St. Luke’s uses Smooth Moves’ to merge

St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, WA, was created by the merger of three hospitals, each with distinct rehabilitation units: Sacred Heart Medical Center, Deaconess Medical Center, and St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital.

Here’s how it worked:

The new facility is located in what was St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital, which underwent a $5 million remodeling program to turn it into a rehab hospital.

When St. Luke’s was closed as an acute care hospital in 1993, its program was combined with the rehab program at Deaconess Medical Center, both of which were owned by Empire Health Services.

In 1994, the programs combined with Sacred Heart and moved into the new facility, which is jointly owned by Sacred Heart Medical Center and Empire Health Services.

The decision was announced in January 1994, the staff got involved in March, and the merger took place in September of the same year.

A "Smooth Moves" committee worked out the logistics. Physiatrists started admitting patients to the new facility so that only 10 patients were moved in the middle of their rehab stay.

The facility is the only freestanding rehabilitation hospital in the state of Washington. Even though it is a combination of two rehab programs, the facility had to go through the same licensure, certificate of need, and accreditation procedures as if it were a new facility.

Licensed for 102 beds, the hospital is set up for 72. The average daily census is 50 patients.