June 28, 2022 by Peter B. Laird
Holistic Inpatient Rehabilitation Program Accelerates Patient’s Return Home
After a hospital stay, some patients need physical therapy and other rehabilitative treatment to help regain their motion and function. This was the case for Barbara Rosenthal, who spent 17 days at Baptist Health Rehabilitation at Homestead Hospital following orthopedic trauma surgery to repair hip and shoulder injuries.
“I was taken to Baptist Hospital via EMS after a bad fall, and time was of the essence,” explained Mrs. Rosenthal (pictured with husband Gary). “Dr. Howard Bar-Eli performed the surgery to repair my smashed hip and shoulder. This could have been an invasive and risky procedure for someone like me, but he intervened with an alternative, minimally invasive procedure that had a minimal recovery timeline. I am so grateful for Dr. Bar-Eli and his expertise.”
Explains Dr. Bar-Eli: “The key to treating any patient is to find the safest and most effective way to provide care. In Mrs. Rosenthal’s case, I performed an anterior hip replacement and a reverse total shoulder replacement which give her the best chance of recovery. These also allow her to return to her daily life and activities faster. Her progress is remarkable.”
After spending nearly two weeks at Baptist Hospital recovering from surgery, Mrs. Rosenthal had more work to do before she could safely return home. She arrived at Baptist Health Rehabilitation needing maximum assistance, recalls Frederik Adams, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapist III and Certified Neuro-Developmental Therapist. Unable to bear any weight on her arm, she required assistance to sit up in bed. She was also unable to walk and that put her at high risk for a fall.
Mrs. Rosenthal worked with a team of skilled medical professionals that included physical therapists, occupational therapists and recreational therapists to regain her strength and quality of life. Her care evolved throughout her stay. “We improved her transfers so she could get herself from the bed to a chair needing only touch assistance. She progressed from not being able to walk to using a walker and then a cane,” explained Dr. Adams.
Mrs. Rosenthal said she is incredibly grateful for the rehabilitation team at Homestead Hospital. “The staff was so attentive to all my ailments,” she explained. “I had some major digestive issues, and they were so caring and empathetic and supported me as I experienced pain and discomfort associated with these issues.”
Dr. Adams says that the care provided at Baptist Health Rehabilitation includes a physical approach as well as a mental and holistic one. In the case of Mrs. Rosenthal, the team incorporated her spouse and pet dog in her comprehensive care plan.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician and Medical Director of Baptist Health Rehabilitation, Luis Orengo-Gonzalez, M.D., arranged for some of Mrs. Rosenthal’s recreational therapy sessions to be held outside in the meditation garden so she could be with her husband, who was unable to visit at the time due to COVID-19 safety protocols. “Dr. Orengo was so accommodating,” Mrs. Rosenthal said. “This gesture really helped lift my spirits after being apart from my husband for so long.”
Dr. Orengo strongly believes that a family member’s presence can improve patient outcomes at any stage in rehabilitation. “When dealing with an injury, people most often look to their family first for support,” he said. “Positive attitudes and reinforcement from loved ones often motivate patients to give maximum effort and work towards recovery.”
The motivation, determination and hard work paid off. When Mrs. Rosenthal returned home from Baptist Health Rehabilitation, she was walking with a cane and needed only touch assistance to supervise her mobility.
“It takes a total team effort to make stories like these possible,” Dr. Adams said. “We take pride in going above and beyond to provide exceptional care.”