Mercy Hospital Washington opened a transitional care unit (TCU) to serve an increasing number of patients needing a level of care that is a step-down from intensive care.
“The new unit will cut costs for patients who need step-down care and make more beds available in the intensive care unit (ICU) for patients who need it most,” said Stacy Blankenship, MSN, RN, director of nursing for inpatient services.
The TCU provides care to patients age 17 and older who do not require intensive care, but are too ill for management in a general medical or surgical nursing unit.
“Our hospital overall has been experiencing an increase in patient visits,” said Blankenship. “Until now, patients have either been admitted to a medical unit for general hospital care or to the ICU for complex care. As our patient census increased, we saw a greater need for a transitional care unit, and we moved quickly to establish one.”
The unit was made possible by opening hospital rooms that were previously closed. The hospital also hired additional nurses specializing in critical care.
The transitional care rooms are private and equipped with 24/7 monitoring capabilities and connected to Mercy SafeWatch in St. Louis. Mercy SafeWatch is a hub for doctors and clinicians who monitor patients across Mercy via video and serve as an extra layer of protection with patients’ local medical staff.