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Review
. 2009 Aug 1;49(3):438-43.
doi: 10.1086/600391.

Long-term Acute Care Hospitals

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Review

Long-term Acute Care Hospitals

L Silvia Munoz-Price. Clin Infect Dis. .

Abstract

Long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) are health care facilities that admit complex patients with acute care needs (eg, mechanical ventilator weaning, administration of intravenous antibiotics, and complex wound care) for a mean duration of stay of 25 days. LTACHs are different than nursing homes and were initially created in the 1990s in an effort to decrease Medicare costs by facilitating prompt discharge from intensive care units of patients with difficulty weaning mechanical ventilation; however, current admission diagnoses are quite broad. Patients admitted to these facilities have multiple comorbidities and are at risk for colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms. LTACH patients have been shown to have high rates of hospital-acquired infections, including central vascular catheter-associated bloodstream infection and ventilator-associated pneumonia. In addition, LTACHs have been implicated in various regional outbreaks of multidrug-resistant organisms. This review summarizes the limited amount of scientific literature on LTACHs while highlighting their infection control problems, as well as the role LTACHs play on regional outbreaks.

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