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Mercy Iowa City prepares to open new Rehabilitation Hospital for traumatic injury recovery

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Mercy Rehab Hospital

CORALVILLE, Iowa (KWWL) -- Next Thursday Iowans will have access to a first of it's kind Rehabilitation Hospital Facility in the Eastern Iowa area.

Today Mercy Iowa City unveiled it's 40-bed rehab facility in Coralville ahead of its grand opening on Thursday, next week when it will officially open up to patients.

From an amputation to a stroke or traumatic injury, the facility is the first freestanding rehab hospital in Eastern Iowa. The only other facility like it is in Clive.

"Most hospitals don't have this kind of technology available," said the Chief Executive Officer of the Rehabilitation Hospital, Laura Phipps.

The facility is 54,000 square feet and features private rooms, a large interdisciplinary gym, dialysis suite, and specialty programs dedicated to neuro, stroke, brain injury, and spinal cord injury among others.

Phipps said the therapy gym is one of the elements that set this facility apart from others, "We spend a minimum of three hours per day, five days out of the week with the patient on therapy needs, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, in order to expedite the process of that patient able to go home."

The center is staffed 24/7 with RN's and daily with physicians that help guide patient care using equipment that helps patients get better, faster.

Phipps demonstrated some of the equipment utilized, such as a virtual reality area that allows for motor skill development as well as training for the brain.

"This provides a virtual reality experience for our patients, we're able to do cognitive brain training, using the screen," said Phipps.

From the inside gym to the therapeutic courtyard and transitional living apartment, the facility is centered around activities of daily living.

Mercy Iowa City's President and CEO said a Rehabilitation Hospital provides various benefits.

"If you have traumatic brain injuries spinal cord injury, stroke, etc. the outcomes, and the level of functioning for a patient that goes through inpatient rehab is significantly better than if they just go to a traditional setting," said Williams.

Currently, Eastern Iowa patients might recover at a skilled nursing facility if they choose not to make the drive to Clive. However, both Williams and Phipps said the data shows recovery rates are faster at a rehab hospital.

"The average length of stay at a skilled nursing facility is about 26 days, the average length of stay at a rehab hospital is between 10 and 12 days," said Phipps.

Phipps also said the data shows a stay at the rehab hospital rather than a skilled nursing center decreases the likelihood the patient will return to the hospital for another illness to 8%.

Mercy said insurance does also cover a stay at a rehab facility but every situation is unique.

For more information, click here.

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Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids

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