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2009.04.21 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO Students Develop a Prototype for Rehabilitation Center Patients

Omaha - A prototype of a Web-based system, also known as a portal, for patients discharged from an Omaha rehabilitation center has been designed by University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) graduate students.

The prototype was designed with the Alegent Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center at the Immanuel Medical Center. The prototype will be presented to Alegent Health staff at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 7, at the Immanuel Medical Center Centennial Conference Room, 6901 N. 72nd St. A group of patients who consulted with the students through the development process will also attend the presentation.

The system – known formally as the Immanuel Rehabilitation Portal – if developed, would allow patients to remain connected via the Internet to rehabilitation staff and other patients outside the Rehabilitation Center. Discharged patients could also use the portal to share their experiences online, access healthcare information, and set and track individual health goals. When developed and launched, the portal would function as an online group-care environment that includes event scheduling, blogging, video and online chat rooms, news and a healthcare library.

The portal also would allow Alegent Health staff to keep track of patients sent home after rehabilitation, evaluate patients’ wellness and provide healthcare information to patients.

“The impact of the portal would allow individuals with disabilities to take control of their lives by networking them with others who have similar injuries or disabilities,” said Jill Powers, Rehabilitation Services Executive at Alegent Health. “It would be another way for patients to receive continued support from their rehab team after being discharged from the hospital. A patient’s adjustment to a permanent disability such as a spinal cord or brain injury can be overwhelming."

Alegent Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center provides rehabilitation care and physical medicine to patients, offering some of the most advanced rehabilitative technologies in the region. The center has received the highest level of accreditation awarded by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

UNO graduate student Jeff Zdan, who participated in the project, said the experience provided real-world learning opportunities.

“After in-depth visioning sessions, we experienced growth and education from an academic perspective and new ways of thinking about using everyday Internet technologies to aid in a new form of enriched rehabilitation,” Zdan said.

The other graduate students in the Capstone Management Information Systems class are: Prince Adu, Eleanor Ehizojie, Jason Fuller, Kyle Grove, Carine Kayijamahe, Mohamed Khaled, Troy Law, Patrick McDonald and Joseph Selvaraj.

To view a video demonstration of the Immanuel Rehabilitation Portal, visit www.rehabportal.org/video

UNO College of Information Science and Technology professors Ann Fruhling and Gert-Jan de Vreede guided the semester-long project.

* *

UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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