Partners committed to rehab, continuity of care with opening of new Spaulding Hospital
With a new state-of-art facility in Charlestown, Mass., Partners HealthCare is demonstrating its commitment to rehabilitation medicine and patient care. The building is also Boston’s first sustainable building and has been praised for its inclusive design.
This latest addition to Spaulding’s network of inpatient and outpatient facilities opened in 2013. The Spaulding Hospital Boston building makes a bold statement in rehabilitation, an often misunderstood, underrepresented specialty. Traditionally, rehab is frequently an after-thought and relegated to small, narrow spaces within a hospital. But with the new facility—and dedicated staff—Spaulding embodies Partners’ mission of patient care with advocacy and a commitment to people with physical disabilities.
‘Getting rehab out of the basement’
“The building is impressive and remarkable. It’s like getting rehab out of the basement,” says David E. Storto, President of Partners Continuing Care & Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. “This is our statement [that] it’s time to recognize the value and benefit of what [rehabilitation] does for people.”
The 262,000-square foot, eight-floor, 132-bed hospital was built with patients in mind. Not only is the facility patient-centered, but it is “human-centered” with an inclusive design that addresses the needs of individuals, regardless of their physical abilities. In addition to being ADA compliant, the building was designed with unique features, including sensor-automatic doors, accessible restrooms, and lift systems in every patient room, for a seamless patient experience.
As Boston’s first truly green building, Spaulding in Charlestown also is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified and is expected to be 35 percent more energy efficient than the standard for other health care facilities in the U.S.
Patients have commented that the hospital, located on the Navy Yard waterfront, feels open with lit spaces and offers a sense of inspiration.
The new Spaulding Hospital Boston is part of the larger Spaulding Rehabilitation Network (SRN) at Partners, which includes two inpatient rehabilitation hospitals with 23 outpatient centers, two long-term acute care hospitals, and three skilled nursing facilities in Eastern Massachusetts. Spaulding serves more than 2,500 inpatients and almost 30,000 outpatients annually, with outpatient care expected to grow even more.
“We’re touching a lot of lives on a day-to-day basis,” Storto says about providing the broad access of rehabilitation care.
“We sometimes say that acute care hospitals saves peoples’ lives, and what we do is help give quality back to their lives,” Storto says.
Continuum of care
The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network (SRN) is part of the Partners HealthCare System of hospitals and other medical facilities. Through SRN, and the other parts of the system, Partners provides a full continuum of services from primary care through acute care and rehabilitation.
“Even though we’re different buildings, we relate to one another, much as departments within the same hospital related to one another. It’s about patient flow between the two buildings. We’re all part of the same Partners family,” Storto says.
SRN works with patients throughout the care delivery process—before, during, and after their stay at SRN. For example, physicians consult with acute care hospitals, communicating with providers on how to prepare patients before they are even admitted to Spaulding as inpatients.
And after patients leave, SRN looks not just at the point of discharge, but what’s happening to patients longitudinally, monitoring the functional progress that they’ve made and sustained or improved through continued outpatient work, according to Storto.
SRN is part of the division called Partners Continuing Care (PCC), which also includes Partners HealthCare at Home (PHH), in which nurses and therapists work with patients in their homes to help keep patients from returning to the hospital and live independently.
“The system follows the patient, long after they’ve left the facility,” says Oz Mondejar, SRN Vice President for HR, Community Relations and Communications. With relationships that extend beyond their walls, SRN works with state and federal agencies to help patients return to work, for instance, as well as community associations on home accommodations or prosthetics.
Every day heroes
The opening of the new hospital incidentally coincided with the tragic events of the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013. Spaulding cared for about 30 individuals affected by the Marathon bombings at the newly minted facility.
But as Mondejar points out, “It’s not just a building, but [it’s about] the heart and soul of the people,” he says. “We’ve had this incredible experience with the marathoners, but this happens every day at Spaulding. This is just the DNA of Spaulding.”
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