A Recovery Playbook Improves Follow-up Care for COVID-19 Patients

3 female medical personal talking together with masks on.

After recovered COVID-19 patients leave the hospital and the discharge celebrations end, what comes next? Many patients who have overcome severe COVID-19 infections — particularly those who were sedated or intubated for a prolonged time — experience serious and uncomfortable aftereffects: neurological issues; significant muscle loss; lung function issues; and damage to their kidneys, liver and other organs.

Farha Ikramuddin, M.D., chief of rehabilitation services at M Health Fairview, and other rehabilitation leaders at the Minneapolis-based health system formed a multidisciplinary group that assesses the recovery needs of each patient being discharged. This group of physicians, nurses, specialists and therapists meets daily for 30 minutes “to discuss cases and create a rehabilitation ‘playbook’ for each person.”

After patients are discharged, they are referred to one of four programs, based on their medical needs. Patients with significant ongoing needs move to a long-term acute care unit at the health system’s St. Joseph’s Hospital. Other patients are referred to an inpatient acute rehabilitation center, a COVID-19 transitional care unit or the health system’s home care program.

With this work, M Health Fairview is developing a set of best-practice standards for COVID-19 rehabilitation. Find out more about the health system’s recovery playbook for COVID-19 survivors.

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