• patient classification system;
  • rehabilitation facilities;
  • work load

This article describes, the process used by nurse executives at four freestanding rehabilitation facilities to implement and validate an interactive patient classification system. The research process involved defining critical indicators, measuring workloads by level of staff, and validating the number of care hours for the levels of patient classification. The database enabled the four consortium members to share their knowledge, resources, and costs of implementing a patient classification system, and it provides a benchmark of rehabilitation services. The study data are being used in making staffing decisions, preparing and defending budgets, and identifying the cost of care by disability classification.