The subject of this case study is a not-for-profit regional hospital in the rural Intermountain West.
In Year 0 of the case study, the hospital’s Board of Directors approved the renovation and addition of 10 beds to support the growing need for inpatient rehabilitation in the hospital’s broad service area. The hospital’s own internal need for inpatient rehabilitation was fairly low; however, as a rural regional medical center, the hospital serves the health care needs of thousands of residents with a primary service area that spans 50 miles.
In Year 1, the Acute Rehabilitation Unit (ARU) at the hospital opened with impressive support among physicians, hospital staff, and the local community. The first Medical Director was a neurologist and in less than 1 year, the ARU was fully occupied. The current Medical Director is a physiatrist and, with the support of many of the original team members, the ARU has sustained its early success. The ARU enjoys state-wide recognition and receives referrals from other hospitals that want to return local residents back to home for inpatient rehabilitation.