Advancement of a Rehab Model of Care: The Designated Stroke POD

January 10, 2019

​By: Chris Pollard, Manager of Inpatient Rehabilitation, Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre


David Ceglie, Vice President of Clinical Operations, Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre

In April 2015, Hotel Dieu Shaver Rehabilitation Hospital implemented a new rehab service delivery model, referred to as the POD Model. The goals the 2015 transformation were: adding value to the patient experience, achieving better patient and program outcomes, strengthening interprofessional collaboration and best practice care. Since implementation of this model of care in 2015, positive results have been shown in key performance measures: length of stay (LOS), Functional Independence MeasureTM efficiency, percentage of patients meeting their target length of stay and patient satisfaction.

In an effort to continue to achieve quality improvement and innovation with the POD service delivery model, a Stroke POD Planning Committee was formed in 2017, to complete a program review and to further align this POD model with the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Guidelines. Three areas of opportunity were identified: timely access to rehabilitation, increasing rehab intensity and further advancement of best practice care.

In April 2018, following the recommendations of the planning committee, the rehab unit was re-configured to create one dedicated 7 bed Rehab Stroke Pod with a Physiatry leader . This change resulted in (1) Improved Core Therapy Staff to patient ratios, (2) Increased opportunities for Rehab Intensity and (3) Better access to stoke rehab.

In addition, this change offered clinical staff an opportunity to work exclusively with stroke patients, enhancing their expertise and driving practice change. For example, this champion model has resulted in a standardized approach to the use of Electrical Muscle Stimulation with this population.

This improvement to include one Dedicated Stroke POD has demonstrated early positive results in improving timely access to rehabilitation, increasing patient's time in therapy and maintaining patient flow through our program. This change has contributed to the enhancement of Hotel Dieu Shaver's stroke care interventions and expertise and has advanced the Niagara District's coordinated stroke system.


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