Elevating Health Care for the Corpus Christi Community

Nationally Ranked Rehabilitative Services Provided through Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital

The other day, I spent 10 minutes searching for my car keys, only to find them in my jacket pocket. Like most people, I tend not to pay much attention to something until I need it – even if it’s in an obvious place.

I think my situation is similar to rehabilitative care. Unless you need it, you may not give it much thought. But, did you know that most of us will require at least one rehabilitative service at some point in our lives?

Approximately 750,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, and there are 6 million stroke survivors living in the United States. Most of these people will require some type of rehabilitation service during their healing process. That’s why we have been pleased to offer rehabilitative services for the past 2 years to the community through the Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital, a 35-bed free-standing hospital. It’s the only free-standing inpatient rehabilitation facility in Corpus Christi.

Rehabilitation is a medical specialty that helps people recovering from disabling diseases or injuries. It can be effective for a myriad of people, including those recovering from orthopedic injuries, strokes, brain and spinal cord injuries, and other impairments as a result of injury or illness.

Patients who receive rehabilitative services often experience positive results in regaining or improving productivity and independence. For example, a recent national study shows that patients treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities have better long-term results than those treated in skilled nursing facilities. The study, which was commissioned by the ARA Research Institute, shows that patients treated in rehabilitation hospitals live longer, have less hospital and ER visits, and remain longer in their homes without additional outpatient services.

These patients:

  • Returned home from their initial stay two weeks earlier.
  • Remained home nearly two months longer.
  • Stayed alive nearly two months longer.

In addition, patients who were treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities experienced an 8% lower mortality rate and 5 percent fewer emergency room visits per year. These findings illustrate how significant inpatient rehabilitative care is to a patient’s healing process.

In addition to improving lives, rehabilitative care saves money as well. For example, for every $1 spent on rehabilitative care, it is estimated that $11 are saved on long-term disability costs.

While I don’t wish for any of us to need these services, the good news is that we have rehabilitative services available to us through the Ernest Health system — of which Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital is a member — that is ranked in the top 10 percent nationally. That means that we need to look no further than our own backyard to find the best rehabilitative care available in the United States.

The ranking for the hospitals within the Ernest Health system is provided by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR), a not-for-profit corporation that was developed with support from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, a component of the U.S Department of Education. It ranks rehabilitation facilities based upon care that is patient-centered, effective, efficient, and timely.

We continually strive to provide high quality care to our patients, so it’s exciting to be recognized as a national leader. But what I’m most pleased about are that patients right here in our community can receive the highest level of rehabilitative care available nationally without having to leave the area. And, through UDSMR, we collaborate with our peers throughout the United States to share information and establish best practices for patients. This helps us elevate rehabilitative care for everyone across the United States.

Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital provides 24-hour rehabilitation nursing care and daily physician management through our full-time medical director – Dr. Michael Fuentes, who possesses more than 20 years of experience in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He is joined by a highly-trained, specialized team of healthcare professionals, including nurses, therapists and other professionals who create individualized treatment plans to allow each patient to progress at his or her ability level.

The hospital also features all private rooms, a well-equipped therapy gym, and an outdoor therapeutic courtyard. Patient services include occupational, physical, and speech therapy, a stroke program, and an amputation program.

We treat about 600 people a year whose average length of stay is 2 weeks. We consider it a privilege to be able to offer high-level rehabilitative care to the Corpus Christi area, and are honored to be a vital part of the community.