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Keys to Craig's Respiratory Program Success

Craig's successes are due to key clinical practices:

  • A pre-admission process which includes an on-site consultation assessment of the patient, preliminary recommendations about pulmonary goals, home discharge plans, equipment for mobility, transportation, ventilation, and tentative timelines and costs.
  • Since 1974, Craig Hospital has been recognized as a Model Spinal Cord Injury System by the US Department of Education and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The Model System consists of long-established ventilator-dependent and weaning protocols which are continually refined as technology advances.
  • A physician and respiratory therapist-led Ventilator-Dependent Program Development Committee consisting of specialists from National Jewish Health, named the #1 Respiratory Hospital in the U.S. for eleven consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Spinal cord and TBI clinical research is unprecedented at Craig Hospital. We are on the edge of the new era for research, and appreciate the support of administration, physicians and surgeons for our diverse research agendas.
  • Aggressive and comprehensive airway clearance techniques to improve lung mechanics, gas exchange, and to prevent atelectasis (lung collapse) and infection.
  • Use of non-invasive carbon dioxide monitoring technology (carbon dioxide is a metabolic byproduct) to access a patient's ventilatory and oxygenation status which 1reduces the need for repeated invasive procedures; such as, the drawing of arterial blood gas samples.
  • A hospital-wide alarm system that provides constant monitoring of a patient's oxygen saturation and ventilator performance.
  • A comprehensive sleep program that evaluates and treats patients with sleep apnea so they are adequately rested, ready for therapy and able to heal.
  • Daily rounds with the Pulmonary Team to discuss patient progress, treatment and to provide consistent care.
  • An interdisciplinary program development forum that meets quarterly whose goal is to investigate and improve ongoing practices, review programs and develop or enhance policy and procedural standards.
  • Additional monthly patient/family conferences for each patient and family that includes the patients interdisciplinary treatment team.
  • Emphasis on patient and family training in preparation for home, one-to-one training, group training, video tapes, and manuals.
  • An outpatient clinic which allows continuum of care after discharge and provides a wide range of services.
  • Emphasis on therapeutic community outings and community reintegration activities.
  • A flight team that may accompany our ventilator-dependent patients and their family member's home. The flight team consisting of a respiratory therapist and RN remain overnight with the patient and family for the first night home to assist in training home health care personnel.
  • For more information about Craig's ventilator program, please contact Darlene Dumont, Manager of Respiratory Care at Patient referrals to Craig's Ventilator program should be made to Maggie Rose, RN, Admissions Director 303-789-8344 or