Getting to Know the Healthcare Continuum: The Long Term Acute Care Hospital

What is Long Term Acute Care?

Long term acute care is defined as medical care provided to patients who require ongoing hospitalization for a longer period of time than typically provided in a general acute care hospital. The average length of stay varies by patient medical need.

What Types of Patients are Appropriate for Long Term Acute Care (list is not all-inclusive)?

*Traumatic Brain Injury
*Complex Pulmonary Disease and Ventilator weaning
*Neuromuscular/ Neurovascular Disorders
*Multisystem Organ Failure
*Spinal Cord Injury
*Post surgical deconditioning
*Stroke with Dysphagia/Aphasia/Paresis
* Long Term IV therapies (antibiotics, TPN)
*Non Healing Chronic Wounds
*Acute or Chronic Renal Disease
What Distinguishes Long Term Acute Care from Skilled and Nursing Care?

Patients requiring long term acute care require access to a high acuity healthcare model with 24/7 onsite physicians, medical/surgical experienced nursing staff, respiratory therapists, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology, rehabilitation department and an ICU.  Skilled and nursing home care is limited in the range and frequency of services provided and is more nursing oriented with monthly physician visits.

How Often Do Physicians Round on Patients? Daily

What makes Long Term Acute Care so unique for the Healing Process?

A transdisciplinary care approach is utilized to provide simultaneous acute medical care and therapy services during the patient’s recovery.  This approach drastically reduces long-term setbacks due to the catastrophic illnesses that patients are suffering from and achieves shorter recovery times.  The transdisciplinary team focuses on the individual needs of each patient, conducts ongoing team conferences, and is directed by a physician and includes nursing, case management, pharmacy, nutritional services, rehab therapy, social and psychological services.  Patients and their family members are important members of the care team, and are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the patient’s care.

How are Patients Referred to a Long Term Acute Care Hospital?

Patients can be referred by physicians, social workers, case managers, patient care givers and family members.  Intake coordinators at the hospital are available to facilitate the admission process.  Clinical nurse liaisons in the field interact directly with patients and referral sources to ensure a safe and efficient transition of care from the previous clinical setting.

Information provided by Colorado Acute Long Term Care Hospital 1690 N Meade Street Denver, CO 80204 303-264-6800