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Stonerise Care Blog

We Look Ahead: Advancing to Meet the Changing Needs of Patients

By Stonerise

With new and improved COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, we look ahead to times when COVID-19 will not dominate the work we do on a daily basis. We see a landscape shaped not only by the lessons we learned and the actions we took during the pandemic, but also by shifts already underway in consumer health demands and post-acute care demands. Stonerise is ready for whatever tomorrow may bring. We look ahead with hope.

This is the first of a 3-part series on our vision for the future.

Our primary duty to care for patients will never change. During the pandemic,

  • Our patient mix continued to shift to more short-stay patients – a trend we have seen and embraced over the last five years.
  • More people needed short-term support than at any other period in Stonerise history. This trend will no doubt continue. Hospitals will continue to discharge people faster, with higher levels of acuity. And, Stonerise will continue to discharge more people home with home health services.
  • Our census numbers plummeted, especially initially when hospitals shut down, and have since stabilized, but still remain below pre-pandemic levels.

However, the common perception of both Stonerise and our entire industry is that we are a “long term” care provider or a “nursing home.” This attaches to our name an entire set of engrained assumptions about who we serve and how we do so. When in reality, we are a transitional care provider.

In order to provide transitional care, we will need to do three basic things:

  1. Prove to patients, families, hospitals and others that we are a safe space for short-term care.
  2. Deliver on care plans that get our patients rehabbed and home in a way that allows them to stay there. We must prove our value and effectiveness, because going home is not just about quality of life, it’s also about avoiding readmissions.
  3. Go home with them and keep them healthy there. Stonerise Home Health is a key pillar of our transitional care, and our commitment to meet our communities where they ultimately want to be: at home. Home health services must be an option for all.

At the same time, we cannot lose sight of the fact that West Virginia has one of the oldest populations with high co-morbidities in the nation. We are also one of the poorest and most geographically dispersed states. Thinking of and preparing for the increased needs of short-term patients cannot result in ignoring the needs of our long-term patients. This group needs a care home, and they must have somewhere to go.

Lastly, our “clinical depth,” or our ability to take on higher acuity and more complex patients, was increased by our learning during the pandemic. As we pivot operationally to deliver on this new depth of expertise, hospitals will view us more and more as key partners in higher acuity care.

Read our full COVID-19 journey and vision for the future, here.