In recent years, subacute care units (SCUs) have emerged as alternatives to acute hospitalization for selected emergency department (ED) patients who might benefit from a short period of inpatient stay within a less acute setting. We developed a new protocol to directly admit selected older patients from our acute hospital's (AH) ED to the SCU of a partner community hospital, making use of our ED's short-stay ward as a transit area to overcome administrative, financial, and clinical barriers. The new protocol has removed the need for intervening stays of longer than 24 hours at our AH, reduced overall length of stay across both institutions, decreased hospital admissions, and reduced the number of patient hand-offs.
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Published online: July 25, 2020
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