New Report Details Rapid Response to Creating Post Covid-19 Outpatient Rehabilitation Program
Boston and New York based groups coordinated to outline how they launched urgent rehab service amid pandemic.
(Boston, MA) – A new ahead of print study in the Journal PM&R titled “Ambulatory Rehabilitation of Patients Hospitalized with SARS CoV-2 Infections: Early Pandemic Experience in New York City and Boston” outlined the steps taken to establish an outpatient-based rehabilitation program for Covid-19. The group was based at Weill Cornell Medical Center, Columbia University Medical Center in New York and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. The report examines the steps taken in May 2020 as both cities were among the highest per capita cases for Covid-19 in the US.
"When we saw the high numbers of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Boston, we realized there would be an important role for rehabilitation medicine to play. We at Spaulding worked together with our colleagues in New York City, Drs. Farah Hameed and Alfred Gellhorn, to put together a novel program to meet this urgent need. This study grew out of that collaboration," said Hannah Steere, MD, lead co-author of the study and Staff Physician at Spaulding.
“We are finding that many people that experienced a severe COVID-19 infection leave the hospital and continue to face persistent symptoms that include physical, cognitive and psychological issues. Our hope is that a COVID Recovery clinic focusing on the physical medicine and rehabilitation needs of this population would help these survivors in their recovery,” said Ginger Polich, MD, lead co-author of the study and Staff Physician at Spaulding.
The report concludes that as numbers of individuals surviving COVID-19 hospitalization grow, the need for rehabilitation may become increasingly important. During the early part of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the teams were able to develop a clinical program to evaluate and treat patients with ongoing rehabilitation needs following hospitalization for COVID-19. To date, 106 and 92 patients have been seen at New York City and Spaulding Boston sites, respectively. The team acknowledges further research is needed to identify the long-term sequelae in this population and assess the benefit of rehabilitation interventions. To learn more about the Spaulding COVID Rehabilitation Program, visit https://spauldingrehab.org/conditions-services/covid-recovery-rehab.
About Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
A member of MassGeneral Brigham Health System, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network includes Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, with a main campus in Charlestown the 2nd ranked rehabilitation hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report, along with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge, Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton, and over 25 outpatient sites throughout Eastern Massachusetts. An acclaimed teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and home to the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding is recognized as the top residency program in the U.S. in the 2020/2021 Doximity Residency Navigator. Spaulding also was recognized by the 2020 Disability Equality Index as a “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” For more information, visit www.spauldingrehab.org.