Health & Wellness Resources


Patient Criteria Quick Guide


When planning your patient's next step for rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, consider the following before discharge:

  • Where are they going?
  • What support do they have there?
  • What challenges or obstacles will the patient encounter at discharge?

then consider these functions and how a comprehensive skilled nursing and rehabilitation center such as Heartland Health Care Center or ManorCare Health Services can help your patient meet their goal of returning home safely. 

Cognitive function

  • Has trouble following commands?
  • Has trouble making needs known?
  • Has trouble remembering?
  • Gets agitated or distracted?
  • Has problems with reading comprehension?
  • Cannot understand complex conversation?


Eating and dietary function

  • Holds food in mouth?
  • Needs to be fed any part of the meal?
  • Coughs or chokes with food or drink?
  • Has recent weight loss?
  • Has trouble preparing food and cleaning up?
  • Needs to follow special dietary restrictions?
  • Requires enteral or parenteral feeding?
  • Needs diabetic education?


Mobility and positioning

  • Has had a recent fall?
  • Unsteady or holds onto something to walk?
  • Not able to ambulate on curbs/steps/ramps/carpet/uneven surfaces?
  • Leans in chair/wheelchair?
  • Has slow/jerky head/arm/leg movements?
  • Unable to cross busy street?


  • Slides out of wheelchair?
  • Has stiffness in hand/arm/leg?
  • Unable to reach safely?
  • Has difficulty managing stairs?
  • Has a cast or external fixator device?
  • has chronic pain or discomfort limiting movement?


Transfer and self management

  • Needs to be moved with a lift?
  • Needs help moving in bed?
  • Needs help to transfer on varied height surfaces?
  • Needs help combing hair?
  • Needs help in/out of bed/wheelchair?
  • Needs help on/off toilet?
  • Needs help transferring into automobile?


  • Needs help dressing?
  • Needs help to lift and carry objects (on stairs if needed)?
  • Needs help to handle uneven terrain?
  • Needs help to safely cross busy street?
  • Needs help to dust/mop/launder/vacuum?
  • Needs help to maneuver around pets?


Medical management

  • Unable to manage multiple medications and medication schedule?
  • On a medication that requires adjustment based on therapeutic blood levels?
  • Unable to manage co-morbidities?
  • Needs training in wound care cleaning and dressing?
  • Nees training in I.V. line care (parenteral, central)? Presence of a port?
  • Has any type of tube or drain (chest tube, Pleurx catheter, JP drain, etc)?
  • Requires self-urinary catheterization?
  • Has an ostomy or fecal pouch?


  • Has a tracheostomy?
  • Requires use of oxygen or suctioning?
  • Has a pacemaker of LVAD?
  • Is diabetic requiring regular blood glucose monitoring and insulin adjustments?
  • Requires the use of any type of pump (pain, insulin, etc)?
  • Has an infection requiring use of special infection control precautions?
  • Requires peritoneal or hemodialysis?
  • Presence of a graft site?
  • Is at the end of life?


For more information on the criteria for placing a patient in a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, please contact a nurse liaison or admissions team at a center near you.