UR Medicine Strong Memorial Hospital this week opened a new, temporary unit for what are referred to as Alternative Level of Care (ALC) patients. These patients no longer need acute, hospital-level care but cannot currently be moved to nursing homes or group homes because of community-wide staffing challenges in these facilities.
The unit, located on-site at SMH, will ensure that these patients continue to receive quality care while awaiting placement. In addition, bringing as many ALC patients as possible together on a single unit, staffed appropriately for the level of care they need, frees other nurses to assist elsewhere in hospital.
Currently, Strong has an average of about 40 ALC patients on any given day, far higher than what was typically seen prior to the pandemic. The temporary unit, which opened Wednesday, currently serves 10-12 patients, and is able to accommodate up to 20 as staffing permits.
Highland Hospital, which is averaging 28 ALC patients, has created its own ALC unit, currently on standby, with the ability to open it quickly should Highland’s census warrant it.
Patients are designated as ALC after treatment for a variety of conditions, including COVID.