mooyeon Oh-Park, Adam B. Stein, Sara Cuccurullo, Phalgun Nori, Jayne Donovan, Kristen Dams-O'Connor, Prin Amorapanth, Scott A. Barbuto, Ona Bloom, Miguel X. Escalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to present: (1) physiatric care delivery amid the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, (2) challenges, (3) data from the first cohort of post-COVID-19 inpatient rehabilitation facility patients, and (4) lessons learned by a research consortium of New York and New Jersey rehabilitation institutions. DESIGN: For this clinical descriptive retrospective study, data were extracted from post-COVID-19 patient records treated at a research consortium of New York and New Jersey rehabilitation inpatient rehabilitation facilities (May 1-June 30, 2020) to characterize admission criteria, physical space, precautions, bed numbers, staffing, employee wellness, leadership, and family communication. For comparison, data from the Uniform Data System and eRehabData databases were analyzed. The research consortium of New York and New Jersey rehabilitation members discussed experiences and lessons learned. RESULTS: The COVID-19 patients (N = 320) were treated during the study period. Most patients were male, average age of 61.9 yrs, and 40.9% were White. The average acute care length of stay before inpatient rehabilitation facility admission was 24.5 days; mean length of stay at inpatient rehabilitation facilities was 15.2 days. The rehabilitation research consortium of New York and New Jersey rehabilitation institutions reported a greater proportion of COVID-19 patients discharged to home compared with prepandemic data. Some institutions reported higher changes in functional scores during rehabilitation admission, compared with prepandemic data. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic acutely affected patient care and overall institutional operations. The research consortium of New York and New Jersey rehabilitation institutions responded dynamically to bed expansions/contractions, staff deployment, and innovations that facilitated safe and effective patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1115-1123
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine
Volume100
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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