Benefits of Centralized Scheduling in a Postacute Residential Rehabilitation Program for People With Acquired Brain Lesions: A Pilot Study

Alec Vestri, Silvia Pizzighello, Sara Piccoli, Andrea Martinuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To determine whether the use of a designated staff person to coordinate and schedule therapy services in a postacute residential rehabilitation program for people with acquired brain lesions results in (1) a higher-intensity treatment and a reduced length of stay; (2) reduced rehabilitation costs; and (3) increased patient and staff satisfaction. Design This nonrandomized retrospective study from 2009 through 2012 uses data collected relative to 2 different methods of scheduling: (1) self-planning, in which each single team member makes appointments that are then displayed on a shared board; and (2) managed planning, in which appointments are made by a designated staff person. Setting A residential center for people with postacute acquired brain lesions. Participants Patients (N=20) with acquired brain lesions who had similar clinical and demographic characteristics comprised the managed planning group (n=10) and the self-planning group (n=10). Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Organizational measures (length of stay in rehabilitation, number of treatment hours, total cost of rehabilitation), clinical outcome scales (Disability Rating Scale, FIM, and Barthel Index), perceived quality of treatment by patients (questionnaire), and perceived satisfaction of team members (Job Descriptive Index). Results All patients improved on all clinical rating scales at the time of discharge (all effect sizes are large). In the managed planning group, the number of treatment hours increased (Cohen's d=2.15), resulting in reduced length of stay (Cohen's d=.95) and cost of rehabilitation (Cohen's d=1.22). In addition, the quality of treatment perceived by the patients and their families increased, while team member satisfaction did not change. Conclusions The use of a designated staff person to manage therapy services improves efficiency and efficacy of a patient-centered health care system. The proposed scheduling system results in a remarkable cost saving for the National Health System.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-750
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Brain injuries
  • Organization and administration
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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