Seeking to keep up with the medical needs of the city’s growing population, St. David’s Georgetown Hospital wrapped up a $2.5 million project in February to expand and enhance its inpatient rehabilitation unit that has seen an uptick in patients recovering from strokes or traumatic brain injuries, said Skyler Reed, chief operating officer for the hospital.
“Generally, it’s a relatively straightforward expansion on something that we already had, but I think it’s a testament to the growth in Georgetown and our facility’s commitment to grow with it and to provide the level of service that we strive to provide,” Reed said.
The expansion adds three inpatient beds and brings the unit’s total bed count to 22. New inpatient beds will allow the unit to serve about 72 additional patients each year, which is a 15 percent increase in the unit’s overall capacity.
Along with more physical space, St. David’s added additional rehab equipment, including ceiling-mounted track-and-harness systems installed above mobility-therapy walkways.
With its expansion the unit added the equivalent of about 12 full-time staff positions, Reed said. The hospital’s rehab staff includes nurses as well as physical, occupational and speech therapists.
Reed said patients recovering from strokes or brain trauma require intensive medical care and rehab work. About 60 percent of the patients that come through the unit have some type of neurological condition, he said. The unit also serves patients with hip and femur fractures from fall injuries and other types of injuries that need inpatient rehab support rather than have a patient recover from home or through outpatient rehab.
“They really require that set of intense resources that come with an inpatient rehab unit,” Reed said. Rehab care is suitable for patients over the age of 18. The average patient age in the unit is 71, according to St. David’s.
Reed said the expansion helps the unit maintain a high level of daily care that is key to the hospital’s mission, whether that involves patients who are staying in the unit for just a couple days or those with extended stays for several months. The average length of stay in the unit is between 12-13 days, he said.
“We felt that this expansion and renovation were key to being able to continue to keep with that mission,” Reed said.