4 Questions LTAC Administrators Should Ask Themselves
By Mike Hodge, Director Business Development, Alternate Care Solutions, Dräger
Often a patient’s healthcare journey doesn’t end at discharge from the hospital. Moreover, medically complex patients require long term acute care (LTAC) outside of the hospital setting. The COVID-19 pandemic has escalated this need in two ways: Hospitals that are moving patients with other conditions to LTACs to make room for COVID-19 patients, and others that have run out of room for COVID-19 patients and need LTACs to care for patients suffering both short-and long-term impacts of the virus.
Transitioning a critically ill patient from the intensive care unit (ICU) to a LTAC facility without impacting the patient’s health status is a considerable challenge. Here are four questions that LTAC administrators should ask themselves when determining whether their facilities are equipped to meet the needs of higher acuity patients.
 How Can We Ramp Up Hospital Capacity To Handle The Surge Of COVID-19 Patients? Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals Can Play A Critical Role, Health Affairs Blog, April 13, 2020, https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20200410.606195/full/
 How-to Guide: Improving Transitions from the Hospital to Community Settings to Reduce Avoidable Rehospitalizations, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), http://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/Tools/HowtoGuideImprovingTransitionstoReduceAvoidableRehospitalizations.aspx
 Best Practices: Ventilator Weaning Protocols, American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), July 11, 2019. https://www.aarc.org/nn19-ventilator-weaning-protocols/
 Ventilator Weaning and Spontaneous Breathing Trials; an Educational Review, Emergency, Spring 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893753/
 Transport of the Mechanically Ventilated, Critically Injured or Ill, Neonate, Child or Adult Patient, AARC, https://www.aarc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/statement-of-transport-mechanically-ventilated-critically-injured-ill.pdf