SGCMH Provides ‘Swing Bed’ Care For Those Not Ready To Go Home

The Swing Bed program at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital (SGCMH) enables a physician to “swing” the level of care provided to patients from acute medical care to a skilled level of care.

“When recovering from surgery, an illness or injury, many patients find they need additional skilled care after their hospital stay before they’re ready to return home,” said Anna Mattingly, BSN, RN, and transitional care coordinator at SGCMH. “The Short-Term Rehabilitation (Swing Bed) program at SGCMH helps patients regain strength, mobility and independence in the shortest time possible. The skilled level of care utilizes the same room for the patient and focuses on rehabilitation with the primary goal of enabling patients to return home or to their previous level of activities of daily living.”

To qualify for the Swing Bed Program, Mattingly explained that a three-overnight stay in an acute facility is required, plus at least one of the following: physical, occupational or speech therapy; IV antibiotics or therapies; or a palliative care activity program.

Swing Bed patients play an active role in their care as they complete therapy and participate in activities and exercise designed to help them return home

“Guided by our staff, patients practice skills of daily living: eating, dressing, grooming, personal hygiene and household tasks,” Mattingly said. “The Swing Bed team welcomes families to visit frequently and bring books, games and hobbies their loved ones might enjoy. The staff will incorporate these into your care plan.”

Many private insurance companies cover Swing Bed, and the SGCMH case manager will assist patients in contacting their insurance provider. The SGCMH swing bed program accepts traditional Medicare, managed Medicare and traditional insurance. Patients who are at a facility outside of Ste. Genevieve can request that the case management or social services department contact the SGCMH Swing Bed coordinator to arrange a stay.

“This makes it so much more convenient when the family is close by,” Mattingly said. “We have an amazing healthcare team that collaborates the patient’s care. Our huddle team includes the nurse, social worker, the dietician, therapists and physician; and we decide how the patient is progressing. If they’re progressing very well, we can essentially set up a timetable for going home. Our ultimate goal is for them to be as close to their health status before this acute illness arose as we can get.”

Swing Bed patients receive 24-hour care from the SGCMH skilled medical team in a comfortable and familiar setting, said Mattingly. The transition from acute to follow-up care is seamless. In addition, if needed, diagnostic services, such as X-ray or lab testing, are readily accessible. Patients may remain in the program for as long as they have skilled therapeutic goals to achieve. When patients have met their goals, they are discharged to home or to another setting. The average length of stay is 10 days.

After a Swing Bed stay, some patients may need additional care to adjust to living at home again.  Ste. Genevieve Home Health provided by SGCMH is available to complete the recovery process.

For additional information on the Swing Bed Program at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital, contact Anna Mattingly at 573-883-7750.

(Information in a release from Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital.)

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