Contact | Charity Care Policy | News | Email Sign-Up | Secure Email Portal

How to Choose a Specialty Hospital
Craig's Answers to Key Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right rehabilitation hospital is a very difficult process for patients and families. Rehabilitation hospitals may have different approaches, different staff qualifications and expertise, and different areas of specialization. Where to start? Here. This question-and-answer checklist contains Craig Hospital’s answers to commonly asked questions patients and families have and contain key questions that every consumer should ask. Families are encouraged to personally visit any programs they are considering, ask these questions, and compare the quality of programs, regardless of distance. There IS a difference in quality and outcomes- let Craig show you why.

How many patients who have injuries similar to the patient I know are treated per year at this facility?

  • Inpatients: 309 inpatients with spinal cord injury, 194 inpatients with traumatic brain injury.
  • Outpatients: 2,300 outpatient visits with spinal cord injury; 902 outpatient visits with traumatic brain injury. Since 1956 we estimate we have treated nearly 30,000 SCI and TBI patients, more SCI patients than any other single U.S. center. Patients come from 44-48 U.S. states each year.

How many patients are being treated for this type of injury right now?

  • Craig maintains a steady census of approximately 55 inpatients with spinal cord injury and 25 with traumatic brain injury- one of the largest specialty centers in the U.S. This large population of similar injuries creates a powerful peer support culture. Craig has a specialized ventilator program and we commonly treat between 3-4 patients on a ventilator at any given time. Craig also has a full-time neurosurgical program for post-acute SCI complications.

Are there patients here whose ages are about the same as the patient I know?

  • The average age is 38, and the most common age range 18-25. Craig treats adult patients who are 15-16 years of age or older. There is no upper range but generally we do not treat patients older than 65-70.

Is the facility a specialty center, and if so, for how long has it focused on that specialization? What specialty accreditations does the facility have?

  • As a private, non-profit, free-standing rehabilitation hospital, Craig has been exclusively dedicated to these two diagnoses since 1956. Craig is JCAHO accredited and was the 2nd rehab in the U.S. to achieve Magnet Recognition Status. Craig has been ranked in the Top Ten Rehabilitation Hospitals by US News and World Report consecutively each year since 1990.

How many years of experience do the physicians have, on average? Staff?

  • More than 24 years, each. Our 8 primary physicians average 14 years each at Craig.
  • Staff? Department directors average 19 years, therapists average 19 years, nurses average 7 years.

How long have the physicians practiced at the facility? Are they full-time or part-time?

  • Our 8 primary physicians of the CNS:
  • Medical Group of Craig Hospital average 14 years each at Craig.
  • Are they full-time or part-time?
  • 7 are full time and one is full time in research. In addition, CNS has one Physician Assistant and one Licenced Nurse Practitioner. Their offices are located within the hospital for patient, family and staff access.

Which physicians, therapists, and other professionals will work with the patient I know?

  • Inter-disciplinary team of other physicians, nurses, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology or neuropsychology, speech/language pathology, therapeutic recreation, patient and family service counselor, nurse educator, hospital chaplain, equipment coordinator, tutor, and more.

Who will be the patient’s primary physician, and does he/she specialize in this particular injury?

  • One of the 7 full-time physicians.

Is air transportation available?

  • Yes, we help arrange medical transportation on all admissions.

Are specialty education programs available for patients and families? What are they?

  • We believe education is key to rehabilitation and independence. As such, we have several dozen sub-specialty clinics and educational programs, such as airline travel training, rehab engineering workshop, sexuality and fertility, finances, adaptive equipment, and others. We have an in-house TV production studio, and 55 self-produced training DVDs on the closed circuit televisions in every patient room, family education and support groups, a patient and family education resource room, and manuals written by Craig staff.

What is the family’s role? What are the policies regarding family visitation?

  • Families are critical to the rehabilitation process, and Craig highly values family inclusion at all levels. We have high expectations for family involvement.
  • What are the policies regarding family visitation?
  • Families are welcome any time, and are highly encouraged to participate in therapy sessions, conferences, and community outings with their loved ones.

Is there designated low cost housing available near your facility?

  • Yes, a 47 unit family housing building on campus, and 30 free days of housing for families.

Who will help with discharge planning before the patient comes home?

  • Craig has Masters-level Clinical Care Managers who are responsible for coordinating discharge planning- approximately one counselor for 10-12 inpatients.

Are long-term follow-up services provided? If so, what are they?

  • Yes.
  • If so, what are they?
  • For decades, Craig has had a Follow-up Services Department, which provides outpatient Re-evaluation Programs for approximately 550 patients with SCI and 52 with TBI each year and clinic services for Craig outpatients. Craig also has a free nurse advice line.

Are the physicians and staff currently involved with research and training? If so, in what areas?

  • Yes.
  • If so, in what areas?
  • Craig has 18 full time research staff, has been a NIDRR SCI Model Systems Center since 1974 and a NIDRR TBI Model System Center since 1998. Craig is the NIDRR TBI national data and statistical center for the U.S. Craig is also conducting basic science stem cell research with the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and pain research with the University of Colorado.

What is the caseload size for the nursing, treatment, and counseling staff?

  • 5:1 on average for RNs and therapies
  • 10:1 for inpatient counselors
  • 16:1 for psychologists
  • 8:1 for therapeutic recreation specialists