Spectrum Health Continuing Care is rich with services, including inpatient rehabilitation, home health, hospice and palliative care. It has the largest rehabilitation program in West Michigan. Every day, roughly 600 specialized rehabilitation team members work with more than 1,500 patients at more than 60 locations. They treat a wide range of conditions, from common injuries to medically complex conditions, across multiple settings. Outpatient rehabilitation services was a focus of the council this year as the leadership worked to improve accessibility to services and innovate new treatment options.
When a patient or family member begins their search for rehabilitation and therapy, they often start their research on the internet. The team who is responsible for revamping the rehabilitation area on spectrumhealth.org gained valuable input from the council on the type of information they value when seeking rehabilitation services – quality of providers, location and ease of getting an appointment.
Marcie Hurlbutt, Sr. Director of Rehab Services, brought a virtual therapy tool that will compliment rehab received from a physical therapist and assist the patient with “at home” exercises. The goal would be to refine and standardize care, making it more accessible and affordable through an app. This includes video and audio demonstration with a timer and counter to measure rehab exercises. Telehealth, or virtual visits, will also be used to “check in” periodically. The council encouraged the use of virtual therapy prior to surgery to build strength and recommended engaging the patient’s care giver as well.
“The insight & wisdom from the PFAC has impacted the way Rehab Services will deliver personalized virtual therapy to patients in our community. The feedback is a valuable resource to operational leaders that continuously pushes Spectrum Health to transform healthcare towards an exceptional & simple consumer experience.” – Marcie Hurlbutt
I most appreciate that the PFAC desires to make a significant difference in the lives of the patients and families that it serves.
Nine years after I was diagnosed with terminal lung disease, I thankfully received a double lung transplant. I was cared for by numerous outpatient sources, but it was the care that the visiting nurse provided that I will always be thankful for.
When I was told about the work that the PFAC accomplished, I jumped at the chance to be involved. I have received some great and some not so great medical care and knew that I wanted to help make the patient experience better.
I am most proud when our suggestions are implemented. The recommendations can be as simple as pictures on a wall or seating in a hallway, but the realization that Spectrum Health is listening and acting on what their patients and families are asking of them not only reassures me, it keeps me motivated to continue my work with the PFAC.