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Transition to Rehab Management

Building on a Philanthropic Practice

Published December 13, 2012 11:00 AM by Karen Schiff

Rapid change is necessary to stay afloat in healthcare these days. From staffing optimization to unifying rehab across the South Broward Hospital District and becoming the Rehabilitation Institute of South Florida (RISF), we're experiencing exciting and, at times, nerve-wracking changes. This brings with it major renovations, including possible physical changes to our department and as a result, increasing the staff to accommodate the needs of our patients. What most of our staff members have experienced in changes to their schedule and worries about reduced hours is unfounded, since we'll be providing more specialized care to our community and will more than likely be adding additional staff to support our needs.

As our name changes to the RISF, along with it comes the need for new and much sought-after equipment. As a member of the Technology Task Force, I've taken the lead for searching after products related to gait and balance systems. Every week, there's an in-service or two attended by a few members of this team. There are a few products that we, as a team, are most interested in, and the next step is to research the evidence-based literature on these products. Now that I understand how to interpret these studies from my "Evidence-Based Research" class, this should go relatively smoothly over the next couple of weeks. Filtering out the manufacturers' research is another story.

Most surprising to me is the amazing technology available for use on our patients. We, as a busy outpatient department, have always provided the best care with standard equipment. This new venture will provide us with the shiniest, most attractive equipment that many patients and their families may have heard about and would travel to utilize. Our vision is to be able to offer the most comprehensive care across the region to any patients, regardless of their inability to pay for services, since we are a publicly funded healthcare system. As such, we do not use these funds for this equipment, but rather, as a community-driven healthcare system, financially support our own system with fundraising and use our own personal contributions. Philanthropy at its best, as I see it, and working hard to make the best choice is what's next on the agenda.

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