Let's begin with an illustration. Jim, a general contractor, is 57 years old. One day, he starts having headaches and blurry eyesight. After a long day of work, he feels worn out and goes to bed. He is unable to speak or move his right arm the following morning. His wife hurries him to the emergency room, where a stroke is discovered to have occurred. Jim undergoes inpatient care for a number of days, which includes speech and physical therapy. It is concluded that he will require ongoing therapy for his stroke deficits after he is medically stable.
Currently, Jim will gain from post-acute care services. He might be moved to another facility to continue his therapy, or he might get these treatments at an outpatient facility or at home.
The demand for post-acute care is rising nationwide. The 50% of patients who are released from an inpatient environment will get post-acute care. We shall discuss post-acute care in more detail here, along with its advantages for patients and the healthcare system.
Post-Acute Care: What Is It?Post-acute care is the type of treatment provided after a patient leaves an acute care facility, typically a hospital. For a brief period of time, hospitals, ambulatory care facilities, and emergency rooms provide care to treat a particular illness or injury. When the patient is stable, which does not always imply that the condition or diagnosis has been treated, they are released from the hospital.
Post-acute care is defined by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), often known as JCAHO, as treatments provided to patients whose conditions have stabilized following acute hospitalization to help them return to their communities. Post-acute care was initially developed as only an addition to acute care to save costs and shorten inpatient stays, but it was frequently insufficient, necessitating the need for higher-quality treatment.
Services Provided in Post-Acute CareConsider post-acute care as a changeover or transfer of care. To ensure continuity of care, hospitals create referral networks with particular service providers. Facilities and services for post-acute care include:
Who Cares For Post-Acutely?This is dependent upon the diagnosis, the severity of the damage, and the required level of care. While a patient healing from a fall and arm fracture may only require a few weeks of home health care, a patient suffering from a traumatic brain injury will need round-the-clock care. The following patient problems are frequently treated in post-acute settings:
Post-Acute Care's AdvantagesEncourage continuous healing. Because they typically have several chronic comorbidities and heal more slowly than younger individuals, older persons frequently need ongoing care after a disease. Post-acute care aims to encourage independence, improve quality of life, and avoid problems. Studies in Taiwan revealed that getting post-acute care reduced mortality, improved ADLs and cognition, and reduced pain and sadness.
Keep readmissions at bay. Medicare detests covering unnecessary medical expenses. So much so that Medicare reduces their reimbursement to the hospital if a patient is readmitted within 30 days of release with the same illness. This is why post-acute care is so important for reducing readmissions.
Cost reductions. It is simple to see why getting older is associated with easier access to healthcare. Surprisingly, data reveals the number of acute hospitalization days has declined despite the fact that our population is getting older. Post-acute care was initially created as a means of shortening the length of hospital stays for acute treatment, which would save expenditures.
Lessen the burden of healthcare. The burden of healthcare is lessened as a result of all of these advantages. Less stress is put on the healthcare system as a whole by avoiding difficulties, boosting health and recovery, decreasing readmissions, and making financial savings.
Long-Term Care Is Not Post-Acute CareThe distinction between a skilled nursing facility (SNF) and a post-acute facility could be unclear. To continue receiving intensive therapy for several more weeks, patients are occasionally moved into SNFs. Although patients might have post-acute care for a long time, this is different from placing an elderly patient in an SNF or retirement community. The best way to explain the distinction is that patients receiving long-term care are already living at home, in contrast to those receiving post-acute care, whose final objective is for the patient to return home.
The Prospects for Post-Acute CareThe demand for more comprehensive post acute care will increase as the population continues to age. Technology developments in telehealth and virtual monitoring will enhance follow-up care and the ability to identify issues. To educate and avoid hospital admissions, as well as to manage and achieve optimal recovery, new models of care and programs for seniors and chronic illnesses will be developed.
In many post-acute care settings, Bridgeway Senior Healthcare employs nurses and other associated professions. Browse our job board to locate the ideal setting and establishment for your skills.