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    California Pacific Opens Pioneering, Innovative Rehabilitation Unit

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Kevin McCormack, Media Relations Manager
    (415) 600-7484 or pager (415) 232-6463
    mccormkd@sutterhealth.org

    September 24, 2009

    Innovative design, including a talking bed and state-of-the-art patient lift systems, combined with world-class medical care are making the new California Pacific Regional Rehabilitation Center one of the most amazing, interactive acute care rehabilitation units in the country.

    The talking bed is just one of the high-tech tools that staff can use to help patients recovering from a stroke, brain or other spinal injury. Other tools include a patient lift system that can hold patients weighing up to 1,100 pounds. The lift is part of an overhead rail system that allows patients to move safely from their bed to a chair, from room to room, or even to move around the unit, reducing the risk of injury to them or to staff. The lift can also help patients re-learn how to walk, taking weight off their legs as they slowly regain strength, endurance, and self-confidence.

    “We think the California Pacific Rehabilitation Center will be a model for the future,” says Scott Rome, M.D., medical director of the Center. “We wanted to create a new kind of rehab unit, one that was designed with both the patient and their family in mind, to make the care they get the best possible, and to make their stay with us as comfortable as possible. We already think our staff is among the best at what they do, and now this new unit means we have a world-class facility to match our world-class staff.”

    There are low-tech innovations too. On the corridor floors there are colored tiles every ten feet to help patients see how far they have walked, enabling them and their therapists to chart progress. Each room has mirrors to help patients practice facial muscle exercises – particularly important for those recovering from a stroke.

    Each innovation is designed to enhance patient care. For example, some rooms have a bed that can speak 25 different languages, everything from English and Spanish, to Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and French. If the patient is trying to move but seems to be having difficulty, the bed can sense that and ask them, in their own language, if they are ok. If the patient continues to move in an agitated way but does not respond to questions from the bed, the bed will call the patient’s nurse directly via pager. It can also time how long it takes a nurse to respond to the call, to ensure staff react in a timely manner.

    Another big benefit is that when staff members are talking to a patient who doesn’t speak English, the bed can translate what is being said to help better inform the patient and allow them to reply. It helps make patients feel less isolated and more of a partner in their own care.

    The Center is spread out over two floors at California Pacific Medical Center’s Davies Campus in the Castro district of San Francisco. One floor is for stroke and brain injury patients. The other is for patients with spinal injuries or other general rehabilitation needs. Each floor can accommodate up to 24 patients and also includes a ‘common’ area where they can watch movies or TV programs, a mini-gym for rehab exercises, and a full-service kitchen with adjustable height appliances for wheelchair patients

    The units also have family ‘quiet’ rooms, to allow people to get away when they feel the need for some peace and quiet. In addition, there is a transitional living unit, a fully equipped studio apartment where patients and families can do a “real world” practice run at independent living, to help them determine if they are ready to return home.

    “We are extremely proud of our Rehabilitation Center,” says Mary Lanier, R.N., chief administrative officer at California Pacific’s Davies Campus. “We’ve been planning this for many years, and I think that is a clear sign of our commitment at CPMC to create a world-class system of care for all our patients.”

    The Rehabilitation Center opening comes one year after California Pacific unveiled another unique approach to therapy: the Archibald/Ehrenberg Rehabilitation Terrain Park. In most rehab units, patients who are re-learning how to walk are trained in the controlled environment of a gym. But our Terrain Park offers patients more challenging surfaces such as gravel paths, uneven sidewalks, grass, sand, even a golf course, so they are better prepared for the real world.

    California Pacific Medical Center. Beyond Medicine. At San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center, we believe in the power of medicine. We research the most up-to-date treatments, hire the most qualified individuals and practice the most modern, innovative medicine available. We deliver the highest quality expert care, with kindness and compassion, in acute, post-acute and outpatient services, as well as preventive and complementary medicine. But we also believe that medicine alone is only part of the solution. That’s why we look intently at each individual case and treat the whole person, not just the illness. It’s why we go beyond medical care and provide our patients with things like disease counseling, family support and wellness treatments. As one of California’s latest private, community-based, not-for-profit, teaching medical centers, and a Sutter Health affiliate, we are able to reach deep into our community to provide education, screening and financial support in some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. Medicine can transform a body. Going beyond medicine can transform a life.
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