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The Bridge Between Surgery and Home

June 20, 2013
Emmetsburg News

Denny Schumacher from Mallard, was scheduled for a knee replacement this April. After talking with his physician, he knew he would need some transitional care between his surgery and returning home.

A friend recommended Palo Alto County Health System's Skilled Care program.

"It was a wonderful experience, really" commented Denny. "I knew it was where I wanted to recover because of the daily rehabilitation and the private room with a private bath and shower.

Article Photos

SWING BED -- 'It was a wonderful experience', commented Denny Schumacher, pictured in the patient room with his wife Mary Ellen, on his experience recovering from surgery in the skilled care program at PACHS. --submitted photo

"I had my surgery on April 1 in Spencer and on April 4, I was transferred to the Skilled Care Program at Palo Alto County Health System (PACHS). The transition of care was seamless."

Like Denny, many patients need additional care after surgery or in the case of an illness, stroke or injury. Skilled nursing is a level of hospitalization care for patients who require certain services before they are well enough to return home.

At Palo Alto County Health System, skilled care patients are cared for on the acute care wing of the hospital. Their physician directs their care, and the same professional staff that cares for acute care patients cares for them.

"Patients who recover here have a better staff to patient ratio than in larger facilities" commented Sara Travis, nurse manager at PACHS. "And since we know that family and friends are an important part of the healing process, being close to home is an added benefit."

As a Skilled care patient, your care is directed by your physician and carried out by a team of health care professionals that include services such as: rehabilitation services, laboratory tests, IV medications, consultation with a social worker, registered dietitian, and an activities coordinator. Twice a week, care conferences are held with the care team, the patient, and their family members, to coordinate the patient's care plan and review the progress towards their goals.

Mary Ellen Schumacher, Denny's wife, chose to stay with her husband during his stay. She commented, "They treated me so well while I stayed with Denny through his recovery. They treated just like I was a patient, even giving me my own mug for water with my name on it and filling it when they filled Denny's."

During his recovery, Denny received daily rehabilitation services in his room. Now that he has returned home, Denny comes to the hospital and sees the same staff for rehabilitation two days a week. Denny commented, "Therapy has been very helpful in my progress. I like that I have the same team of therapist I saw in the hospital. We have a wonderful rehabilitation department here."

"I strongly recommend swing bed care and the rehabilitation at Palo Alto County Health System to anyone who needs that kind of care", said Denny.



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