Prior retrospective studies suggest that physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) acute care consultation improves outcome and reduces acute care length of stay (ACLOS) in trauma patients. There have not been prospective studies to evaluate this impact in burn patients. This cohort study compared outcomes before and after the introduction of a PM&R consultation service to the acute burn program, and the inpatient rehabilitation program, at a large academic hospital. The primary outcome measures were length of stay (LOS) in acute care and during subsequent inpatient rehabilitation. For the acute care phase, there were 194 patients in the preconsultation group and 114 who received a consultation. There was no difference in age, Baux score, or LOS in these patients. For the rehabilitation phase, there were 109 patients in the prephysiatrist group and 104 who received PM&R care. The LOS was significantly shorter in the latter group (24 days vs 30 days, P = .002). Functional independence measure (FIM) change, unexpected readmission, and discharge destination were not significantly different. The addition of a burn physiatrist did not influence ACLOS. However, there was a significant reduction in inpatient rehabilitation LOS.
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