Securing medical equipment; referring to skilled nursing care, acute rehabilitation, or home health care; arranging transportation; making sure patients are able to acquire their medications—all in a day’s work for the social work staff at Bayhealth. When patients are discharged from the hospital, social workers help ensure a successful transition from hospital to home by identifying needs and connecting patients with necessary resources. This month, Bayhealth celebrates National Social Work Month, honoring the social workers on staff who make a difference for our patients.
“Our goal is to support our patients as they move to their next stage of care. We identify any barriers to discharge and assist patients in working through them, all with the purpose of helping patients maintain and improve their current level of health.” said Lynn Davis, MSW, Bayhealth Manager of Social Services.
Most hospitals provide acute care—emergency care for new illnesses and injuries, for a short period of time. While the hospital may be the first step in a patient’s journey back to health, the need for care often extends beyond the hospital stay. Social Workers play a vital role in arranging services to bridge the transition to the next level of care, whether it is to another facility or their home.
Social workers are part of a multi-disciplinary team involving care management, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, rehab therapists, nutritionists, and family members who develop a care plan for patients at discharge time. They collaborate with many state and local organizations to provide resources for families and caregivers. In addition, social workers may assist with negotiating the complex world of Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance plans.
Eric Gloss, DO, Bayhealth Vice President of Medical Affairs, stated, “We appreciate the skills and dedication of the Social Work staff and their contribution to the Bayhealth mission of improving the health status of the members of our community.”