Obici to get rehab bedsPublished 10:29pm Friday, January 18, 2013
After getting a green light for 10 skilled nursing beds, Sentara Obici Hospital will soon offer rehabilitation services to patients who now have to go elsewhere, its vice president of patient services said.
The beds will relocate to the Suffolk hospital from Obici Healthcare’s Portsmouth nursing center, Phyllis Stoneburner said.
Plans are under way for the new service after the state health commissioner issued a Certificate of Public Need.
“It’s a project we’ve been working on for close to a year now,” Stoneburner said. “We’re targeted to open the unit on July 9.”
The beds, to be located next to the hospital’s 14-bed OrthoJoint Center, will be used by orthopedic and neurologic patients, a news release says.
The OrthoJoint Center, which opened last year, cares for patients recovering from joint replacements, spine surgery, fractures and other orthopedic injuries.
“Most of the patients using the skilled nursing beds at Sentara Obici will have undergone joint replacement or stroke treatment at the hospital,” the release stated.
Such patients may require skilled nursing as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy, which now requires them to be transferred from Obici to a community-based skilled nursing facility.
“It’s going to be the exact sort of skilled beds you typically see in a nursing home,” Stoneburner said.
The new beds will be subject to state regulations associated with skilled nursing beds, and increase Obici’s capacity to 178 licensed beds. It currently has 168 acute-care beds.
Hospital workers will staff the unit, but Sentara LifeCare employees may initially share the positions, according to the release.
Final staffing arrangements for the 10 beds are currently being planned, Stoneburner said. “That is the kind of thing we’re working on now,” she said, adding there will probably be a full-time physical therapist as well as a registered nurse and a licensed practical nursing assistant always on hand.
“It gives an ability to handle a continuum of care,” she said, adding that a lot of patients who have to leave the hospital for therapy say they would prefer to stay put. “That actually started us on the journey to be looking at this opportunity,” she said.
The 132-bed Sentara Nursing Center-Portsmouth on Greenwood Drive, where the 10 beds are coming from, will convert its semi-private rooms into private rooms, officials said.