How to Choose a Short-Term Rehab

By Staci Warsaw, vice president, transitional services

It is important for you to know that you have a choice when it comes to choosing a short term rehabilitation facility. You will likely receive a recommendation from your discharge planner or social worker. 

If you are being admitted from a hospital or if you are deciding to enter a rehab facility from home, you may speak with your physician or friends. Some individuals may use helpful internet sites including medicare.gov to review and compare various rehab sites. It is helpful to be aware of key areas to know when assessing a facility since the decision is usually made in a short period of time.

If you have time to visit a rehab facility, here are some helpful questions to ask:

  1. How do you feel about the facility during your visit?
  2. How does the staff relate to you and other patients?
  3. Can you call a family member or patient who has stayed at the rehab facility?
  4. What are the hours of physical therapy?
  5. What is the ratio of nurses to patients?
  6. Is there medical staff on site, including physicians and nurse practitioners?
  7. How will you receive information about changes in patient health status?
  8. What does a typical room look like?
  9. Are there activities and services, including computer access?
  10. What has the facility staff done to reduce unnecessary re-hospitalizations for patients?

Once you access the facility it is important to review discharge practices, including:

  1. What are the resources available to help you and your loved one with your discharge?
  2. What is done to help ensure that all equipment and supplies are available when returning home?
  3. What is done to help you prepare your home for arrival to ensure safety and a successful transition?
  4. Are there outcomes to review based on successful patient transitions home?
  5. What type of physical therapy is available for you if needed upon discharge?

The rehab decision and process is very important but can be simplified with an understanding of the key points to consider during the consideration and discharge process. Once you choose your rehab facility, the patient and family can then concentrate on the essential part of regaining their strength and returning to their previously enjoyed activities.