Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group Nursing Centers Expanding Focus on Post-Hospital Transitional Care

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The increase in hospital re-admissions for seniors creates a need for quality post-hospital transitional care. Short Stay Units at Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group nursing centers are designed to promote a patients safe and timely transition between varying levels of health care and across care settings.

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Brianne LaRue, LPN, a staff nurse on the Short Stay Unit at Harbor House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Hingham, MA.

“Many older adults are vulnerable to breaks in their medical care and it’s our goal to eliminate these breakdowns and increase communication between care settings,” says Nancy Zappolo, director of referral and case management for the Welch Group.

According to the American Health Care Administration (ACHC), hospitals have seen a rise in re-admission rates for seniors. Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group nursing centers in Massachusetts understand the potential for adverse physical and emotional effects on seniors as a result of hospital re-admissions. The Welch Group’s nursing centers’ dedicated Short Stay Units highlight the organization’s continued efforts to provide quality post-hospital transitional care that will be beneficial in preventing these effects whenever possible.

Transitional care covers a broad range of services that are designed to promote a patients safe and timely transition between varying levels of health care and across care settings. The post-hospital Short-Stay Units at Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group’s rehabilitation and nursing centers are designed to support a successful transition from hospital to home by providing rehabilitation therapy, complex nursing care, disease education and comprehensive discharge planning to facilitate the patient returning home physically stronger and better prepared.

“Delivering skilled transitional care has the potential to decrease hospital readmissions for seniors, while at the same time the ability to reduce spiraling hospital costs,” says Richard M. Welch, president of Welch Healthcare & Retirement Group. Studies show that return visits to hospitals within 30 days, account for one in nine hospital admissions. The American Health Care Association (AHCA), the nation’s largest association of long-term and post-acute care providers, considers preventing re-hospitalizations for older adults to be a critical component in reducing overall healthcare costs to the Medicare program as well the negative physical and emotional effects re-hospitalization may have on patients.

The Short Stay Unit at Harbor House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Hingham, MA, has been easing the transition between hospital and home for area seniors for over a year. “The unit is a model for patient-centered care,” says Susan Jessup, administrator of Harbor House Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. The goal, according to Jessup, is to seamlessly bridge rehabilitation initiated in the hospital with therapies provided at Harbor House in order to assure a successful transition to home for adults with multiple medical conditions and complex treatment regimes. On average patients spend 5-10 days on the centers’ transitional care unit. Patients return home with an extensive discharge plan that includes follow-up with their primary care physician and any specialists, coordination of homecare services and medical equipment, as well as education on how to manage their medical condition and medications at home.

“Many older adults are vulnerable to breaks in their medical care and it’s our goal to eliminate these breakdowns and increase communication between care settings,” says Nancy Zappolo, director of referral and case management for Welch Healthcare & Retirement Group. According to Zappolo patients are moving quickly from hospital to nursing center to home. Developing a comprehensive communications system between the hospitals, rehabilitation and nursing centers and a patient’s caregivers will be essential to the success of the larger state wide initiative aimed at reducing hospital costs.

Harbor House’s Short-Stay Unit, modeled after the successful Short Stay Unit at Welch Group’s Hancock Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Quincy, MA, provides a specialized orthopedic program, cardiac & pulmonary care, post-operative recovery care, and wound care and diabetes management. The 15-bed unit features spacious private rooms and semi-private rooms, each with a flat screen TV, and a support staff of nurses and rehabilitation specialists.

Additional Welch Group nursing centers in Massachusetts providing dedicated, post-hospital transitional care units for seniors include the 19-bed Short Stay Unit at Hancock Park in Quincy as well as the 36-bed Short Stay Sub-Acute Unit at Colonial Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Weymouth, MA.

For more than 65 years, Welch Healthcare and Retirement Group has been leading the way in senior care services, providing a continuum of care to seniors and their families who may need housing or care options, including independent living, assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care, Alzheimer’s care, adult day health and home care services. Residences and skilled centers are located in Brighton and throughout the South Shore of Massachusetts including Braintree, Duxbury, Hingham, Marshfield, Quincy and Weymouth. To learn more visit: http://www.welchhrg.com

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Brian Cosgrove
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