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Long-term acute care hospital opens at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City

Published September 9, 2011 11:39 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The only long-term care acute hospital in Salt Lake County is moving from Salt Lake Regional to LDS Hospital next week, officials said Thursday.

Promise Hospital, a nationwide chain that provides intensive-care-unit level services to patients who have been stabilized in hospitals, will have 41 beds, including 12 in "high-observation" rooms for the most seriously ill.

Promise Healthcare spokesman Kenny Peterson said patients who need long-term acute services generally have complex, acute and chronic medical problems. Having such care adjacent to a hospital makes moving patients easier and provides easy access to hospital specialists should they be needed.

Jerry Coggins, a former Weber High School football coach and University of Utah football player, and his wife, Dixie, said the care he received at Promise Hospital in May saved his life when hospice specialists had given him just three days to live. The couple and some of their family members attended the Promise ribbon-cutting and tour Thursday.

Jerry Coggins recalled his terminal cancer diagnosis and the bowel obstruction that landed him at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, and the rough nights during his 36-day stay at Promise at Salt Lake Regional.

"I really believe in my heart I would not be here without the team at Promise," he said.

"Now," said Dixie Coggins, "this is double overtime."

Officials said patients will be moved to the new hospital next week.

The new hospital will operate as a separate entity from LDS but use some of its general services such as meals as part of its tenancy, Peterson said.

The LDS Hospital building that Promise now occupies formerly held radiology and rehabilitation units. Peterson said they chose to relocate because they could have more space than at Salt Lake Regional, where they have been for the past eight years.

The high-observation rooms have bright windows and are laid out to maximize accessibility. An oversized shower down the hall allows patients to bathe, a luxury unavailable in hospital ICUs. The other rooms are large, with private tiled showers, televisions, large chairs for visitors and a patio where patients and family can get fresh air and sunshine.

Should patients need other services, such as MRIs or surgery, their travel is on hospital elevators, not in ambulances.

"Because we're a specialized [facility], we're generally cheaper than the hospital," Peterson said. —

What is a long-term acute care hospital?

Part of a care continuum, long-term acute care hospitals treat patients who generally stay an average of 25 days after catastrophic illnesses or severe injuries. Many need ventilators, tracheostomy tubes, dialysis, heart monitoring, wound care, infectious disease management or long-term antibiotics. Staying at this type of hospital means those services can be received in the patient's own room.

There are three long-term acute hospitals in Utah, one each in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties. Promise Healthcare Inc. operates 14 long-term acute care hospitals in six states.