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Update on AAPM&R COVID-19 Research Opportunities

Aug 04, 2020

AAPM&R recently facilitated conversations on COVID-19 research opportunities for PM&R with a voluntary research-focused work group. During these conversations, two areas of COVID research interests arose: telehealth and analysis of data currently collected in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) setting and retroactively comparing it with data collected prior to the Public Health Emergency (PHE). Both the 3-Hour and 60% Rules that IRFs must comply with have been suspended during the PHE. This group hopes to learn their effectiveness by analyzing pre- and post-COVID-19 data.

The work group decided to pursue the research idea to answer clinical questions on patients in IRFs using the standard Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR) data that many IRFs are already collecting. In addition, they want to supplement that data with other sources (i.e., information on shelter in place orders by state/city/region, etc.). The work group recommended institutions that are model systems of care to be part of this research opportunity because their commitment to collecting sound data is already confirmed. Furthermore, the work group came to the decision that the Academy’s Clinical Data Registry serving as the hub for this data collection effort is ideal. This will help to avoid any one institution needing to be the hub and providing an opportunity for future research collaboration opportunities. Each interested institution is now working through the details of participating in this collective effort through the Academy.

The telehealth idea is being pursued by many members in their own institutions. The Academy is also planning a telehealth practice collaborative where members will be invited to participate in a learning community by sharing their practice data and using the de-identified aggregate data to identify common challenges of successful practices. More details on this opportunity will be announced soon.

If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please reach out to