Studies show early mobility therapies reduce length of ICU stay

Patients leave ICU earlier, cutting costs for healthcare providers with mobility therapy

TAMPA, Fla. – Healthcare facilities can cut intensive care unit (ICU) patient length of stay an average of more than two days and generate hefty savings by taking advantage of the new breed of motor-assisted, technologically-advanced movement therapy devices, according to research found by Tampa-based EnableMe.

“The research we found showed a financial model based on implementation of early rehabilitation programs compiled in a Johns Hopkins review projected net financial savings in 20 of 24 scenarios ranging up to $3.7 million annually,” commented Joseph Scanlan, President of Enable Me. “That’s a savings in healthcare costs that CEOs, CFOs and boards can really be proud of.”

Another more recent study of 900 patient cases showed hospital savings through speedier treatment, mobility and discharge also demonstrated a savings of $800,000 annually.

As early as 2013, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine review found implementation of effective early rehabilitation interventions targeting physical impairment helped reduce healthcare costs resulting from a reduction in the duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU and hospital LOS.

A medical ICU (MICU) quality improvement project, consisting of a multidisciplinary team approach to sedation and rehabilitation practices, was associated with a decrease in average ICU and hospital LOS of 2.1 and 3.1 days, respectively, with a 20 percent increase in MICU admissions compared with the same period from the previous year.

“It is basic medical knowledge that a static human body will deteriorate at a greater rate than an active human body,” said Mike Laky, CEO of Enable Me. “This modern breed of user-friendly early mobility therapies get the patient’s body moving, enhancing blood flow and renal activity, reducing spasticity and urinary tract infections and improving the patient’s overall quality of life.”

A 2017 University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Narrative Review, Early Rehabilitation After Stroke, concluded the best results in early rehabilitation have been seen in upper extremity constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) studies. CIMT studies involve constraining movements of the less-affected arm, usually with a sling or a mitt for 90 percent of waking hours, while intensively inducing the use of the more-affected arm. For the upper extremity, CIMT appears to have benefit when started within two weeks of stroke. There is a window of enhanced neuroplasticity early after stroke, during which the brain’s dynamic response to injury is heightened and rehabilitation might be particularly effective.

The review concluded that beyond 24 hours after stroke, rehabilitation of diverse types appears to be safe and the best results in the early time window have been seen in the upper extremity CIMT studies. It analyzed that it is highly plausible that early intervention to prevent learned overuse of the unaffected side impacts cortical reorganization in a beneficial way.

Healthcare facilities and organizations using Enable Me’s MOTOmed line of products as key components in their Early Mobility Programs are also showing significant bed space return on investment (ROI) by helping patients recover more quickly and advance to other levels of care or discharge.

MOTOmed devices also enhance physical therapy staff time allocation by allowing fewer therapists to manage the recovery process for more patients. Facilities also achieve a return on safety (ROS) through the reduction of lifting injuries suffered by nursing and physical therapy staff because patients can use MOTOmed devices in their hospital beds, chairs or wheelchairs.

“Most patients can use MOTOmed while never leaving their wheelchair or bed,” added Scanlan. “There is no need for a potentially unsafe transfer to another device and that lowers the risk of a fall or spinal stress on the therapist or caregiver.”

The application of functional electric stimulation (FES) offered in some MOTOmed devices is also an important element in therapy and rehabilitation of paralytic illnesses and injuries. FES can be used to improve motor behavior, build up strength, stabilize the cardiovascular system and other possibilities contributing to enhanced mobility.

Data-driven physical therapy is in higher demand by providers and researchers, CMS and insurance companies, and Enable Me’s products and services track patient activity and training so the statistics of recovery and progress can be documented.

“With the objective data our devices generate, we can show the metrics of recovery and the ongoing proof that the therapy is working,” Laky said.


Enable Me is the largest provider of products from German manufacturer RECK-Technik GmbH & Co. KG in the U.S. Enable Me’s mission is to improve the quality of life by providing user-friendly, motor-assisted movement therapy devices designed to restore natural body movement in people suffering from neuromuscular injury or disease.

Enable Me’s products benefit healthcare facilities by offering high-quality, dependable, computer controlled therapy devices that hasten recovery and offer staff safety and financial advantages. With Enable Me’s products, caregivers and end users have the confidence that they are applying the most modern movement therapy processes that can hasten return to mobility for loved ones and patients in wheelchairs. For more information, please visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *