Federally Designated the Only Rehabilitation Outcomes Research and Training Center in the Nation - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Published on December 04, 2009

RIC Federally Designated the Only Rehabilitation Outcomes Research and Training Center in the Nation

RIC holds more federal research and clinical care designations than any other rehabilitation care hospital in the country

Chicago, Ill. - The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), the nation’s #1 rehabilitation hospital, is leading research and development of rehabilitation outcomes measures through its redesignation as the nation’s only Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) awarded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research’s (NIDRR).

Dr. Allen Heinemann, Ph.D.

Dr. Allen Heinemann, Ph.D.,

Program Director and

Principal Investigator, RIC

Through this award, RIC’s Center for Rehabilitation Outcomes Research will lead the industry to address the critical outcome measurement needs of the rehabilitation community. This critical outcomes research will improve patient care through identifying benchmarks and better understanding the efficacy of current clinical care. This award is RIC’s second, five-year RRTC designation, which will run through 2014. RIC holds the most federal designations of any rehabilitation hospital in the country.

The project is designed to improve measures of cognition and environmental factors for patients with traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke, as well as increase the efficiency of data collection for disability populations in federally-funded clinical health studies. Upon identifying improved outcome measures, clinicians from around the world will be equipped to provide a higher quality of patient care.

“This designation is an important step in measuring and reporting critical outcomes for patients with severe disabilities as they can experience complex cognitive, physical, sensory and emotional impairments that standardized test protocols do not address,” said Dr. Allen Heinemann, Ph.D., Program Director and Principal Investigator, RIC. “Through this program, we plan to combine innovative measurement, data collection and reporting methods with practical concern for usability and implementation in the clinical setting.”

Specifically, this research program will:

  • Increase the accessibility of measures of cognitive function for use in rehabilitation settings so that consumers’ needs are documented and rehabilitation clinicians can deliver optimally effective services
  • Establish the reliability, validity, and sensitivity of measures of cognitive functioning for persons with disabilities within the NIH Toolbox, the Executive Function Performance Test, TBI-QOL and NeuroQOL projects
  • Evaluate, develop and refine measures of barriers and facilitators of community participation, enabling better evaluation of the outcomes of rehabilitation services
  • Utilize the large set of data to validate cognitive items on the CARE Tool
  • Evaluate the extent to which the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) represents disablement characteristics by mapping instruments within this RRTC to concepts within the ICF.

RIC will conduct research, host forums for discussion, publish key findings, train new researchers and disseminate information to various scientific and consumer audiences as part of this designation, including post-graduate and post-doctoral training opportunities and conferences on rehabilitation outcome measurement. RIC also plans to develop a Web site to provide information to stakeholder groups on measurement of rehabilitation outcomes across the continuum of post-acute settings.

For more information on RIC or the RRTC on Improving Measurement of Medical Rehabilitation Outcomes, please visit http://www.ric.org/research/centers/.&

RIC’s NIDRR Stroke Research and Training Center

In 2008, RIC was awarded its fourth consecutive, five-year designation as the federal stroke research and training center by National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) Stroke Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) developed to advance rehabilitation care for the nearly six million[2] people living with stroke.

RIC’s NIDRR Midwest Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System

In 2008, NIDRR designated RIC's Brain Injury Medicine and Rehabilitation program a Model System of Care, one of 16 facilities in the United States to which this distinction is awarded. The program, then named the Midwest Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, is dedicated to exploring treatments that improve cognition, function and community living for people with TBI.

RIC’s NIDRR Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System

In 2007, NIDRR designated RIC's Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation program the Model System of Care, then named the Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System, a collaboration of rehabilitation care provided by RIC and acute care provided by Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH). NIDRR's grant will support projects related to the accessibility, delivery, and evaluation of spinal cord injury care and the use of advanced technology to improve long-term health benefits for spinal cord injured patients.

RIC’s NIDRR Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center

In 2007, NIDRR designated RIC’s ‘Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke’ program the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Stroke – the only RERC focused on robotics. This program creates and investigates the role of robotics in stroke recovery. This is RIC’s second, five year designation for this program.

RIC’s NIH Engineering for Neurologic Rehabilitation Program

Awarded in 2005, RIC’s Engineering for Neurologic Rehabilitation Program is one of six NIH designations in their National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research R24 program – the only one focused on engineering. RIC researchers and engineers are innovating unique treatments to help in the rehabilitation of stroke, brain injury and other neurologic conditions.

About The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is making a difference in the world for people with disabilities. RIC provides world-class care to patients from around the globe for a range of conditions from acute brain and spinal cord injury to chronic arthritis, pain and sports injuries. RIC, founded in 1954, has been designated the "#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America" by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991 and attributes its leading standard of care in part to its innovative research and discovery, particularly in the areas of bionic medicine, robotics, neural regeneration, pain care and better outcomes. RIC operates its 165-bed, flagship hospital in downtown Chicago, as well as a network of 30 sites of care located throughout the city and surrounding suburbs that provide additional inpatient care, day rehabilitation and outpatient services. RIC also maintains strategic alliances with leading healthcare providers throughout the state of Illinois and Indiana.