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Transition to Rehab Management

Another Close Call

Published July 2, 2012 12:22 PM by Karen Schiff

The first week of summer vacation has been relatively quiet. The most excitement has been switching from satellite to digital television in my home. Timing is everything. With Tropical Storm Debby hitting Florida, satellite would have been interrupted, so digital television was a great choice. Perfect timing, especially, because the flu bug has hit my house hard this week. With all of this going on, great news has hit home for my health care system, at least for now.

As a community-based health care system, we have been forced to conserve resources, manage our overtime, minimize extra costs and come up with cost-saving ideas for the future. Up until last week, we were positioned to go up for auction to the public, risking our future as a community-based health care system. According to several sources, this was due to decisions made by political leaders in Tallahassee. Thankfully, we have been spared, for now, from being sold to the highest bidder and possibly becoming a private health care system. Personally, I attribute our continuation of being a publicly funded health care system to the community we serve, as well as the leaders in our system. As a former employee of both public and private health care institutions, there are many more reasons to remain public, if employees can work together to come up with ideas to sustain the system.

Although one outpatient rehabilitation department has closed in our system, it was necessary because the numbers did not support a need to remain functioning. Employees were retained, however, to other facilities, and were very understanding about the decision that was made. Patients were informed ahead of time and given options for where to continue their care. One particular young patient, who now attends therapy at our rehab facility, left with a smile on his face as our department joyously sang him, "Happy Birthday." He is just one of the wonderful patients we absorbed from the closed rehab department, in addition to his therapist.

Summer continues here in South Florida. We have avoided a direct hit from a storm. Another close call is behind us. Let's hope for sunnier skies ahead!

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