How data can make a real difference in your rehab program.

By Laura Mitchell

Seven million is a lot.

It’s a lot of pizzas, a lot of player pianos and a lot of pencils. But seven million is really a lot when it’s the number of rehab outcomes data you have. What would you do with that much data? You could do what Aegis Therapies did: Use it to improve clinical service delivery and patient outcomes. 

Aegis is one of the largest contract rehabilitation organizations in the country, with more than 1400 locations in 42 states. Their size is one of the reasons they have such a large treasure trove of outcome data. But the most important reason is that they’ve been collecting it for a lot longer than everyone else.

“We started doing it long before it was required,” said Mark Besch, Aegis VP of clinical services. “We started collecting outcomes information on our patients in 2001 and may have been the first to start collecting it in a systematic way.”  

Using this mountain of data has enabled Aegis to become a uniquely data-driven organization. They have been able to trend this data, analyze the results of therapies, and identify opportunities for improvement. They make no secret about it: They openly claim to have the largest post-acute rehab outcomes database in the United States.

But does it work?

“It absolutely does work,” said Besch. “Not only are we able to show patients their progress, but we use that information to adjust their treatment as needed.” In addition, data points such as average length of stay, functional gain scores and discharged-to-home percentages are available to Aegis partners so they can demonstrate the effectiveness of their services. “We have reporting available to hospitals, physicians and patients,” added Besch. “Ninety-nine percent of Aegis patients achieve functional gains. Additionally, having objective measures regarding functional gains in patients with rehab intervention is highly supportive of changes in reimbursement models based on value based purchasing.” 

Aegis is not alone in this endeavor. To varying degrees, everyone in the post-acute rehab space is doing it. But Aegis Therapies may be doing it better — precisely because they’ve been doing it longer.