Shepherd Center and Craig Hospital, two specialized rehabilitation hospitals for people with brain and spinal cord injuries, recently announced they have agreed to establish an alliance to create a “center of excellence” for catastrophic injury rehabilitation, long-term acute care and medical care.
This alliance opens new opportunities to advance patient care, improve patient access to rehabilitation services and share practices with a wide array of healthcare partners.
The alliance was spurred in part by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has prompted realignment of networks and the post-acute continuum of care to focus on preventing hospital readmissions.
A central part of the joint effort will build on strategies to engage and educate patients and families throughout the entire rehabilitation process so they are better equipped with the skills and knowledge to identify and handle problems at home after discharge.
The alliance will utilize existing resources – for example, Craig Hospital’s Nurse Advice Line call center and Shepherd Center’s Transition Support Program – and create new portable resources (via mobile apps and web-based access) to keep patients and families connected. Craig Hospital and Shepherd Center plan to create new affiliations with other providers to strengthen the continuum of care, reduce complications, and help patients find primary and specialty outpatient care in their own communities, as needed.
Moreover, the alliance will provide research opportunities and launch an integrated education program to train providers within trauma centers, other rehabilitation facilities, long-term acute care hospitals, home health agencies, health plans and workers’ compensation programs on best practices for spinal cord and brain injury recovery.
While Craig Hospital and Shepherd Center remain independent, freestanding institutions, the new alliance will allow these hospitals to provide standardized care and remain competitive within a changing healthcare environment.