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The term “extended stay” refers to patients who are hospitalized for a longer than expected or desired. In the Emergency Department, an extended stay patient maybe an outpatient who stays longer than 23 hours or is “boarded” while awaiting an acute care bed. In acute care, an extended stay is one that exceeds the accepted length of stay (LOS) standardized by third-party payers and regulatory guidelines.
Decades ago, as a new graduate nurse working in a small critical access hospital, I had the opportunity to assist a general surgeon once a week when he and his anesthetist flew into our small town to perform any needed procedures. I was able to reinforce the perioperative nursing skills I had learned during my training and was intrigued by the functioning of the human anatomy and the expertise of the surgical team.
The need for efficient and accessible mental health services has never been higher. The isolation, fear, and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated needs within an already overwhelmed and underfunded system. It is important that every facility be able to a) provide safe and efficient mental health care to promote the well-being of each patient, and b) to maximize their capacity to provide care to more individuals.
Rounding on employees is helpful to solicit input and promote retention when the work environment is running smoothly and all associates have the information, resources and support they need. But when the world is turned upside down, as it is now from the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting with employees is no longer a “nicety” but possibly a life-saving touch point.