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What is Subacute Care? Print
Written by Judith Kuchar   
Feb 05, 2006 at 11:06 AM

The definition of Subacute Care that has been developed by the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), and the Association of Hospital-Based Skilled Nursing Facilities is as follows:

Subacute care is comprehensive inpatient care designed for someone who has an acute illness, injury, or exacerbation of a disease process. It is goal oriented treatment rendered immediately after, or instead of, acute hospitalization to treat one or more specific active complex medical conditions or to administer one or more technically complex treatments, in the context of a person’s underlying long-term conditions and overall situation.

An interdisciplinary approach is used to formulate a goal-oriented plan of care for each resident. The Subacute care team is dedicated to providing appropriate interventions to avoid unnecessary and frequent hospitalizations. A true Subacute care provider should focus on training patients to achieve their highest level of independence as quickly as possible.

Subacute care is generally more intensive than traditional nursing facility care and less intensive than acute care. Nursing facilities are now dedicating entire wings, even entire facilities to provide high-tech medical care.

The most common enquiries to make when looking for a subacute facility are:

·        Does the facility offer the therapies and medical services necessary for the rehab program?

·        Does the facility have the proper equipment?

·        Is the staff trained to work with rehab and subacute facilities?

·        Does the facility have a separate dedicated subacute unit?

Subacute care is a relatively-new and rapidly-growing medical care service in America. It merges the sophisticated technology of a hospital with the efficient operation of a skilled nursing facility. Subacute patients require highly-skilled care. Therefore, the nursing facilities that serve them should use a team approach to patient treatment. Doctors, therapists, nurses and other health professionals should all work in concert with the patient and his or her families to assure the most affordable and efficient care for the patient.

Judith Kuchar is the Executive Administrator of The Buckingham at Brentwood located in Norwood, New Jersey. The Buckingham will soon be introducing a new, modern, dedicated Subacute Center—The Brentwood at Buckingham—offering onsite rehabilitation services provided by Kessler Core Rehab.

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