After a spinal cord injury, one of the biggest decisions you will make is choosing where you will go for inpatient rehabilitation. With so many top-level spinal cord injury rehabilitation facilities in the country, you will need to do your research to find the one that will best help you recover. One of the best ways to go about choosing a rehabilitation facility is to call and ask them a list of pre-determined questions about the care you would receive.
Asking questions is vital when determining which rehabilitation facility is right for you. Your health and future will be in the hands of the rehab facility you choose. Your insurance coverage and physical location may also affect your decision. When finding the rehab facility for you, make sure to utilize the Spinal Cord Injury Model System: a special rating for hospitals that specialize in spinal cord injuries. A list of these top-rated hospitals can be found here: https://msktc.org/sci/model-system-centers.
Here are 20 suggested questions to ask your potential SCI rehabilitation facility:
1. How many spinal cord injury patients does your facility treat each year?
2. How many patients with a similar level of injury as mine has the facility treated before?
3. Does this facility specialize in treating spinal cord injuries, or have vast experience treating these types of injuries?
4. What kind of cutting-edge therapies does the facility offer?
5. How far is this facility from my home?
6. What is the staff to patient ratio at this facility?
7. Is this facility accredited? An accredited spinal cord injury rehabilitation facility is called an “SCI model system center.”
8. How long is the average stay at your rehabilitation facility for a spinal cord injury patient? It should be at least one month, but hopefully longer.
9. What percentage of patients return home, rather than transfer to a long-term care facility after discharge?
10. What is the average age of your rehab facility’s patients? This is an important question to ask so you can make sure you are among people close to your age. Being around patients your own age can help you feel comfortable and supported during your rehab experience.
11. How many hours per day do patients receive rehabilitation treatments from their therapy team? You will want to make sure to ask about all therapy, including physical, occupational and recreational therapy. The facility should not provide therapy to their patients for any less than 3 hours daily.
12. Will I be treated by the same therapy team throughout my entire stay?
13. Does the facility plan recreational outings and other activities for their patients throughout the week, at night and during the weekend?
14. Are mental health services available for patients, such as counseling, group therapy and peer support?
15. Is vocational support offered?
16. Is adaptive driver’s training available?
17. Does this facility offer any services for family, such as group therapy?
18. Does this facility offer an SCI education program for family and friends?
19. Is there low-cost or free housing available for family when they visit?
20. What additional support does this facility offer to make sure the discharge is successful?