A Fresh Start for Transitional Care

Dr. Keith Knepp, UnityPoint Health – Peoria

The skilled nursing center at Proctor gets a new name, a new look and an entire floor.

Skilled nursing has been a popular concept since its inception. Peoria’s very first hospital-based skilled nursing facility has flourished on the Proctor Hospital campus since 1987. Renamed the Transitional Care Center, it moves into its new home on the fourth floor this month. The newly remodeled facility will house 18 beds until August 2017 when the entire fourth floor, including 45 beds, will be fully functioning.

When you step off the elevator into the new Transitional Care Center, you’ll experience the look and feel of a hotel. There are private rooms (including large-screen televisions and private bathrooms), a community dining room, family rooms for visiting, a beauty shop, laundry facilities for patients, an activity room that doubles as a conference room, and even whirlpools. One wing of the fourth floor is a gym and exercise area dedicated to therapy, which is exactly why the Center exists: to help patients make the transition from the hospital to home.

The Transitional Care Center at Proctor continues to be the only hospital-based skilled nursing facility of its kind in the area. Throughout its 30-year history, the Center has enjoyed an impeccable reputation for its high level of quality of care and its people. In its most recent analysis, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the Center a five-star overall rating, a cumulative score based on an analysis of all categories, including staffing, which also received a five-star rating. We are confident it is the premier skilled nursing facility in our region.

The Center provides vital, but temporary, high-quality restorative care to patients. Transitional care is perfect for patients who have been hospitalized and no longer need acute care, but continue to require additional medical treatment and/or therapy. Patients with cardiac or respiratory conditions, as well as patients managing obesity or diabetes challenges, may be candidates for skilled nursing care.

The Center is a perfect solution when a spouse has recently had surgery, but needs additional therapy before returning home. It offers a continuum of medical care and enhanced physical (and other) therapies in a safe, pleasant environment. Besides participating in therapy, patients have opportunities to simulate in-home activities like bathing, showering, walking to the dining room and even doing the laundry! The patient’s spouse and family feel more comfortable knowing their loved one is recovering in a timely and perfectly-paced fashion, and will be better prepared to return to normal life upon arriving home. Designed to be spacious and comfortable for patients and families, the Center encourages their participation in care.

It also provides an excellent alternative to a community-based nursing facility—or the formidable challenges of relying on family or friends to provide the needed level of care in the patient’s home. The Center is a separate organization and facility operating as a unique entity within the hospital; it is not a department of the hospital. Yet, its presence within the hospital setting offers unique and immediate benefits, including the ready availability of experienced specialty staff, technology and proximity to ambulatory services as needed. That also includes a continued thread of health education, and relationship-building opportunities with Methodist College and the Hult Center for Healthy Living.

The physical environment of the new facility is beautiful, providing a setting of warmth, comfort, energy and healing, and it promotes patients’ self-reliance and confidence. We like to call it our “Fresh Start” facility. The UnityPoint Health – Transitional Care Center - Proctor is dedicated to developing independence, providing education, and delivering the emotional support needed to help patients return to their full capacity for health and life. iBi

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