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SCI Outpatient Program

Patients with spinal cord injury require specialized follow-up for maximum health, prevention of complications, and long term management of costs.

What to expect

The Interdisciplinary Outpatient Evaluations (IOE's), formerly known as re-evaluations, at Craig Hospital are managed by a nurse practitioner or physician with years of experience working with patients with spinal cord injury. Each interdisciplinary team is also made up of nurses, therapists and clinical care managers. The evaluation is comprehensive and begins several weeks ahead with calls from our nurses to the patient, and from our clinical care managers to insurance case managers to align expectations.

The evaluation includes:

  • a review of pertinent records and history-taking as necessary
  • an onsite SCI physical examination by our specialized nurse practitioners
  • an onsite nursing evaluation in the areas of bowel, bladder, medications, nutrition, and skin condition
  • on-site urologic exam
  • on-site physical and occupational therapy evaluations for motor/sensory changes, posture, mobility, activities of daily living and functional tests, equipment evaluation and minor repairs or adjustments
  • on site psychosocial evaluation
  • on site consultations with other specialists as necessary (neurosurgical consults, skin, pulmonary, etc)
  • radiological studies, CT, MRI, etc as necessary on campus at Swedish Medical Center
  • a wrap-up team conference with the patient, family, staff, and case manager with evaluation results, and recommendations for a plan of care
  • other services as requested in advance, e.g. gait/bracing clinic, seated mobility evaluations, podiatry, driving and adaptive transportation consults, etc.
  • written reports documenting the results and recommendations
  • on-site clinical care managers to provide assistance/resources regarding funding or caregiver needs

A typical Interdisciplinary Outpatient Evaluations (IOE) at Craig is conducted in an intensive 3-4 day period. Patients and families typically arrive on Sunday; begin the IOE Monday morning, and generally wrap-up on Wednesday or Thursday.

Statistics

800+

outpatient SCI IOE's are conducted at Craig Hospital each year.

50+

years of experience re-evaluating patients with spinal cord injury.

Schedule an Interdisciplinary Outpatient Evaluation (IOE)

Former Craig Hospital Patients

Patients, case managers, and claims adjusters interested in an IOE for a former Craig Hospital patient should contact our Outpatient Admissions Department: 303-789-8215

New Outpatient Referrals

If you're new to Craig Hospital contact our Outpatient Intake Coordinator at 303-789-8474.
Current medical records are typically requested on new evaluation patients who have never been to Craig and on IOE patients who have not been to Craig for three years or greater.

Other Outpatient Services

Patients with spinal cord injury who do not require the full spectrum of care or who need assistance with a specific concern between IOE may work with our physical, occupational, and speech therapists on an individual basis. Additionally, patients who live locally may choose Craig Hospital outpatient services for ongoing therapy needs. A referral from a primary care physician may be required.

For more information contact our Outpatient Intake Coordinator: 303-789-8474

FAQ's

We typically recommend that patients with SCI have this specialized outpatient evaluation 6-8 months post discharge.

The purpose of the re-evaluation is to evaluate for necessary interventions and make recommendations for a plan for local follow-up care, collaborating with primary providers and specialty consultants. Our outpatient team will make sure that discharge plans have been carried out, conditions and routines at home are stabilizing, and that patients are staying healthy and have established relationships with local providers for ongoing care as necessary.

Whether patients receive their re-evaluation at Craig Hospital or elsewhere is an individual choice by patients, families, and their insurance carriers. Although SCI re-evaluations can take place in non-SCI Model Center locations, if the practitioner and evaluation team are not experienced in evaluating potential complications and integrating the results into recommendations, problems can be missed, and the associated costs to correct the problems at a later date can be significant.

After the first outpatient evaluation we typically recommend that patients with SCI have an annual re-evaluation for the first 3-5 years post initial rehabilitation, or until such time as patients have established a consistent record of healthy routines, establishing relationships with their community-based resources.

We may recommend a reduction in frequency, depending on the patient and the expertise of their local providers. Some patients elect to get their re-evaluations locally, but come back to Craig every 3-5 years as a precaution to insure that conditions or complications may not have been missed locally. Local physicians may not be experienced with spinal cord injury usually appreciate the assurance that Craig is still involved. 

As patients age with spinal cord injury, especially into their 2nd and 3rd decade of injury, their medical and functional conditions can change dramatically, and may require a resumption of annual evaluations. Many of the costly complications associated with the aging process are preventable, if identified early.