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MossRehab Opens New COVID-19 Unit

Apr 21 2020

Earlier this month, Alberto Esquenazi, MD, chief medical officer at MossRehab had discussions with colleagues in Italy, South Korea and Japan to explore the impact COVID-19 was having on rehabilitation institutions around the globe. Through these conversations, Dr. Esquenazi learned many institutions had not anticipated the number of patients recovering from COVID-19 (such as those requiring ventilators) who would require acute inpatient rehabilitation in order to return to their communities. Taking what he had learned, and confirming World Health Organization guidelines, Dr. Esquenazi preemptively set up a COVID-19 + Rehab (CORE+) Unit at MossRehab's Elkins Park campus. The CORE + Unit is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States.

Admission criteria involves improving symptoms and a need of rehabilitation while also considering individual psychosocial needs such as home environment and impact on family members. (Specifics include being 7 days from COVID-19 diagnosis, and 72 hours with no fever.)

Due to its design and planning, the CORE+ Unit utilizes the follow practices, among other things:

* A section of MossRehab Elkins Park where each of the rooms has its own bathroom (some patients can even continue showering) the floor has its own hallway and elevator, and there is ample space for staff to change, work, and rest.

*Designated staff (nurses, physicians, therapists assigned to the unit)

*Strict PPE requirements

*Video communications with case workers to reduce chance of infection

*Transportation protocol to allow COVID-19 patients to receive the testing (MRI, CT Scan, Dialysis) they may need in other parts of the hospital

After making the CORE+ strategy available to the healthcare community (publication of the their procedures are currently underway) other physical medicine and rehabilitation providers have reached out to Dr. Esquenazi to learn more.

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