Thursday, 03 January 2013 22:58

Interview with Darren Bass of Cox Health Featured

Written by Stephanie Johnson

“I really started to look at the vast variety of patients that could utilize this modality as part of their regimen, from occupational, neurological, physical, and speech therapy,” Bass said.

Bass, who is the administrative director of rehab and support services at CoxHealth center in Monett, Mo., is concluding six years of research into aquatic therapy that has culminated in the opening of a new aquatic therapy pool in Monett. Powering through a recession-induced economic hold on capital within CoxHealth systems, two CEOs, and hundreds of hours of research, the new pool is set to open January 14.

“Incorporating aquatic into (a patient’s) regimen to take it to the next step will maybe get them recuperated faster and have more success in their therapy,” Bass said.

Patients are already scheduled to use the pool and the facility receives five to eight pool-related phone calls a day.

When Bass began researching aquatic therapy he looked to Monett’s clientele base and even the national obesity epidemic.

“We looked at the diagnosis related groups from our area and extrapolated the groups we would be able to capture with the pool,” Bass explained.

The Monett facility works with a large referral base from Cox physicians, from orthopedics to neurologists.

“We would get constant referrals from neurologists and orthopedists for aquatic therapy, but we could only do land. The big thing was not being able to give physicians what they wanted for their patients,” Bass said.

Before the new pool opens, patients may have driven upwards of an hour to receive aquatic therapy or specialized athletic treatment. Now these services will be offered at a much more convenient location for patients.

Cox Rehab and Sports Medicine facility consists of 15 therapists specializing in various areas. They treat patients of all types, from families to retired individuals to adolescents.

“What makes our job really exciting is our variety,” Bass said.

The new HydroWorx 500 series aquatic therapy pool will be able to treat a diverse selection of patients utilizing its integrated treadmill and variable resistance jets among other therapeutic devices.

Since the outpatient facility is part of a critical access hospital in a rural area, all of the therapists have to be able to handle a wide array of diagnoses.

“I know it’s effective; I know it’s research based, but getting all my staff trained and ready was a real financial concern for me,” Bass explained.

In talking with other facilities in similar situation to his, Bass was referred to Aquatic Therapy University. The fact that ATU provides hands-on learning was appealing to Bass to provide his therapists with foundational knowledge in aquatic therapy.

“I want the therapist to understand why they’re asking a patient to do an exercise… we want to provide a detailed specific plan of care for each patient,” Bass said.

ATU will be in Monett January 11 and 12 to conduct their Hands-On Aquatic Therapy for the Ortho and Neuro Client seminar. Bass said the class filled up quickly and a few therapists from facilities in Springfield, Mo. will be joining the Monett therapists at the clinic.

After completing the class, Bass hopes his therapists will better understand the properties of water and how to use the water’s resistance to aid patients.

“We’re learning this as trial and error,” Bass said. “We have this initial startup that will provide us with knowledge and education.”

Bass is looking forward to improve aquatic therapy within his facility and to continue its success and interest.

“I don’t want (the pool) to sit empty in five years,” he explained.

Asking questions has helped Bass get this far in the process and he recommends other facilities wanting to branch into aquatic therapy do the same.

“Find successful programs that started and have maintained their therapists’ and patients’ enthusiasm,” Bass said.

Read 1134 times Last modified on Friday, 04 January 2013 12:29

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