Long-Term Acute Care

Author(s):
Sharron Knox, BSN, RN, CIC Infection Control Coordinator

Specialty Hospital Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL

Published:
October 3, 2014

Abstract

The long-term acute care hospital occupies a unique and challenging place along the continuum of healthcare services provided in the United States. Following an inpatient hospital stay, a large number of patients may still require acute, complex medical interventions and nursing care over an extended period of time. The long-term acute care hospital setting presents a dynamic challenge for the infection preventionist by congregating patients with a multitude of high-risk conditions, devices, therapies, and drug-resistant organisms for an average time span of 3 to 4 weeks. To elevate the challenge, there is limited long-term acute care hospital-specific research, a paucity of evidence-based interventions, and a general misconception regarding the long-term acute care hospital role in the postacute care constellation of healthcare options.1