Universal Care Unit: An Entirely New Patient Service
Posted on Aug 13, 2012
By Rose Corcoran, vice president patient care
Our Universal Care Unit (UCU) will offer a completely new patient care model by providing personalized care in private rooms for patients who do not require inpatient hospitalization yet still need care for several hours or overnight.
When the new hospital opens on Dec. 1, we anticipate that Eden Medical Center will have the only Universal Care Unit in the East Bay licensed by the California Department of Public Health.
Who do we serve?
One primary reason for creating a Universal Care Unit is to better meet the needs of our patients. More and more patients today are cared for outside of hospitals, in outpatient facilities, mainly due to advances in technology such as minimally invasive surgeries.
At Eden, we offer many different types of minimally invasive procedures, such as knee and hip replacements, and back surgeries. Most are done on an outpatient basis, requiring a few hours of recovery or an overnight stay. These patients can avoid being admitted to the hospital by receiving care in our UCU, which is designed for patients who need care for 24 hours or less.
In addition to patients recovering from outpatient procedures, the UCU will care for patients who may need to be observed before going home as they recover from surgery and/or anesthesia for a few hours or overnight.
More efficient–and faster–care
Our 34-bed Universal Care Unit also will serve patients from the Emergency Department and Trauma Center who are not experiencing life-threatening conditions, but who need further observation, diagnostic testing/evaluation, or monitoring for a few hours or overnight.
By caring for these patients in the UCU, patients with critical care needs in the ED will be treated much sooner, increasing the efficiency of patient flow. In this way, the UCU will expedite care throughout the hospital by improving patient outcomes and reducing the length of stay.
Continuum of care
In our Universal Care Center, patients and their records will no longer move to a different room to receive a different level of care as their care needs change. Patients will stay in the same private room and different providers will come to their room to care for them. By eliminating patient transfers, our UCU will increase patient safety and comfort, while still delivering high quality care.
In addition, UCU patients will be cared for by an inpatient hospitalist who is available 24/7, and every room will have the capability to be monitored. By decentralizing our nursing stations, we will offer more personalized care for our patients and a better nurse-to-patient ratio with a higher number of nurses caring for each patient.
Keeping our UCU patients in the same private room will create a healing environment for them and their family members, who will be able to stay at the bedside of their loved one. Providing a safe and comfortable environment for patients and their families, our UCU promises to increase quality outcomes, enhance patient safety, and promote healing.