Steubenville, Ohio—August 30, 2023— The Trinity Health System Medical Rehabilitation team thrives on providing quality care for patients throughout the Ohio Valley.
As the team prepares to move into a newly renovated rehabilitation unit at Trinity Health System West, we asked Dr. Milton Swaby, Trinity Health System Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist (pictured with this post), and Lori Damis, Trinity Health System Med Rehab Clinical Manager, to explain a few elements of medical rehabilitation to our community.
How is Medical Rehab different from Skilled Care?
To the average layperson, it’s easy to confuse Medical Rehab with Skilled Care. However, there is a difference.
“Medical Rehab is an acute care specialty unit that involves intense therapy along with nursing care and medical care,” Damis said. “The team works together, drives the progress, adjusts the plan of treatment, and works toward specific goals for the patient.”
According to Dr. Swaby, a two-year study by Dobson DaVanzo & Associates LLC looked at patient outcomes data for the different recovery paths.
“The study found that patients treated in rehabilitation hospitals and units have better outcomes, go home earlier, and live longer than those treated in skilled nursing facilities,” he said.
Patients generally remain in Med Rehab an average of seven to 14 days. Because of this, Damis said family and friends are an important part of the rehabilitation process.
“When care is available in a setting close to home, friends and family can readily visit and be a part of the rehab process. Family and friends participate in family education where they witness their loved one’s abilities and needs so that they can be ready to support them after discharge.”
The Trinity Health System Rehabilitation Unit offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Damis said patients are involved in therapy for a minimum of 15 hours per week.
“Therapy is tailored to the needs of the patient. Returning to daily activities is achieved by all of the disciplines working together for the patient.”
How will the new location affect the quality of care?
When the Medical Rehabilitation team moves into their new location at the West campus, they’ll be providing care in a fully updated unit.
“Our patients will have all the necessary facilities to support their rehabilitation,” Damis said.
Features of the new facility include:
- A modern apartment to replicate a home setting, complete with a kitchen, laundry, and living area.
- Large private rooms for patients and their family members.
- A multipurpose room in which patients can interact with other patients, spend time with loved ones, participate in activities, and relax outside of their room.
- A therapy gym with all of the necessary equipment needed to ensure positive outcomes.
“The unit will also be located in the acute care building, so access to support services will be readily available and convenient,” Damis added.
Why is the Trinity Health System team passionate about Medical Rehabilitation?
Damis emphasized the passion with which her team approaches their respective jobs. They’re committed to creating a quality experience for their patients, she said, which in turn adds a sense of worth to their jobs.
“I know why we do what we do when I see the amazing progress of our patients,” Damis explained. “It is wonderful to see the transition of a patient from being so dependent on others for basic care to being at a level where they are walking again, feeding themselves, conversing with people, caring for their own personal needs, and gaining back some control of their lives again.”
Dr. Swaby agreed, saying, “Our passion stems from being able to return patients, with various medical conditions, back to their lives.”