This is a special two-part Grand Rounds series with Dr. Steven Flanagan, Professor and Chairman of Rehabilitation Medicine and Medical Director of Rusk Rehabilitation.
In Part 1 of his presentation, Dr. Flanagan discusses the contributions of Dr. Howard Rusk, the father of rehabilitation medicine. He brought it to the forefront as a recognized specialty by showing that rehabilitation contributed to improving the lives of patients with disabilities. Dr. Flanagan referred to various efforts over the decades to manage health care costs through managed care and other means. Even today when it is evident that a inpatient care is necessary, barriers can offer resistance because of the costs involved. What makes the case of inpatient care more challenging is the need to have more data to justify the decision to provide care at that level. He predicts that cost containment will continue well into the future. Our aims are to improve health care outcomes and increase efficiency. He concluded Part 1 of his presentation by stating that PM&R has a critical role to play in attaining the Triple Aim.
In Part 2 of his presentation, Dr. Flanagan discusses challenges involved in justifying the need for the provision of inpatient rehabilitation care in the context of controlling expenditures and the critical role that physical medicine and rehabilitation play in attaining the Triple Aim. We know that the intensity of some of our rehabilitation therapies are associated with better outcomes, for example, aphasia therapy. Early mobilization results in better outcomes with cost savings. Nonetheless, we still need more data to show that what we do is important. Mention was made of expansions at Rusk, such as a new division on Technology and Innovation to advance rehabilitation science. Health care is changing and education must change with it.
Dr. Mahya Beheshti is a physician scientist at NYU Langone Health’s Rusk Rehabilitation Institute. She has been working at the Visuomotor Integration Laboratory with the focus on eye-hand coordination research as it relates to acquired brain injury. She also collaborates with the Rehabilitation Engineering Alliance and Center Transforming Low Vision Laboratory where her research involves advanced wearables for sensory deprived patients. Additionally, she is a Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering PhD student at NYU-Tandon.
Dr. J.R. Rizzo also is a physician scientist at NYU Langone Health’s Rusk Rehabilitation Institute. He serves as Director of Innovation and Technology for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with cross-appointments in the Department of Neurology and the Departments of Biomedical & Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NYU-Tandon. He also is the Associate Director of Healthcare for the renowned NYU Wireless Laboratory in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NYU-Tandon. He leads both the Visuomotor Integration Laboratory and the Rehabilitation Engineering Alliance and Center Transforming Low Vision Laboratory.This is a two-part series. In Part 1, they discuss: how the ability to conduct research has been affected by the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic; possible reluctance of patients to be involved in research that occurs in a clinical setting because of a fear of contracting COVID-19 there; the extent to which delays and postponements have occurred because of disease resurgences; how COVID-19 limitations on touch and physical contact have led to unintended yet significant challenges to spatial perception, interpretation, and behavior for individuals who are blind or visually impaired; the effectiveness of gloves, hand sanitizers, and hand washing in reducing the risk of touching contaminated surfaces and what, if any downsides, would be associated with such practices; and how the the Visually Impaired Smart Service System for Spatial Intelligence and Onboard Navigation operates.