Information for professionals

Our outcomes-based therapy

The rehabilitation programme is focused on acute time-limited intervention early in the recovery process. Patients are admitted directly after their high care hospital stay and their clinical care is continued in the rehabilitation unit, under the supervision of a rehabilitation doctor. The rehabilitation doctor will make contact with the referring doctor, to ensure continuity, and outpatient care will be referred back to the original referral source. Weekly progress reports are copied to the referring professional.

Daily treatment includes intervention by all appropriate team members, to address medical, physical, cognitive and psychosocial goals of treatment. Considerable emphasis is placed on the education of patients and their families and caregivers to improve their coping skills. Educated, empowered patients and families thus gain improved knowledge, understanding and insight into their condition, thereby facilitating long term self-management.

Length of stay is predicted following detailed patient assessment and team discussion (within 24 hours of admission), and reviewed on an ongoing basis, depending on progress, and funding available. Patient progress is carefully monitored and measured by the team, using a variety of clinical outcomes and internationally researched outcomes measuring systems called the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Functional Assessment Measure (FAM).

Life Rehabilitation is actively involved in reviewing and updating the progress measures used by our clinical teams, to ensure that we measure all the domains of function relevant to daily life.

The continual monitoring of progress gives the team the ability to adjust the programme on an ongoing basis to ensure the best possible outcome.

Our team

A fully integrated team is employed on a full time basis to ensure a comprehensive rehabilitation process. This includes the case manager, who liaises between family, funder, referring doctor and team, and the clinical team, comprised of a rehabilitation doctor (enabling the team to manage co-morbidities and other medical challenges), rehabilitation nurses, and the therapy team comprising physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, social workers, and a dietician.

The patient and family are considered essential members of the rehabilitation team, as they are the people who are living the experience and adapting to its challenges.

All staff is actively involved in continuous professional development programmes to ensure that knowledge and skills are aligned with current best practice.

Active and ongoing team interaction is a key principle underpinning the comprehensive nature of our service and our ability to ensure that therapeutic goals are integrated and focused. Our teams meet regularly with each other and with the patient’s family to discuss patient progress, the therapeutic programme, and discharge planning. The relevant managers are intrinsically involved in the process, and meet regularly with their teams to ensure quality delivery.

Our patients

Prospective rehabilitation patients that are admitted into trauma, neurosurgical, orthopaedic or medical wards should ideally be assessed as soon as possible after the disabling incident.

Our units are predominantly focused on adult patients with neurological disability (brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke) but also treat complex orthopaedic cases, or other debilitating injuries that require inpatient care and intensive multidisciplinary rehabilitation. Patients are admitted as soon as they are capable of active participation in a structured rehabilitation programme. They may have co-morbidities such as tracheostomies, or CPAP. The team is well equipped to deal with patients that are cognitively disabled, as the programme is customised to provide the necessary structure and intervention for each individual.

Our facilities

Life Rehabilitation facilities are accredited by the Department of Health according to a strict list of criteria, and are licensed as dedicated and specialised rehabilitation facilities by the Board of Healthcare Funders. The buildings are custom designed to ensure appropriate accessibility and skills retraining. Specialised equipment is reviewed and upgraded on an ongoing basis to ensure that treatment is consistent with international standards.

Our process

Dedicated case managers form part of the team at every Life Rehabilitation unit, to ensure that you have a contact person that can assist you in all of your queries and admission requirements. Our case manager will assist you in carrying out a functional and rehabilitation screening assessment of the patient while still in your care, advising on timing of admission for maximal benefit from the rehabilitation process, applying for authorisation for funding of the rehabilitation programme, and arranging the logistics in transferring the patient from your care into our unit. Simply contact the case manager for the unit closest to the patient’s home, and he/she will guide you in the process of adding value to your interventions to link acute care to the challenges of reintegrating into life.

Our quality management systems

Although Life Rehabilitation units were included in the Life Healthcare Group ISO 9001 multi-site certification, achieved in 2007, a decision was taken in 2009 to embark on a separate certification for the business, with an emphasis on specific rehabilitation processes and customer needs.

Life Rehabilitation has now achieved separate ISO 9001:2008 certification, making it the only certificated networked group of rehabilitation units in the country. This certification underpins Life Rehabilitation’s commitment and ability to provide its patients with world class rehabilitation services.

The following components of the quality system were developed and implemented:

  • Rehabilitation specific work procedures to address areas that are unique and different to the acute care business. These work procedures are reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the business.
  • A rehabilitation specific scorecard, detailing rehabilitation specific performance with regards to the focus areas of the business, namely slips and falls and medication errors.
  • Enhancements to the established patient satisfaction tools to ensure effective measurement of satisfaction with the rehabilitation process.
  • A measurement and monitoring system for the above mentioned items.