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Inpatient rehabilitation refers to a medical program in which the patient requires rehabilitation services that can only be provided by a licensed and registered medical professional in a medical facility.  Since illnesses, disabilities, and other conditions can vary among each patient, it is critical that a physiatrist determines the appropriate level of care for each patient according to their individual needs. There are a few key factors that the doctor may use to determine the level of care needed:

  • Whether a patient is physically capable of performing his or her comprehensive level of rehabilitation
    • The usual amount of time for a comprehensive level of rehabilitation is around three hours per day. It may involve a number of different therapies, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy or behavior and cognitive therapy.
  • The patient may need 24-hour medical supervision and medical treatment
    • Many patients may have multiple serious medical issues. Careful monitoring and constant care may be required. Throughout the course of the rehabilitation process, it is important to manage and oversee these medical conditions.
  • The appropriate level of care is not provided elsewhere.
    • Rehabilitation services offered in a normal hospital setting may not be sufficient. The level of care in a comprehensive setting is more specialized and can better help treat those individuals.
  • The level of care that the patient requires is not available to them other than a comprehensive care setting.
    • The patient’s needs might only be met in an inpatient rehabilitation setting because of the level of care and intensity of rehabilitation required. Also, the patient may not have secondary options available to them.
  • The rehabilitation goals that the patient has can only be completed through an inpatient hospital stay.

During the rehabilitation process, the ultimate goal is to help the patient regain their optimum level of health; however, the patient may have secondary goals as well, that may not be easily measured. These goals need to be balanced with any social difficulties regarding discharge home into the community. The doctor will work with the patient and their family to make sure these alternative goals are also achieved.