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What to Look For in a Rehab Hospital

Consider the following questions when researching and visiting rehabilitation hospitals. The staff's responses can be an important factor in deciding which hospital or facility to choose.

You may also use TIRR Memorial Hermann's Criteria Comparison Tool when visiting rehabilitation facilities.

General Questions

  • How many patients are at the rehab center?
  • How many patients have a similar injury as you or your loved one (spinal cord, brain injury, stroke, etc.)?
  • Are patients with the same conditions grouped into the same units?
  • Are there patients in my age group?
  • Does the facility offer a specialized program for your injury?
  • What are the visiting rules and family participation policies?
  • What are the rules regarding therapeutic home visits?
    • If home visits are impossible, are there model apartments for patient and family to spend time together before health transition?
  • Is the center accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehab Facilities (CARF) or the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)?
  • Are there parking and other accommodations for family visits?
  • How long will the patient be expected to be there?

Questions to Ask about Physicians and Staff

  • Who will be the patient's physician and what is their specialty?
  • Is there a doctor at the center at all times?
  • How far will the patient be from a hospital?
  • How often will the family see the doctor?
  • Are there classes for patient and family on special needs?
  • Is there someone to help with planning the transfer from the acute care hospital to the rehabilitation facility?
  • Is there someone to help with health transition planning?
  • How often will the patient receive physical and occupational therapy?
  • Are there vocational counselors?
  • Are there counselors for drugs and alcohol?
  • What special psychological services are offered for patient and family?

Questions about Care After Health Transition

  • Does the center have its own outpatient department?
  • Is someone responsible for patients receiving follow-up care?

Rehab Hospital Activities and Environment

  • Do patients eat in their rooms or with each other?
  • Does the center have a planned schedule of activities?
    • If visiting, look around to see if the patients are in their beds or involved in an activity.
  • Are there social and recreational activities in the evening and on weekends?

Reprinted with Permission from the American Paralysis Association