How transitional treatment can boost recovery success after a hospital stay
After a medical event or surgery, the main desire is to get home and return to normal life. There is often a mistaken belief that being at home can make everything right. But without proper transitional care, there is an increased risk of readmission to the hospital for problems that might have been avoidable. For example, fewer than 50% of patients go see their primary care providers within two weeks of being discharged from the hospital, even though they were instructed to make a follow-up appointment. When care is ended abruptly without transitional care, serious issues from infection to new injuries can occur.
What is transitional care?
Today’s medical community is more aware of the importance of providing transitional care, which is the collection of services aimed at providing a safe return home after a hospital stay. Some studies have shown that effective transitional care can reduce the rate of hospital readmission by up to 45%. Instead of sending a patient home with a folder full of instructions and warnings, which hopefully will be followed, a transitional care program makes sure that the patient receives the proper post-hospital care and is capable and ready to return home. Here are some of the areas that need to be addressed before a patient returns home.
Personal care issues – Just because a patient was able to prepare meals, take a shower and complete daily activities before entering the hospital doesn’t mean he or she can do it all when they leave the hospital. Everything from driving restrictions to balance issues can affect a person’s lifestyle after hospitalization. Transitional care anticipates the challenges and come up with solutions to meet them.
Medication management – Taking medications properly is an important part of the recovery process. The patient needs to have a clear understanding of how and why medications are taken. Some medication must be taken before eating while others need to be taken after eating. Some medications are taken only if certain conditions arise. Making sure that the patient understands all of these parameters is an important part of transitional care.
Being aware of personal health – Patients should be able to monitor their progress during recovery so that doctors can make adjustments as needed. If taking blood pressure, monitoring blood sugar or other activities is not possible, arrangements need to be made for a caregiver to complete these tasks.
Being in contact with physician – Going to see a primary care physician at prescribed intervals is important during recovery. If there are transportation issues, then arrangements need to be made to give assistance for getting to the appointments.
Being vigilant for complications – A patient needs to be aware of conditions that need immediate attention. Redness at a wound site, chest pains or other warning signals of serious complications need to be relayed to a medical professional as soon as possible. If a patient is not able to do this, a plan must be in place for someone else to provide this care.
Professional transitional care
For many patients, the best transitional care following a hospital stay is found at a short-term care facility where a vigilant staff is present around the clock. Whitehall of Deerfield is one of the premier facilities for providing this level of care and has consistently received Medicare’s highest rating in Medicare’s five-star rating system of nursing and rehabilitation centers. The expert staff provides one-on-one physical, occupational and speech therapies up to seven days a week with the goal of returning the patient home as quickly as possible. The expert nursing team and support staff are ready with round-the-clock care for every need that arises from wound care to pain management.
The multidisciplinary team understands that the goal is to have an independent lifestyle. After spending time at Whitehall of Deerfield working on everyday skills, patients can move into a transitional suite for a trial run of living on their own for a few days. During this time, problems can be identified and addressed before the guest heads home. Staff can also provide virtual home assessments and visits as part of transitional care.
This effective care is offered in world-class comfort. Attentive concierge service, daily delivery of Starbucks coffee and newspaper to your room, valet parking for your visitors, in-room dining and a Wellness Spa are just a few of the many services offered during a stay at Whitehall of Deerfield. Meals from a diverse menu can be taken in the privacy of your room or in the elegant dining room. Gourmet coffee, freshly-baked goods and ice cream refreshments are also available to all guests.
For the effective transitional care that will get you home safely, choose Whitehall of Deerfield. To learn more about Whitehall of Deerfield, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.