Elevating Health Care

Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital is proud to offer nationally ranked rehabilitative services to the Coastal Bend community.

By: Dr. Nicholas P. Nilest

The other day, I spent 10 minutes searching for my car keys, only to find them in my jacket pocket. Like most people, I tend not to pay much attention to something until I need it – even if it’s in an obvious place.

I think my situation is similar to rehabilitative care. Unless you need it, you may not give it much thought. But did you know that most of us will require at least one rehabilitative service at some point in our lives?
Approximately 750,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, and there are six million stroke survivors living in the United States. Most of these people will require some type of rehabilitation service during their healing process. That’s why we have been pleased to offer rehabilitative services to the community for the past four years through the Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital, a 35-bed, freestanding hospital. It’s the only freestanding inpatient rehabilitation facility in Corpus Christi.

Rehabilitation is a medical specialty that helps people recovering from disabling diseases or injuries. It can be effective for a myriad of people, including those recovering from orthopedic injuries, strokes, brain and spinal cord injuries and other impairments as a result of injury or illness.

Patients who receive rehabilitative services often experience positive results in regaining or improving productivity and independence. For example, a recent national study shows that patients treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities have better long-term results than those treated in skilled nursing facilities. The study, which was commissioned by the ARA Research Institute, shows that patients treated in rehabilitation hospitals live longer, have fewer hospital and ER visits and remain longer in their homes without additional outpatient services.

These patients:

• Returned home from their initial stay two weeks earlier
• Remained home nearly two months longer
• Stayed alive nearly two months longer

In addition, patients who were treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities experienced an 8 percent lower mortality rate and 5 percent fewer emergency room visits per year. These findings illustrate how significant inpatient rehabilitative care is to a patient’s healing process.

In addition to improving lives, rehabilitative care saves money. For example, for every $1 spent on rehabilitative care, it is estimated that $11 are saved on long-term disability costs.

While I don’t wish for any of us to need these services, the good news is that we have rehabilitative services available to us through the Ernest Health system – of which Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital has been a member – that is ranked in the top 10 percent nationally two years running. That means we need look no further than our own backyard to find the best rehabilitative care available in the United States.

The ranking for the hospitals within the Ernest Health system is provided by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR), a not-for-profit corporation that was developed with support from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a component of the U.S Department of Education. It ranks rehabilitation facilities based upon care that is patient-centered, effective, efficient and timely.

We continually strive to provide high-quality care to our patients, so it’s exciting to be recognized as a national leader. But what I’m most pleased about is that patients right here in our community can receive the highest level of rehabilitative care available nationally without having to leave the area. And, through UDSMR, we collaborate with our peers throughout the United States to share information and establish best practices for patients. This helps us elevate rehabilitative care for everyone across the United States.

Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital provides 24-hour rehabilitation nursing care and daily physician management through our fulltime medical director, Dr. Michael Fuentes, who possesses more than 20 years of experience in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He is joined by a highly trained, specialized team of health care professionals, including nurses, therapists and other professionals who create individualized treatment plans to allow each patient to progress at his or her ability level.

The hospital also features all private rooms, a well-equipped therapy gym and an outdoor therapeutic courtyard. Patient services include occupational, physical and speech therapy, a stroke program and an amputation program.
We treat about 700 people a year whose average length of stay is two weeks. We consider it a privilege to be able to offer high-level rehabilitative care to the Corpus Christi area, and are honored to be a vital part of the community.

Nicholas Nilest, P.T., DPT, is the chief executive officer of Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital. The hospital is a 35-bed, freestanding facility that provides intensive physical rehabilitation services to patients recovering from strokes, brain, spinal cord and orthopedic injuries and other impairments as a result of injury or illness. It’s located at 5726 Esplanade Drive in Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information, call 361-906-3700 or visit www.ccrh.ernesthealth.com.


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