Purpose: Critical access hospitals (CAHs) provide access to care and economic stability to rural regions. At times rural populations need higher-level health care from distant urban-based acute care hospitals (ACHs), distancing them from their social network.
Sample/Method: This paper evaluates potential barriers to transferring patients back to CAH swing beds for restorative care through formative interviews with staff from both ACHs and CAHs. Four CAHs also completed workflow analytics to identify process factors that impede timely transfer of patients from ACHs to CAH swing beds.
Findings: Thematic messages included a lack of consensus about swing bed eligibility criteria and delay in response from CAHs on transfer requests. Workflow analytics identified numerous opportunities to improve efficiency in transfer requests. Results showed an average of 217.5 hours were required from time of transfer request to when the patient arrived to the CAH.
Conclusions: Educational programs are underway to help address these knowledge deficiencies and process barriers.
Keywords: Critical Access Hosptial (CAH), Rural, Swing Beds
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).