Intercare sub-acute hospitals: Where recovery begins | 4 min read

The road to recovery is often a long journey.  Recovering from an acute event or trauma is an active process, during which a care partner, with the expertise to assist the patient on the road to recovery, will be needed.

It will benefit a patient to know what to expect from staying in a sub-acute hospital, as it can assist in making the most of the services being provided and also shorten the recovery period.

What is sub-acute care?

Intercare Sub-acute care, sometimes referred to as step-down or transitional care, is a comprehensive and cost-effective inpatient programme for patients who have suffered an acute event as a result of an illness; injury or disease; have a determined course of treatment; and who do not require intensive diagnostic and/or invasive medical procedures.  Intercare’s sub-acute and rehabilitation hospitals focus on patients with complex medical needs or those in need of rehabilitative care and treatment.

The three important role players within sub-acute hospitals are the patients, their families and the multi-disciplinary healthcare teams.  Intercare sub-acute hospitals offer holistically managed wellness and care solutions.  In order to achieve this, the multi-disciplinary teams – typically composed of a healthcare professional, nurse, case manager, physiotherapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist, dietician and a social worker – devise and implement an appropriate, tailor-made rehabilitation plan for each patient, and frequently conduct meetings with the patient’s family or caregivers.

What services do Intercare sub-acute hospitals provide?

Intercare Sub-acute hospitals mainly assist with the following:

  • Rehabilitation and recuperative care – physio-, occupational and speech therapists provide therapy and support to increase the strength and functioning of patients in order to increase balance, improve safety when walking, regain mobility of limbs after a stroke, improve independence to carry out activities associated with daily living, improve cardio fitness after a heart attack, and help patients to manage new or changing health conditions.
  • Specialised care – healthcare professionals provide medical care, such as wound management, pain management, respiratory care, and other services.
Who might benefit from a stay at the Intercare sub-acute hospitals?

People who have experienced a fall, have an injury or suffer from a complex medical condition may benefit from the professional medical, nursing and therapeutic care provided during a stay in a sub-acute hospital.  The goal of the care team is to provide time-limited assistance, designed to ensure maximum restoration of functioning, mobility, safety at home, independence and consequently, quality of life.

Common conditions of people receiving post-operative or other care include:

  • Orthopaedic conditions, e.g. joint (hip, knee, shoulder) fractures or replacements, and amputations
  • Recuperation after a stay in an acute hospital and after other major surgery
  • Severe motor vehicle accident injuries
  • Cardiac conditions (heart attack, congestive heart failure)
  • Neurological conditions, e.g. stroke, head trauma and other forms of brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Respiratory conditions (acute or chronic lung disease) needing pulmonary management, e.g. ventilation care
  • Complications of chronic disease, e.g. kidney conditions receiving renal dialysis or amputations
  • Pain management
  • Deconditioning related to a fall
  • Specialised vascular and wound care
  • End of life and palliative care
How long do patients stay at a sub-acute hospital?

The period for which patients stay in sub-acute hospitals varies significantly.  Some patients stay for a few days, whilst others may stay for weeks or even months.  Several factors determine the length of stay in a sub-acute facility, including the extent of a patient’s injuries or medical condition, overall health, medical scheme approval for the specific treatment and the ability of the patient to live safely and self-sufficiently after being discharged from hospital.

Intercare sub-acute hospitals collaborate with medical schemes and are integrated in terms of data exchange between the two institutions.

Why choose an Intercare sub-acute hospital?

The focus of a each of the Intercare sub-acute hospitals is to help patients recover, enabling them to live and work as normal as possible, regain their independence and get them home as soon as possible. If you or a loved one recently suffered from a stroke, surgery, illness, trauma, hospitalisation or a joint replacement, consider being admitted to an Intercare sub-acute hospital for a speedy recovery.

For more information visit www.intercare.co.za/services/sub-acute-hospitals

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