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Returning Home: Focus of New York City’s First Transitional Care Unit
Story Number is : 051009124
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center

There isn’t anything more desirable to a hospitalized patient than returning home—a place of comfort, privacy, and normalcy. To better assist patients as they transition from an acute hospital stay to a quick, safe, and comfortable return home, Jamaica Hospital has recently opened New York City’s first and only Transitional Care Unit (TCU).

Jamaica Hospital’s seven-bed Transitional Care Unit is aimed at helping patients reach a comfortable level of independence through individualized and continued care. The unit offers multi-disciplinary services to patients who, while in the hospital, still need additional time for recovery and medical management.

“The TCU is an interim step for patients with declining self-care functions,” explained Dr. Angelo Canedo, Vice President of Rehabilitation Services at Jamaica Hospital. “Our TCU will help restore these patients to their lifestyles prior to hospitalization, facilitate a safe discharge plan, and reduce their total length of stay—all tremendous benefits to our patients and the New York City community.”

The Transitional Care Unit will also provide a strong emphasis on educating patients, which will ultimately promote independence, reduce ER visits, and prevent the number of re-hospitalizations.

The TCU is part of a demonstration project developed by the New York State Department of Health. The MediSys Health—comprising of Jamaica, Brookdale, and Flushing Hospitals—was selected out of several hundred hospitals to become one of five approved projects in New York State, and is the only one in the metropolitan area.

The Transitional Care Unit is staffed by a team of certified doctors and dedicated health professionals, who work collaboratively to provide the following multidisciplinary services:

• Complex medical management
• Skilled nursing services
• Activities of Daily Living care provided by Certified Nursing Assistants
• Physical therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Speech and language therapy
• Recreational therapy
• Social work/ case management
• Skin and wound care
• Pharmacy
• Food and nutrition
• Consultation services
• Equipment and services

There is a pre-admission selection criteria for patients considered for the Transitional Care Unit. Patients must require medical, skilled nursing, and/or rehabilitation services on a daily basis. Critical condition patients are not eligible.

The transitional care services at the MediSys hospitals total 20 beds, with sites at Jamaica, Brookdale, and Flushing Hospitals. Jamaica and Brookdale Hospitals are seven bed units and Flushing Hospital is a six bed unit. Flushing and Brookdale Hospitals are scheduled to open their TCU later this year.

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