Continuum of Care

Pulmonary Talk Video At HSC, patients participate in our continuum of care, which encompasses a variety of programs and services designed to meet their health care needs over a span of time. Patients may enter this continuum at different levels. For instance, a patient may be admitted to our Close Observation Unit (COU) to wean from a ventilator (breathing machine) and while on that unit he/she may receive therapy services if appropriate. Once successfully weaned from the ventilator, the patient may then transition to our Medical Rehabilitation Unit for more intensive therapy services and medical management.

The patient will work on goals he/she develops with the health care team. Once the goals are met and the patient is discharged home, he/she may choose to transition to the Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation Outpatient Center to receive further therapy services. Upon completion of outpatient therapy, many individuals join the HSC Fitness and Aquatic Center to maintain their strength and endurance. At HSC, our continuum of care focuses on meeting the healthcare needs of adults, adolescents and children at the appropriate level of care. We specialize in serving patients and community members with a wide range of disabilities.

Admission Information

Some patients are admitted to HSC for rehabilitation, but begin their stay in our ventilator weaning units. First we rehabilitate patients' lungs so they can breathe on their own, and then the physical rehabilitation can begin on the rest of their bodies. Our healthcare team will assist patients in preparing for their admissions to HSC.

Close Observation Unit

The COU is a 11-bed unit providing technologically advanced clinical management of adult patients who require mechanical ventilation (are on a breathing machine) and who have the potential to be weaned from the ventilator. Treatment is provided by a highly specialized interdisciplinary team. Together, with the leadership of a board-certified pulmonologist, the interdisciplinary team carefully develops individualized care plans for each patient that are reviewed during weekly team meetings. This interdisciplinary team includes: physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists, psychologists, physical therapists, case manager, social worker, and pastoral care.

The COU is highly regarded in the medical community as a Regional Weaning Center for its proven success rates, which are approximately 69% - well above the national average.

Respiratory Care Units

HSC's 36-bed Laurie Coleman Puglisi Respiratory Care Unit (RCU) and the 38-bed Respiratory Step-Down Unit (SDU) provide care for patients with multi-system problems and associated respiratory failure requiring an artificial airway and ventilator (breathing machine) assistance.

Patients on these units require intensive nursing and respiratory care, including periodic use of intravenous medication and non-invasive respiratory monitoring.

  • Complex Medical
  • Wound care

Bernoulli Monitoring System

Patient safety is our first priority. One of the ways we accomplish this goal is through the use of the Bernoulli System, a ventilator monitoring system that enables the patient to be directly connected to his or her care-professional at all times.

This sophisticated system, with central and remote monitoring capabilities, continuously tracks patients' breathing trends, and alerts staff to problems. This advanced monitoring equipment – "Bernoulli" - the most up to date patient safety ventilator monitoring system is able to immediately alert our staff of possible alarm conditions.

Home Ventilator Program

Another HSC respiratory service is a four to six-week, aggressively structured HVP. Clinicians educate and train caregivers to care for loved ones who will be on a breathing machine following their discharge to home. As part of the program, an interdisciplinary team focuses on a patient's respiratory care and medical needs, as well as ability to maximize participation in activities of daily living, physical mobility, nutritional and spiritual needs, and leisure/community participation. HSC's home ventilator is most often coordinated in the COU. Patient and family training for the HVP can also take place on the Respiratory Care Units.

Discharge Information

The goal of the interdisciplinary healthcare care team is to stabilize and improve patients' medical conditions while improving their functional abilities so that they can be discharged home as soon as possible. If a patient is unable to go home, the treatment team will discuss alternative discharge options with the individual and his/her family. Our expert staff has long-standing relationships with community providers of all types to help in identifying the best possible option for each patient. HSC will provide the necessary training to caregivers, home healthcare agencies, and other providers to facilitate our patients' transitions back to the community.

Pulmonary Exercise Program

Pulmonary Exercise Program (PEP) provides participants with an opportunity to maintain the physical fitness levels that were achieved during their active pulmonary rehabilitation program. The goal of the PEP is for participants to increase their independence during physical activity.

PEP members will be able to:

  • Exercise in a supportive group setting
  • Work to maintain fitness levels that lead to improved endurance and reduced shortness of breath
  • Get to know others who have similar conditions and share the same goals
  • Work to remain active through structured exercise to improve quality of life

PEP sessions are scheduled three times a week at Hospital for Special Care's (HSC) Fitness Center. Participants are under the supervision of a HSC staff member two days a week. Blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation are monitored during these sessions. On the third day, participants work out independently in HSC's Fitness Center. Members are responsible for recording that day's assigned exercise program.

PEP provides participants the ability to incorporate both cardiovascular exercise and resistance training into their exercise programs. Treadmills, stationary bicycles, elliptical trainers and strength training equipment are all available at HSC's Fitness Center.

The length of PEP is four months. The cost is $200 and includes the two, one-hour group exercise sessions and the single, one-hour independent session each week. PEP members may also attend the pulmonary weight reduction program POWER at no additional fee.Individuals who have completed PEP are welcome to continue their involvement by signing up for a second PEP program, or to become a full member of the Aquatic and Fitness Center and make their fitness a life-long commitment!

For more information about PEP, please contact Stephanie Alderman at 860.832.6228. You may also use the Contact Us page to request more information.