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Spinal Cord Injury Outpatient Program

Patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) require specialized follow-up for maximum health, prevention of complications, and long term management of costs. Craig Hospital's outpatient spinal cord injury rehabilitation program provides that specialized care with extraordinary patient outcomes.

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 (taken as necessary)
  • an on-site SCI physical examination by our specialized nurse practitioners
  • an on-site 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 4 to 5 day period. Patients and families typically arrive on Sunday, begin the IOE Monday morning, and generally wrap-up on Thursday or Friday.


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

For those interested in an IOE who have never been to Craig Hospital before, contact our Outpatient Admissions Supervisor at 303-789-8474.
Current medical records are typically requested for new evaluation patients who have never been to Craig and for 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 Admissions Supervisor: 303-789-8474


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

The purpose of the IOE is to evaluate spinal cord injury patients for necessary interventions and make recommendations for a plan for your local follow-up care, collaborating with primary care providers and specialty consultants. Our outpatient SCI rehabilitation 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 your local providers for ongoing care as necessary.

Whether spinal cord injury patients receive their IOE at Craig Hospital or elsewhere is an individual choice by patients, families, and their insurance carriers. Although a spinal cord injury IOE can take place in non-spinal cord injury 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 spinal cord injury have an annual Interdisciplinary Outpatient Evaluations (IOE) for the first 3-5 years post initial rehabilitation, or until such time as patients have established a consistent record of healthy routines and 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 IOE 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 and 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.