Data analyzed by the Network suggest that patients who had COVID-19 are responding well to inpatient rehabilitative care. The conclusion is based on analysis of 2020/21 data reported by 15 rehab/complex continuing care members. The data provide a clearer picture of this new population group, the rehabilitative care these patients require and their outcomes.

Members reported close to 1,400 COVID-19 rehab/CCC discharges from March 2020 to March 2021. The period covers the first wave of the pandemic through to the beginning of wave three. The Network’s analysis provides the following insights:

High intensity rehab

  • Patients were significantly younger than those in low intensity/CCC: Patients admitted to high intensity rehab due to COVID-19 deconditioning were approximately five years younger than COVID-19 patients in low intensity/CCC.
  • Average length of stay was approximately three weeks: The majority of patients were discharged from high intensity rehab after three weeks; 17% required more than four weeks of rehabilitative care.
  • Rehab was beneficial: Patients demonstrated functional improvement after inpatient rehab (based on Functional Independence MeasureTM scores) with 84% discharged home with or without services.
  • Longer ICU stays correlate with longer inpatient rehab LOS: The data suggest that patients who have longer ICU stays also have longer length of stay in high intensity rehab; however, further research is needed due to the low volume of patients reported.

Low intensity rehab/CCC

  • Average length of stay was approximately 10 weeks: 46% of patients in low intensity rehab/CCC required more than six weeks of inpatient rehab; the average length of stay for low intensity rehab patients was 10 weeks.
  • Rehab was beneficial: 52% of patients were discharged home with or without services

Although this data reporting initiative has now ended, it proved especially valuable to members during the early days of the pandemic when little was known about outcomes and length of stay in inpatient rehab for patients who had COVID-19. Over the past year, the Network regularly convened leaders of rehab/CCC hospitals to review the data and share information on planning strategies to address the impact of COVID-19.

For many members, the focus is now shifting to the rehab needs of patients experiencing persistent symptoms following COVID-19 (post Covid-19 condition). The Rehabilitative Care Alliance (RCA) is leading a provincial initiative to explore outpatient rehab utilization for this patient population.

For more information on the data reporting initiative, please contact Sharon Ocampo-Chan, Project Manager.