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Valley West Hospital Celebrates First Year Of Swing Bed Program

Chase Cavanaugh
Former patients of the Swing Bed program celebrate the program's 1st year anniversary with hospital staff.

Northwestern Medicine is celebrating the first anniversary of a program meant to be a bridge from a hospital stay to home.

NM started the Homeward Healing Swing Bed program at Valley West Hospital in Sandwich early in 2019. It allows patients who have finished receiving care for their immediate conditions to get additional rehabilitation treatment. This can range from physical therapy and wound care to IV and antibiotic treatment.

Steve Keegan of DeKalb came to Valley West while receiving treatment for throat cancer and a blood clot in his lungs. He says the program can also dedicate more staff to each patient. 

“I cannot say enough about the people who provided care for me here," he said. "The nurses, the physical therapists. Everybody was very, very accommodating and it was a pleasant experience.”

Beth Mosher is Director of Clinical and Administrative Operations at Valley West. She says the smaller nurse-to-patient ration makes the transition home easier. 

"For average length of stay, we’ve averaged 10 days. That’s 61% lower than most skilled nursing facilities in Illinois, which average 26 days."

Mosher adds programs like this one also have lower readmission rates -- less than five percent.  The Valley West program took care of 44 patients over the past year.