The rehabilitation process can be both physically and emotionally challenging for virtually any patient. You may need to frequently revisit your facility's inpatient approaches and work in tandem with outpatient rehab teams.

What are some fresh and effective ways to make the rehab process easier on your patients and increase the odds of terrific outcomes? Let research be your guide. Incorporate the following tips to perfect your process:

Identify patients most likely to experience rehab interruption.

Research by Addie Middleton via the American Journal of Physical Meditation and Rehabilitation found that patients who have experienced stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury and who suffer a setback during rehab almost always must return to an acute care hospital.

Instruct your affiliated physical therapists to specifically monitor these patients closely for new symptoms or signs of distress from the very first session. Early intervention can help resolve complications and allow rehab progress to continue once these patients' new issues are addressed.

Use virtual rehab technology.

A new study from Kaiser Permanente, led by author Tadashi Funahashi, found that discharged cardiac patients can achieve better rehab outcomes using wearable devices. Also, giving virtual coaching is a great way to reinforce key info regarding diet, exercise, condition education and counseling for emotional stress.

Work with your IT team to make these technologies a priority for your patients, and make sure the technology you use is easy to navigate.

Start rehab in the ICU whenever possible.

Research from Johns Hopkins found that the upfront costs of in-hospital rehab for critical patients are outweighed by the savings accrued later for patients. The sooner rehab begins, the stronger these patients become in the long run.

Even patients on life support can benefit from some rehab if it's safe and medically feasible. Consult with your critical care teams to identify when beginning rehab is appropriate and monitor your ICU patients' rehab progress scrupulously.

Coordinate quickly.

Cut the stress of a move directly from the hospital to rehab for your patients by setting up a transfer plan as quickly as possible. Also, double-check details to make sure the facility accepting your patient is completely up-to-speed on his/her status, needs and limitations.

Constantly give your patients information.

Ask your nurses to keep an ongoing dialogue with your patients who are doing in-hospital rehab or those who will start rehab on discharge.

What are they concerned about? What questions do they have? Keep your patients completely in the loop about what's to come during these next stages in their progress. They’ll be more comfortable and do better the more they know.