Utah Valley Specialty Hospital
Jun 21, 2016
Utah - Utah
A Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) is an acute care hospital that specializes in the treatment of serious medical conditions that require ongoing care, but no longer require intensive care or extensive diagnostic procedures.
These patients require more care than they can receive in a rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility, or at home. LTACHs focus on ventilator weaning, wound management, and treatment of other medically complex conditions.
How are patients admitted to an LTACH?
LTACH scope of services is geared toward patients who have had a recent ICU or prolonged hospital stay. Patients get referred to an LTACH by a physician when the need for extended hospital care is anticipated. A screening is completed to ensure appropriateness for admission using criteria from the patients insurer. If patients meet LTACH criteria they are transported via ambulance for further care. Arrival at an LTACH will feel very similar to a patients acute care hospital stay.
Who is the typical LTACH patient?
The typical LTACH patient spent several days or weeks in an ICU or on a medical/surgical floor being treated for acute medical conditions. When patients require ongoing long term hospital treatment for management of an infectious disease, ventilator weaning, wound care, or other medically complex conditions, an LTACH provides the next level of care. Nurse to patient ratios in an LTACH are similar to a traditional hospital and patients continue to be seen daily by a physician.
Which healthcare providers are involved in patient care at an LTACH?
Patients are assessed and treated by an interdisciplinary team comprised of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, dietitians, pharmacists, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, wound and infection control specialists, care managers, and patient care technicians. A host of other non-clinical departments contribute to the comfort and healing of LTACH patients.
Is an LTACH like a nursing home?
LTACH patients are typically too medically complex for a nursing home level of care. Admission to an LTACH avoids using valuable skilled nursing facility days granted by Medicare. LTACH criteria include the need to be seen daily by a physician, a service not generally offered at a nursing home. Nursing and respiratory services are also more available in an LTACH.
Following are the most common services and conditions available for treatment at an LTACH:
Medically Complex Conditions
Editors Note: This article was submitted by Ginger Fisher, RN, MPA. Ginger is the Chief Operating Officer at Utah Valley Specialty Hospital and can be reached at 801-226-5885 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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