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  • Spinal Cord Specialty Program

    A person-centered spinal cord specialty program utilizes a holistic, culturally aware, interdisciplinary team approach to address the unique rehabilitation needs of persons who have been diagnosed with spinal cord dysfunction, whether due to trauma or disease. A spinal cord specialty program may be provided in a variety of settings, including inpatient, outpatient, home and community, residential, and vocational settings. Personnel demonstrate competencies and the application of evidence-based practices to deliver services that address the preventive, restorative, supportive, and lifelong rehabilitation needs of the persons served. The spinal cord specialty program focuses on strategies to optimize outcomes in an effort to prevent impairments or minimize the impact thereof, reduce activity limitations, and maximize participation for the persons served. The program communicates and collaborates with all appropriate healthcare providers and other relevant stakeholders to deliver coordinated care and promote appropriate transitions in the continuum of care.

    The program is guided by the individual preferences, strengths, and needs of the persons served and their families/support systems. Throughout the program the person’s perception of and adjustment to his or her disability is considered and addressed. A spinal cord specialty program assists the persons served to manage their own health, encourages their appropriate use of healthcare systems and services, and supports their efforts to promote personal health and wellness and improve quality of life throughout their life span. The program provides ongoing access to information, services, and resources available and encompasses care that advocates for full inclusion to enhance the lives of the persons served within their families/support systems, communities, and life roles.

    The program demonstrates the commitment, capabilities, and resources to maintain itself as a specialized spinal cord program. The spinal cord specialty program formally links with key components of care that address the lifelong needs of the persons served. A spinal cord specialty program advocates on behalf of persons served to regulators, legislators, educational institutions, research funding organizations, payers, and the community at large. A spinal cord specialty program translates current research evidence to provide effective rehabilitation and supports future improvements in care by advocating for or participating in spinal cord research.

    Note: Spinal cord dysfunction could be caused by trauma, cancer involving the spinal cord, inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis, and nontraumatic etiologies such as myelopathies, vascular events, or infections.

    A program seeking accreditation as a spinal cord specialty program must include in the survey application and the site survey all portions of the program (comprehensive integrated inpatient -rehabilitation program, outpatient medical rehabilitation program, home and community services, residential rehabilitation, and vocational services) that the organization provides and that meet the program descriptions.

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