Westmead rehab ‘smartest’ in NSW

The ‘SMART’ team from Westmead Hospital occupational therapy.

Rehabilitation patients are getting treated faster and sent home quicker thanks to the success of Westmead Hospital’s Specialist Management and Acute Rehabilitation Treatment (SMART) program.

The program is focused on patients who require a short period of rehabilitation following an illness, injury or surgery such as coronary artery bypass graft, colostomy formation or spinal surgery.

Patients being treated for acute renal failure and acquired brain injury are also supported through the program.

SMART ensures earlier discharge and faster treatment by allowing patients to return home sooner with the necessary instructions and support for their recovery.

Last year the SMART team cared for 200 patients and more than half were discharged home without the need to be transferred to another rehabilitation unit.

These efforts have been rewarded with an award at the recent Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) NSW workshop.

The SMART team. Front: Occupational therapist Naomi Freedman. Second row left to right: Clinical nurse specialist Teresa Tsang, medical officer, Shilpi Yadav, staff specialist Dr Nidhi Gupta, physiotherapist Michelle Lam. Third row: occupational therapist Jamie Hunter, physiotherapist Cathy Liang, allied health assistant physiotherapist Kirra Hennessey, physiotherapist Jasmin (surname withheld),  physiotherapist, occupational therapist Antoinette Hawwa and social worker Natalie Wu.

The SMART team consists of a rehabilitation consultant, registrar, nurse, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and allied health assistants.

Occupational therapist Jamie Hunter said the team meets three times a week to tailor each patient’s treatment plan.

“We engage with patients and their carers early on to identify the goals that are most important to them. The team then works together to develop treatment plans focused on the patient’s rehab and discharge goals.”

Western Sydney Local Health District staff members wanting more information about the SMART program can contact Teresa Tsang on pager #2 88495.