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Elderwood establishes dedicated post-acute unit for covid-19 patients


Mon, Mar 30th 2020 02:10 pm

Elderwood at Amherst provides dedicated 22-bed unit for COVID-19 patient admissions

Recognizing an emerging urgent need for COVID-19 post-acute care beds, Elderwood has established a dedicated unit for post-acute care of COVID-19 patients at its Elderwood at Amherst Skilled Nursing Facility located at 4459 Baily Ave., Amherst.

The 22-bed unit has been preparing for special isolation and infection control processes in order to begin easing the burden on local acute care facilities that need to discharge stabilized patients to a post-acute setting. Elderwood anticipates admitting patients within the next several days.

“Our comprehensive infection control procedures are designed to effectively mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our facility – making this a much more controlled environment than any place out in the community,” said Rebecca Littler, R.N., chief nursing officer for Elderwood. “Elderwood at Amherst’s unique layout provides an ideal opportunity to isolate COVID-19 residents on a dedicated unit.”

Anticipating the need to take pressure off the hospital system, Elderwood worked with its medical staff and clinical leaders to augment its infection control protocols and enhance its strategies to care for patients infected with the virus.

“What we’ve been able to establish at Elderwood at Amherst is exactly what is needed right now: a post-acute setting that can care for these patients while maintaining best practices in preventing spread,” said Paul Shields, D.O., medical director for Elderwood at Amherst, vice president for post-acute care and general physician, and a member of the COVID-19 task force at Kaleida Health. Elderwood collaborated with clinical professionals at Kaleida on the initiative.

“The Elderwood staff are highly trained and have been specifically preparing to operate in this particular environment. We are working with Kaleida health’s supply chain management team to ensure there are adequate supplies of proper personal protective equipment for the staff,” Shields added.

Elderwood’s COVID-19 post-acute initiative supports recent guidance from the state Department of Health that states all New York nursing homes must accept patients they would normally admit regardless of a positive diagnosis of COVID-19.

Demand for post-acute beds is expected to be high and it’s anticipated that the unit will fill quickly.

“We will continue to work with our community partners to be part of the solution,” Littler said.

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