Is Using An Aftercare Facility For Your Practice?
CALIFORNIA COSMETIC SURGEON
My office had not considered using an aftercare facility because of three objections. First, we considered if our infection rate might go up because of contacts with other people and possibly infected cases. Second, some of the aftercare facilities locally charge up to $600 a night and can't even administer medication. Third, the aftercare facility of choice, a hospital, subjects our patients to unwanted privacy invasion, high costs, and irritating procedures.
Over six months ago, all this changed when we began using a local nursing home to take care of our larger cases. They have been very eager for our business. Their average charge for all their patients is under $110 per night, so when we proposed that our patients pay $200 a night they were delighted, and agreed to give our patients private rooms and special care.
The home we chose is one of the best in the area, and as Pasadena is the nursing home capital of the universe, we had a lot of choices. They supply lots of attention, oral pain and sedative administration, and on one occasion, intravenous fluids.
No infections have occurred. Our orders are preprinted and standardized for each procedure and no admitting or discharge summary is required. We have the patient's hemoglobin checked before discharge the next day.
With their 24 hour a day registered nursing care, we have actually been getting more calls per patient than before, but we think that this is a good trade-off for the extra safety and service. The nursing home supplies unlimited Gatorade. And, of course, we tell our patients that they get all the Tater-Tots and fishsticks they can eat.
95 percent of the patients have a delightful experience (a rare complainer says that they were kept up by elderly people in the next room).
Relatives have been known to bed down in adjacent empty beds at no charge. No one has complained about the modest additional expense, which is collected directly by the facility. We feel that we could probably get this service even more cheaply, but we feel that the extra care of this superior facility is worth the price.