In 2022 endowments at Epworth funded more than 250 doctors, nurses and midwives to undertake research, explore innovations in medical care and participate in advanced study thanks to the foresight of donors who have established endowments during their lifetime, or as a gift in their Will.
Developing a sustainable and innovative approach to rehabilitation following hip and knee arthroplasty is the focus of an exciting new project at Epworth, made possible by the Epworth Medical Foundation Innovation Endowment Fund.
Jeremy Buckmaster, Community Rehabilitation Manager and Laura Papaioannou, Physiotherapy Manager, received a grant from the endowed innovation fund to explore a new approach to rehabilitation in the home.
“During COVID lockdowns, the demand for in-home rehabilitation increased dramatically. Patients were more comfortable exploring opportunities to recover in the comfort of their own home,” says Jeremy.
“It really made us think about the way we deliver care.”
“We’re so grateful to have received this funding from Epworth Medical Foundation – without it, this project wouldn’t be possible,” reflects Laura.
Together, Jeremy and Laura are seeking to introduce a hybrid rehabilitation model, where patients receive inpatient rehabilitation immediately following their hip or knee surgery as well as a digital-based rehabilitation program supported by telehealth and an interactive digital platform that allows them to track progress and have direct conversations with their physiotherapist remotely.
“A rehabilitation program generally lasts for eight sessions over six weeks,” says Jeremy.
“We believe it’s really beneficial to do the initial rehabilitation sessions in person, however by the final sessions, patients are generally focussed on ‘what else do I have to do to get back to golf?’ or ‘how far can I walk?’ – they’re more optimistic about getting back to a normal life after the initial challenge of surgery and admission.”
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