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vRehab – a new virtual rehabilitation program

4 May 2022

Virtual Rehabilitation or ‘vRehab’ is a new program developed by RPA Virtual Hospital (rpavirtual), in collaboration with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine RPA and Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) Allied Health services. 

A 12-month pilot program has now been launched for patients admitted to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA), Institute of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics (IRO) and Balmain Hospital. 

vRehab will support earlier discharge home for eligible adult patients who require short-term intensive rehabilitation. Referrals for a rehabilitation consult can be made by treating teams in the participating hospitals and will be accepted by the vRehab physician on behalf of the team. 

A specialist multidisciplinary team will provide at least once daily therapy over a seven day service, with after-hours support from rpavirtual care centre clinicians. The program will be delivered via a hybrid of virtual care (videoconferencing and applications) and home visits, for an average admission time of two weeks. 

The vRehab team includes a Rehabilitation staff specialist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist and allied health assistant. Key patient cohorts are those recovering from an acute event (stroke), trauma (hip fracture), elective surgery (knee and hip arthroplasty), as well as those experiencing general deterioration from general surgical or medical issues (reconditioning). Eligible patients will be medically stable for discharge home, functionally suitable for care in the home and have realistic rehabilitation goals that can be achieved in a community-setting within two weeks. 

On discharge from vRehab, patients will return to the care of their usual GP. Referrals will also be made to ongoing Allied Health therapies and specialist medical, surgical or rehabilitation care as required. 

For more information, please contact Olivia Martin, vRehab Service Coordinator on 0439 567 582, or SLHD-rpavirtualRehab@health.nsw.gov.au