During the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic there were significant decreases in access to in-person ambulatory rehabilitation and in-home rehabilitation.
Although some programs successfully transitioned to providing rehabilitation using virtual platforms and/or maintained essential in-person visits with new restrictions, many programs temporarily closed or reduced rehab visits. With the resumption of surgeries, it is important to ensure there is sufficient capacity for patients requiring post-acute rehabilitation. There is also concern that the initial reduction in rehabilitation services may have created a backlog of patients waiting for rehab that will be difficult to address.
Addressing lack of community rehab data
As part of ongoing pandemic planning, Ontario Health has asked regional and sub-regional tables to monitor regional resource availability in primary care, home and community care and rehabilitation to confirm that post-acute care outside the hospital is available and can be coordinated in a timely manner. The Rehabilitative Care Alliance (RCA) is aware that there is a lack of data on community rehabilitation to help regions do this and to plan for adequate services going forward.
To address this gap, the RCA is conducting two online surveys of providers of publicly funded rehabilitation services on their capacity (current and pre-COVID-19): one for ambulatory rehab and one for in-home rehab. The surveys will take approximately 15 minutes to complete, and a preview of the ambulatory survey questions and in-home survey questions is also available.
The survey deadline is October 6, 2020.
The RCA will collate and analyze responses and share the anonymized results (by LHIN) with regional leads and tables in late October/early November. These anonymized results will also be shared with RCA stakeholders and those who have responded to the survey.
We need your help
We strongly urge you to complete the survey or to connect with the person at your organization who will best be able to answer questions related to current and pre-COVID-19 capacity. The greater the response, the stronger the results.
This data will provide valuable information to inform ongoing regional planning for community rehab services during the pandemic. It will also highlight the important role that community-based rehab plays in the Ontario health system, and we look forward to sharing the results with you.
Thank you for your help. Please contact Charissa Levy, Executive Director, if you have any questions.