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Choosing a rehabilitation facility for someone is one of the most important and difficult decisions you may face. Rehabilitation is not the same in each facility as the philosophies and capabilities differ. As you carefully explore your alternatives and tour prospective facilities, you are encouraged to consider asking the following questions:
How many patients are who have injuries similar to the patient I know are treated per year?
Last year we treated nearly 200 patients with traumatic brain injury, over 100 patients with spinal cord injury including tetraplegia and paraplegia and nearly 300 patients with stroke. In addition, we treated 67 patients with non-traumatic brain injury and hundreds of patients with orthopaedic and other neurological disorders.
What programs do you have particular expertise in?
Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation has been ranked for the 14th time among the nation's top 25 rehabilitation facilities, in the "America's Best Hospitals" issue. BIR is one of only 16 facilities nationwide named as a model system of care for patients with traumatic brain injury by the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research. BIR also specializes in the treatment of spinal cord injury and has been involved in numerous research projects with leading hospitals, universities and research facilities. Clinical studies performed at BIR where patients with stroke were taught to walk again "correctly" using the Body Weight Support Treadmill Training system have now been adopted nationally in some rehabilitation facilities.
How do your outcomes compare to those of other rehabilitation facilities in the region and nation?
Our Functional Measure Independence Score, an indicator of how well patients recover, repeatedly exceeds the regional and national average. At BIR, our patients' scores improved 24 points compared to 22.39 points nationally and 23.59 points regionally.
How many patients are discharged to home?
In 2009, 81% of our patients discharged to home compared to 73% in the nation and 75% in the region.
Are the physicians and staff currently involved with research and training?
Yes. Physicians on the medical staff at BIR, neuropsychologists and therapists conduct research on an ongoing basis. Many of the findings have been published in prestigious journals and we have presented at symposiums on rehabilitation throughout the nation and abroad. In addition, clinical studies are conducted in collaboration with other leading hospitals and universities. See our list of recent research activities.
How many years of experience do the physicians have, on average? How long have they practiced at the facility? Are they part-time or full-time?
Not only do the physiatrists on the medical staff at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR) have an average of 20 years of experience in the field of rehabilitation; most of that experience has been with us. In fact, many of our physicians began as residents at BIR over 15 and even 30 years ago and have since subspecialized and obtained board certification in a particular diagnosis such as brain injury and spinal cord injury. Each of the physicians dedicate their practice solely to the patients at BIR and are available to staff and families for consultation.
Which physicians, therapists, and other professionals will work with the patient I know?
Treatment teams are led by physiatrists (physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation) who sub-specialize in certain diagnosis and can include physical therapists, occupational therapists, neuropsychological and psychological counselors, nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, speech-language pathologists, care coordinators, therapeutic recreation specialists and more. Chaplains are also available to help patients and families with their spiritual needs.
What access do you have to physician specialists such as pulmonologists, neurologists, urologists, and oncologists? What happens in case of emergency?
We have access to over 1300 physician specialists on the medical staff of Baylor University Medical Center, one of the largest not-for-profit medical centers in the nation. We are located directly across the street from this level 1 trauma hospital and have immediate access to emergency services.
Are the nurses qualified to care for rehabilitation patients?
Approximately 33% of the nurses on our staff have achieved Certified Registered Rehabilitation Registered Nurse certification. This special designation requires additional training and passing a rigorous examination by the ARN. CRRN nurses are committed to caring for individuals with physical disability or chronic illness toward the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of optimal health.
Do you have therapeutic recreation specialists on staff? Do patients go on outings in the community?
The therapeutic recreation program is vitally important in providing applied reality based therapy at our hospital and in the community. The quality of the recreational opportunities is unparalleled, providing patients and families with experiences to stay emotionally and physically healthy. Therapeutic recreation specialists help patients incorporate leisure activities into their daily lives and also take patients in to the community on outings to help learn how to interact in a real-life setting.
Are there psychologists and neuropsychologists on staff?
We offer a variety of Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation/Health Psychology services to assist patients and their families in the identification and understanding of the physical, functional, cognitive, and emotional difficulties related to physical illness, injury, and disability. Our goal is to improve the functional living skills of persons recovering from disabling medical illness or injury.
Are specialty education programs available for patients and families? What are they?
Patient and family education is an integral part of the rehabilitation process. Patients and families participate in training sessions to learn as much as possible about the injury or illness to manage ongoing medical care after returning home. Having a thorough understanding helps patients take full advantage of the rehabilitation process and can help prevent re-hospitalization. Patients in the spinal cord injury program participate in a five week START program as well as information and training on issues such as bowel and bladder training, sexuality, and more. Patients in the brain injury program benefit from use of the Traumatic Brain Injury notebook developed by the staff at BIR.
If additional x-ray or surgical services are needed, where will those be provided?
We have the capability to perform plain view x-rays in the facility. More complex scans and surgical services, such as placing or removing a feeding tube, or other can be performed at Baylor University Medical Center which is located across the street from BIR.
What specialty programs and clinics are available following an inpatient stay?
BIR has an array of post acute rehabilitation services including outpatient care, day patient care, and a real-life rehabilitation home and community based program. Patients may participate, based on their individual needs, in a variety of these services at varying times post discharge. See the outpatient services page for more information on specialty services such as adaptive driving, spasticity management clinic, amputee clinic and others. Patients may be assessed by a physiatrist in the outpatient clinic for ongoing medical and equipment needs.
What support services are offered after an inpatient stay?
A number of support services are available including Friends of Hope day camps for persons with brain injury, Mountain High, a week-long camp for persons with brain injury, Support Challenge and Inspire, monthly support groups for persons with spinal cord injury and the ability to participate in community water exercise at the BIR aquatic center and Fit-N-Fun exercise opportunities in the therapy gym.
What is your patient satisfaction rating?
Last year, according to surveys by Press Ganey, an agency that surveys hospital patients for satisfaction ratings, our patients rated their overall satisfaction with a 94% for inpatient care and a 97% for outpatient care.
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