How to Find the Best Pulmonary Rehab Program For You

Posted on: December 9, 2015

7 Things to Look For in a Top Pulmonary Rehab Program

by Dr. Harlan Weinberg, MD, Medical Director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program and Critical Care Services at NWH at Chappaqua Crossing.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a highly specialized therapy that when administered properly is remarkably effective.  In fact, the results can be life-changing.  Many people don’t realize that their frequent shortness of breath can actually be helped with pulmonary rehab.  (See my blog, Can Pulmonary Rehab Help Me?.)

Finding a facility that is conveniently located may be important, but these are essential factors you should consider to find the right place for you.

  1. Flexibility of scheduling… can they accommodate YOUR schedule?
  2. Professional depth and experience of the staff and program…  Ask about the accreditation of the program, and the therapists’ training and background.  Is the program nationally certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR)?  Are they accredited by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)?  Are they staffed with Registered Respiratory Therapists?  Clinical Exercise Physiologist?  Board-certified Pulmonologist?
  3. Assessing your condition… How thoroughly will they evaluate your current pulmonary function?  Do they use a Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) to diagnose the cause and severity of breathing disorders?  PFTs help the doctor evaluate conditions such as shortness of breath, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and emphysema. These tests may also be used to determine whether specific therapy (for example bronchodialators) will be helpful in treating your lung condition.
  4. Medically-supervised exercise…  Are there physicians on-site to monitor your progress?
  5. Patient safety…  Is your safety a priority at the facility?
  6. Patient education…  Will they teach you how to incorporate techniques and learnings into your daily life?
  7. Patient experience…  What do other patients say about their experience at the facility?

For more information about pulmonary rehabilitation contact us online or call 914.458.8700.