Transitional Care Unit (TCU) Turns 10
Children’s Hospital’s Carolyn Bennett Arnold Transitional Care Unit (TCU) celebrated its 10th year of serving children in 2009 with a five-star overall quality rating from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare web site. The five-star ranking is based on reviews of health inspections, staffing data and quality measures and is awarded to the top 10 percent of facilities in each state.
The TCU also has been deficiency-free during annual unscheduled reviews by state health department inspectors for the last two years and five of the last 10 years. (Health department surveys review everything from patient care and medication distribution to housekeeping, record keeping and facility issues.) During years when deficiencies were noted, the TCU had three or fewer deficiencies, compared to the state average of nine.
“We spend a lot of time on performance improvement and training,” commented Pat Anderson, RN, MS, CRRN, Director of Inpatient Services. “We have processes in place to have ongoing audits of our work, and we’re always checking and improving.”
Open since 1999, the TCU provides round-the-clock skilled nursing care to children from infancy through age 21. First opened with 12 beds, the TCU expanded to 23 beds in 2002 and 47 beds in 2008 following a generous donation from the estate of Carolyn Bennett Arnold. Since Jan. 2007, the TCU has admitted 35 residents and discharged 22, including nine children who were discharged home. As part of the TCU’s four levels of care - transitional, palliative, long-term and end of life - some residents live on the TCU for years while others stay for a few months while they gain the skills and medical stability to transition home.
“The TCU is a special place,” said Satish Mahajan, MD, FAAP, who has worked with TCU residents since 2000. “Here these children are provided integrated care in a loving and caring environment. Families remain closely involved too, making families part of the team and helping us take better care of our residents.”
As the TCU has grown, services and staff positions have also been added. TCU residents and families have access to a full-time chaplain and social worker, a variety of therapeutic recreation programs including community outings and camps and a full schedule of family gatherings and support groups.
“We work to create a welcoming community for the children and their families,” commented Sharon Darby, RN, NHA, FACHE, Vice President of Clinical Operations, about the family events like holiday potlucks, baptisms, birthday parties and memorial services sponsored throughout the year. “We value our partnership with the children’s families and together work on expanding our TCU community.”
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