A success story for serving the community in the UAE

Dr. Howard Podolsky

In 2012 -2013 when there was a void in post-acute care services for patients after encountering injuries or life-changing health scenarios, the options of rehabilitative services were very limited to what patients could access in order to get better. Thereafter, Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center created a successful rehabilitation service in the United Arab Emirates, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and in the City of Al Ain to provide long-term healthcare and rehabilitation services in close clinical collaboration through a distinctive partnership with Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, the official teaching hospital of the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department for Harvard Medical School. By adding value to the UAE’s healthcare sector, Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center  has become the leading world-class provider  of rehabilitative and long-term care services.

Being established with a capacity of 180 beds across the UAE, in 2019 Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center opened CMRC-KSA for an additional 60  beds in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in Dhahran to complete the third facility in the GCC with the vision and promise of additional expansion of these services throughout the GCC. By providing exceptional rehabilitation and long-term care services for inpatients and outpatients, Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center is accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

In order to provide world-class care, Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center has appointed highly qualified teams of Physiotherapists, Respiratory Therapists, Occupational Therapist, Chiropractors, and Speech and Language Pathologists to work closely with the specialized doctors of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, specialized Pediatricians, Internal Medicine Physicians, Intensivists, and General Practitioners working alongside  clinical Case Managers, and Allied Healthcare Professionals to fulfill the clinical and rehabilitative needs of our patients and their families.

“Our world-class expertise in rehabilitation in combination with our clinical proficiency in the management of chronic medical conditions as well as our ability to care for our patients following discharge in our outpatient clinics sets us apart from the conventional care currently provided within Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dhahran in KSA” 

 – Dr. Howard S. Podolsky, CMRC Group Chief Executive Officer

By introducing the first of its kind program in the United Arab Emirates, the “Transitional Vent Unit” is an advanced clinical concept, developed to support patients who are dependent on mechanical ventilation. The promise of the Transitional Vent Unit program is that it combines the clinical expertise of our Intensivist Physicians and Respiratory Therapists with our Rehabilitation Team to develop bespoke weaning protocols for each patient admitted into this program. The expressed goal is to wean patients of mechanical ventilation and liberate them from a life dependent on respirators. Thereby affording patients to successfully reintegrate into home, family, and community.

The practice of this unique weaning protocol at a specialized rehabilitation facility such as Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center, promises a low infection rate in comparison with other similar programs provided by other providers throughout the country and region; while on the other hand, a Weaning Rate of 70% keeps Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center in a stand-alone leading position with its model for the Transitional Vent Unit patients.

Moving on to another segmented line of service, “Post-Acute Rehabilitation”, defined as short-term or time-limited for inpatients, with an interdisciplinary active intervention for patients with the need for intensive rehabilitation. This program targets patients with acute stable illness or injury that could be caused by a road-traffic-accidents, or the practice of extreme sports, work missions, an incident that any individual might encounter in their everyday living; hence, it aims for restoration of diminished skills that will help in maximizing self-sufficiency and minimizing the impact of impairment to regain normal or near to semi-normal capacity of motor ability manners.

Post – Acute Rehabilitation patients are classified according to patient conditions into three categories of which one may be medically stable but have an illness or injury, such as strokes, Brain Injuries or spinal cord injuries. The second category could be due to a chronic condition because of a neuron disease or multiple sclerosis. Moreover, patients with joints replacements, limb reconstruction, spinal surgery or traumatic failure are all considered under the condition of post-surgical. At Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center, the Post-Acute Rehabilitation patients may benefit from the Neuro-Rehabilitation and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation services for treatment plans to achieve the required goals.

As for the Long-Term Acute Care, it has deviated into two rehabilitation categories, the slow stream rehabilitation program and the active rehabilitation program. Patients under this kind of program require daily, skilled nursing in an inpatient setup, and medical supervision to receive assistance with activities of daily  livings , as they are not clinically safe to live/socially cannot go home in or maintain their clinical equilibrium. The skilled nursing factor in the Long-Term care service will result in enhanced quality of life for individuals and if correctly performed with the right environment then the frequency of acute re-admissions to short-term acute-care hospitals will be noticeably reduced.

The “Continuum of Care” approach of which Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center practice, grants a safe and secure patient journey all from the hospitalization start point, until a patient is safely back re-integrated into their community. This improves care for patients, enhances the experience for the families, unblocks hospital beds, and minimizes the risk of hospital-acquired infection. Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center have scored in the Press Ganey Score metric a sum of 91% in terms of Patient Satisfaction.

Nevertheless, as Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center was a pioneer in the introduction of Aqua-Therapy in Abu Dhabi, and in the adoption of the Kozyavkin Method for Cerebral Palsy; currently assessing introductions for tailored rehabilitation programs for Autism, Hand Therapy, Spine and Pain Management. Indeed, services and geographic expansions will always be there as CMRC vision is to continue being the leader of Post-Acute Rehabilitation and Long-Term care services by providing exceptional patient experiences and clinical outcomes across the MENA Region.