UAE-based Amana Healthcare, part of Mubadala’s network of healthcare providers, has launched a first-of-its-kind therapy programme to rehabilitate patients who have been left with serious health issues and impairments after recovering from COVID-19.
Utilising the provider’s expertise working with long-term care patients and offering specialised rehabilitation for conditions such as strokes and traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, Amana’s post-acute rehabilitation (PAR) service is led by an in-house team of multidisciplinary (MDT) specialists which include physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, rehab nurses and social workers.
Dr. Jason Gray, Senior Director for Clinical Operations at Amana Healthcare, explains that now that Mubadala’s patient-facing facilities are COVID-19-free, the focus is moving towards helping patients who have recovered from the disease, but who still have rehabilitation needs, such as being weaned off ventilators.
“Backed by our years of expertise in specialised rehabilitation and working with long-term care patients, we have developed a comprehensive four-stage programme that helps to restore physical and cognitive functions that are often diminished in the wake of the disease, particularly if there have been long periods of care in an ICU,” he says.
Currently, inpatient referrals to Amana facilities come through those acute hospitals treating COVID-19 in the UAE. In contrast, outpatient tele/video rehabilitation and home rehabilitation can also be accessed directly by patients who have been discharged to their homes, or who have self-managed at home to date, but whose rehabilitation needs are yet to be addressed. This growing emphasis on telemedicine and homecare indicates a developing trend in the endeavour of overcoming the virus.
Deborah Pierce, Director of Rehabilitation at Amana Healthcare and a New Zealand-trained physiotherapist, emphasises that the four stages of the programme coalesce with the input of different professional disciplines.
“The four rehabilitation stages cover ICU step-down rehabilitation and ventilator weaning; specialised inpatient rehabilitation; home or tele/video rehabilitation; and specialised outpatient rehabilitation,” she explains. “An assessment is made as to whether all four stages of the programme are necessary. From here, we can deliver the correct therapy to assist in returning the patient to pre-illness levels of function, activities and life roles.”