Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Offers “Swing Bed” Rehab Services

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital wants to ensure our listeners are aware that the Hospital offers the “Swing Bed” program. What is that? We talked with the Swing Bed Coordinator at PMH to learn about it.

“I am Edwina Garber. I am a Registered Nurse here at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital and I do case management, discharge planning, and I am the Swing Bed Coordinator” said Edwina. “I wanted to talk today about Swing Bed – the other term for that is just Rehab. We can rehabilitate any patient that meets criteria. We are very thankful to have this program here because a lot of people can rehab closer to home, which (is) really helping the patients and communities. It allows the patients to be closer to their family and friends, which just helps to promote that healing process, and it gets the transition ready for discharge to home. They go from surgery or severe illness, get to come here for the rehab and then the next transition (which) is always our goal. Sometimes we do have to discharge on to a nursing home.  When you have traditional Medicare, Medicare pays for 20 days in full without any out of pocket expenses. All other insurances require prior authorization, which we take care of once we get the referral from the facility. None of the Medicaid programs in West Virginia recognize Swing Bed, so at this time we are not able to take those patients –and we really hate that!

Garber tells us about the types of patients Swing Bed can help with, and how long a typical Swing Bed patient can expect to be in the hospital.

“(Here are) examples of types of patients we can take” Edwina said “(include) If you’ve just had knee surgery, hip surgery, joint replacements. We have Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and we have Speech Therapy if you’ve just had a stroke; any type of Stage 3, Stage 4 Wound care- that is a more complicated type of care; I.V. antibiotics or medications; I.V. for infections of different types; if you just had a new feeding tube put in because you had a stroke and are unable to swallow – you can come here so we can do the teaching on how to manage that at home. Same thing for the new type of colostomy or any type of Urostomy, if you just had those put in that’s brand new, we can do the teaching here for so many days. It isn’t just after surgeries. You can have open heart surgery and come here for rehab. You can just be in the hospital and really just get de-conditioned following a severe pneumonia, heart failure – those type of things and you still need to come here. And again, that transition in between getting you to return home, because that is naturally always the goal –to get you back home. Our average length of stay is anywhere from ten days to fourteen days. It is by patient, by what their needs are. And we set goals for each patient here.”

Many Swing Bed Patients enter the program here at PMH after receiving referrals from the hospital that performed their original surgery or other treatments or procedures, as Garber explains.

“We get referrals from WVU, Charleston; UVA in Charlottesville; Roanoke Memorial; Lewis Gale; Augusta Medical; Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, Davis Medical Center –from all over. It just depends on where the patient had to go to get their care met, then that facility contacts me and we have a review process. We have a Provider, Therapist, Pharmacist, Nutritionist – everybody reviews it and says ‘we can meet this patient’s needs- and we get them in here so we can take care of them and get them home.”

Garber provides her contact information for anyone wanting to learn more about entering the PMH Swing Bed program.

“They can contact me and ask questions at any time” Edwina says. “And my direct number to my desk is 304-799-1081, and if anybody leaves messages, I return them as soon as I can.”

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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