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Chilliwack patients will be able to recover at home with new outpatient rehabilitation program

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May 24, 2012

CHILLIWACK, BC - Fraser Health is converting the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH) into a comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation program so patients can return home sooner and receive the same level of therapy they would in hospital. The outpatient rehabilitation program will operate out of the same space as the current inpatient unit, and is modeled after Fraser Health’s successful REDi outpatient rehab program.

REDi, or Rehabilitation Early Discharge initiative, is an innovative clinical approach that operates at four other Fraser Health hospitals. The program allows patients to go home an average of 9 to 11 days sooner, yet achieve the same, or better, levels of recovery. REDi patients report finding it more satisfying to be in the comfort of their own home, with access to additional outpatient therapy up to several times a week, than it is being in hospital.

“Rehab patients are happier and improve faster when they are discharged earlier and continue therapy as outpatients,” says Dr. Andrew Dawson, Medical Director for Fraser Health’s Rehabilitation Program. “Adding more comprehensive outpatient programs allows patients who no longer require acute care to have their needs met through programs provided in a community-care setting.” 

Chilliwack’s shift to outpatient services will occur over the next few months. While many Chilliwack patients are expected to be enrolled in the outpatient program and avoid inpatient stays, those who require inpatient care for high-intensity rehab will continue to access regional inpatient services at Surrey Memorial and Eagle Ridge hospitals. Patients requiring less intensive inpatient rehab will be referred to general rehab unit beds at Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH).

To support this reconfiguration and ensure that the inpatient unit at ARH can accommodate additional patients from Chilliwack, Fraser Health is enhancing outpatient rehabilitation services at ARH by adopting the REDI model, and adding five beds to the Ridge Meadows Hospital inpatient rehabilitation program. As a result of these changes, Fraser Health expects to double the number of rehabilitation patients who can be cared for at these hospitals.

“In the past, many services were only provided in a hospital setting. Outpatient programs, like those we’re adding at Chilliwack, are changing that,” said Valerie Spurrell, Fraser Health’s Executive Director of Rehabilitation. “Our philosophy is that home is best. Outpatient programs are allowing people to benefit from the same therapies while now living at home with their families instead of staying in the hospital.”

Fraser Health provides a wide range of integrated health services to the largest and fastest growing population in B.C. The health authority is committed to improving the health of the population and the quality of life of more than 1.6 million people living in communities from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Fraser Health Media Pager: 604-450-7881

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