Cabell Huntington Hospital has a long history of caring for seniors. The Transitional Care Unit was established on February 24, 1994, to provide comprehensive, sub-acute skilled nursing care to patients recovering from an acute illness or surgical event. The 15-bed unit specializes in caring for post-operative orthopedic patients and patients recovering from a stroke, and it is well equipped to meet the needs of any patient requiring skilled nursing care due to debilitation or weakness from a prolonged illness or hospital stay. Our patients do not require continued acute-care services, but are not yet ready for discharge or admission to other healthcare facilities.
The focus of the Transitional Care Unit is on rehabilitative and restorative care. The unit offers a team approach in providing care to patients. In addition to the physician and nursing staff, the team includes representatives from Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, the Lab and the Pharmacy, as well as an Activities Director and the Medical Director. The team meets weekly to discuss each patient’s progress toward discharge, and the patient and families are encouraged to attend and participate.
Unlike many other hospital units, the Transitional Care Unit offers a schedule of activities and opportunities for patients to socialize. Patients are encouraged to engage with others and to begin performing day-to-day activities in keeping with their illness or condition. There is a beauty salon near the unit and an activity room where patients can play games, watch television and interact at their leisure. The relationships and skills patients build during unit activities support them and often help motivate them to work harder at their rehabilitation and return to their normal lives.
Although the staff is experienced in providing care for the patients they serve, they receive ongoing education about providing care to seniors, the largest group of patients in the unit. Some staff members have earned certifications in gerontology, and all staff members receive training from Cabell Huntington’s Senior Services Department, which was created to help the hospital meet the unique needs of seniors.
The unit accepts Medicare and private pay insurance. The average length of stay is 10-13 days, and the unit averages an 87% occupancy rate. Cabell Huntington Hospital is one of few hospitals in the state and the Tri-State with Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) certification, identifying Cabell Huntington as one of about 300 hospitals in North America working to achieve systematic nursing change that will benefit hospitalized older patients. The Transitional Care Unit received 5 stars out of 5 from Medicare in 2009 and continues to rate above 90% in comparison to other long-term-care facilities in West Virginia. Patient satisfaction scores are always above the goal, and most patients and families request to be re-admitted if the need arises.
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