Our approach to care in the hospital is to focus on the needs, wishes, and quality of life of our patients and their families. Because complications are more common among older patients, we not only monitor closely for these but we also take active steps to prevent complications.
While providing health care to our patients, we also keep them active and engaged to help them maintain their daily routine. We look beyond the reason for their hospital admission to uncover issues that are medical, social, and emotional. Our goal is for our patients to return to their home or the facility they came from with restored health and a lower risk of rehospitalization.
We are sensitive to the stress that a hospital stay can have on patients. That’s why we coordinate with consultants to minimize duplication of tests and/or unnecessary interventions.
We also work with the family and the hospital discharge planners to make the transition to home or to a long-term care facility as seamless as possible.
At UPMC Shadyside, we have long provided a specialized program to reduce the risk of developing acute confusion.
It does so by ensuring that all members of the health care team are trained in the needs of older patients so that they cannot only recognize problems at their first appearance, but also prevent them from occurring in the first place.
The team works with the patient’s physician to ensure that the transition following discharge is as safe and as seamless as possible.
In addition to geriatricians, psychiatrists, nurses, pharmacists, and physical therapists, we also have professionals dedicated to caring for patients in the hospital.
A hospitalist is a hospital-based physician who often assumes the care of hospitalized patients in the place of patient’s primary care physician. However, the hospitalist for our practice is a geriatrician from our own group and has complete access to medical information about the patient.
Case managers (or discharge planners) are nurses or social workers who provide ongoing support to meet patient needs as the patient progresses through different levels of care, until the patient is discharged safely to their home or other appropriate settings.