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Clinical Specialties - Rehabilitation

PRIME Program

Introducing our PRIME program - part of the new San Rehabilitation personalised model of care

Rehabilitation has generally been referred to as the recovery process that takes place after surgery. However, results from overseas clinical studies show that patients recover faster from a procedure when they have undertaken some pre-surgery preparation and planning. For the majority of patients this care will commence prior to surgery.  Rehabilitation that starts before surgery is called 'prehabilitation'. Prehabilitation will include a group education and training session that will take place approximately 4-6 weeks prior to surgery.  This prehabilitation training session will include a discussion about preparing your home for return after surgery, appointing a recovery coach to assist you during your rehabilitation journey and guidance with accessing the online education and training program. Preparing well before admission will ensure that you‘re in your best possible shape for surgery and recovery.

PRIME stands for Personalised Rehabilitation Individually Managed and Evaluated and is a new approach to rehabilitation where the patient journey will include:

  1. Information at the Doctor’s rooms
  2. Prehabilitation group education session
  3. Pre-admission and surgical intervention (PAC)
  4. Inpatient (Acute) hospital stay
  5. Rehabilitation (Sub-acute) stay
  6. Home with follow-up phone call

These stages will be comprehensively managed by an integrated multidisciplinary team, with access to other services at the San that include:

Multidisciplinary team:

  • Rehabilitation specialists and medical officers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Rehabilitation nurses
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Occupational therapists

Other services available:

  • Speech pathologists
  • Dietitian
  • Social workers
  • Full diagnostic facilities
  • Emergency support

PRIME will be particularly beneficial if you are undergoing hip, knee or back surgery as education, advice, strengthening exercises from the consultant physiotherapist and the involvement of family prior to the operation, can have a significant positive impact on your recovery after surgery. It is expected that for many patients, PRIME should provide an easier transition back to a functional and independent lifestyle. And of course, for those who do not require PRIME but still need rehabilitation, the inpatient rehabilitation unit at the San will provide you with the supportive and personalised environment required to ensure your best possible recovery.

PRIME - Your Stages to Recovery

From the time you visit your specialist to discuss the need for surgery, a plan will be outlined that involves six main stages to your recovery. These are detailed below:

Doctor's Room (Specialist)
Your doctor will discuss your options in relation to your condition and suggest the best possible path to recovery for you. At this point and if you are having surgery at the San, you will receive a patient information booklet called "Your Guide to Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation", which provides a comprehensive overview of what to expect during your hospital stay. You will also receive some admission forms to complete and return to the hospital to confirm your booking. Your doctor will also outline their expectations in relation to your surgery, how the new PRIME program at the San works and whether or not you may need to consider some additional rehabilitation options post-surgery and hospital stay.

Prehabilitation is a proactive approach to reducing pain and ensuring the fastest return to health. Prehabilitation builds strength and stability around your most vulnerable areas, while improving mobility, balance and joint function and decreases your potential for injuries.

If you are deemed appropriate for PRIME, you will be contacted to attend a group prehabilitation education and training session prior to attending pre-admission clinic (PAC) and surgery. This is a good time to identify your recovery coach.  (Click here for more information regarding a 'Recovery Coach')

Pre-admission Clinic (PAC) and Operation
Most patients will attend Pre-admission Clinic (PAC) within a few weeks to a couple of days prior to surgery. PAC provides you with the opportunity to talk with a nurse about your surgery and recovery and in many instances you will also meet your anaesthetist and case manager.  

Inpatient (Acute) Hospital Stay
Your surgery and recovery on the ward is called your 'acute stay' and will commence with the day of surgery. Following your surgery and in the few days that follow, your condition and progress will be monitored, assessed and discussed with you by your doctor and allied health team and reviewed by the Rehabilitation team to determine the most appropriate next step in your recovery journey – day rehabilitation or inpatient rehabilitation at the San, or discharge home.

The San is pleased to now be able to provide rehabilitation on the SAH campus, providing an easy transition from ward to rehabilitation unit. Staying with San Rehabilitation ensures continuity of care and the ability to better track your progress and ensure ongoing and easy doctor involvement.

At the commencement of the rehabilitation process, a program will be determined to ensure that your function and mobility reach acceptable and achievable targets and that you are prepared for optimal functionality at home. Hydrotherapy is offered at Sydney Adventist Hospital. Your rehabilitation will be reviewed by a rehabilitation specialist and case conferenced by a multidisciplinary team. Allied health and nursing support will provide assistance seven days a week in order to actively manage your return home.

Home and follow-up phone call
Your recovery coach and the preparations you made when planning your return home will hopefully make this transition easier. A follow-up phone call by a qualified rehabilitation health professional will occur within approximately 5-7 days after you have been discharged. Your feedback will be valuable in providing ongoing improvements and development of the program.

What is a Recovery Coach?

Patient and family-centred care with quicker post-operative outcomes is at the core of appointing a recovery "coach" to help you both in hospital and the transition back home. Your "coach" could be a family member, partner or friend who can assist you with your surgical preparation and recovery. They are invited and encouraged to participate in all facets of the program with you – from helping you with prehabilitation training and strengthening exercises, to identifying what equipment or changes you may need to make to your home environment to assist you post-surgery. Recovery coaches can help you plan anything from pre-ordering meals for after your return home to assisting you in cleaning sutures and ensuring that you are completing your exercises regularly once home. It is best if your recovery coach has access to a computer and that you appoint them as soon as you know that you will be needing surgery and request that they be involved in all stages of your recovery from prehabilitation through to rehabilitation.

How will I know if PRIME is right for me?

When you complete your admission forms prior to your procedure, San Rehabilitation will review them and contact you if they believe that you will benefit from being involved in the PRIME program. There is no additional charge for commencing your rehabilitation journey earlier and the benefits to you will include a faster and easier return to normal daily life. Should you have any queries in relation to the PRIME program or your eligibility then please contact San Rehabilitation on (02) 9480 3580.

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Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical Specialties and Services