South Florida Hospital News
Thursday August 28, 2014
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August 2013 - Volume 10 - Issue 2

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What Is a Transitional Care Hospital?

Transitional Care Hospitals (TCHs) are acute-care hospitals that specialize in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients who require a prolonged length of stay due to complex medical problems.
 
Certified as long-term acute care hospitals and licensed as acute care hospitals, TCHs are unique in their ability to care for critically ill patients who require specialized and goal-directed care over an extended recovery time. They have an additional Medicare certification that supports a length of stay measured in weeks as compared to the typical five-day stay for patients in traditional acute-care hospitals.
 
The five Kindred Transitional Care Hospitals in South Florida provide a continuum of care which allows patients and their families to stay in the area when long-term acute care is needed. The other South Florida hospitals are Kindred Hospital South Florida - Ft. Lauderdale, Kindred Hospital South Florida - Coral Gables, Kindred Hospital South Florida - Hollywood and Kindred Hospital Melbourne.
 
TCH patients require an average length of stay of 25-30 days, and have many co-existing medical conditions, some acute and some chronic. Some of the services TCH patients require are:
• Dialysis
• Ventilator management and weaning
• Special monitoring
• Wound care
• Nutritional therapy
• Pain management and IV therapy
 
Some of the conditions commonly seen in a TCH are:
• Pulmonary disease
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• Emphysema
• Multiple organ system failure
• Ventilator dependence
• Cardiac disease
• Pressure wounds
• Neuromuscular diseases
• Gastrointestinal diseases
• Post-operative complications such as infection, bleeding or stroke
 
Our goal is to help patients recover so they can live independently and return to their home and community. In cases when independence is not possible, we help patients achieve the highest level of function possible, so they can move on to the next level of care, whether a skilled nursing facility, transitional care unit or home with specialized home care services.
 
In a TCH, care is provided by an interdisciplinary team that may be made up of physicians, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists or others. The team’s goal is to identify the patient’s medical conditions, formulate a treatment plan, set reasonable goals and coordinate care, ultimately resulting in improvement over the long term. Family members are crucial members of the recovery and healing team.
 
Transitional Care Hospitals like Kindred work because of the integrated healing approach, team orientation, skilled and experienced nursing care, and the interdisciplinary focus.
 
In some cases, the patient’s regular physician will continue to see the patient if he or she is moved to a TCH; in other cases, the patient’s care will be transferred to a physician who specializes in caring for patients who require long-term acute care. Nursing staff levels are comparable to those at a short-term acute care hospital, as are staffing levels for therapists and other clinicians.
 
Transitional care hospitals have become an integral part of healthcare in the United States, resulting in fewer hospital readmissions and lower costs. Kindred Hospitals are part of Kindred Healthcare, the largest diversified provider of post-acute care services in the United States and a Fortune magazine Most Admired Healthcare Company for five years in a row.
Tim Page, Chief Executive Officer of Kindred Hospital The Palm Beaches, can be reached at (561) 840-0754. For more information on Kindred Hospitals or Kindred Healthcare, visit Kindredhealthcare.com.
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