Times have changed dramatically in the medical world. It used to be that if you became ill, you went to the hospital and you were not sent home until well. Today, hospital patients are discharged rapidly, even after strokes, heart attacks, surgery, and infections.
For most, the next step is a referral to a rehabilitation facility to regain strength and wellness. Some are part of a hospital system while others are rehabilitation neighborhoods located in nursing homes, such as Wesbury’s Grace Rehabilitation and Health Center. Despite the fact patients arrive with complexities that would have warranted a longer hospital stay, most rehab facilities do not have a full-time doctor on staff requiring patients to go from the rotating Hospitalists (doctors) in the hospital to an attending physician in the nursing home that typically will not see them frequently.
The state mandates a nursing home patient be seen by a doctor within fourteen days of admission and generally every 60 days thereafter. All nursing homes have a Medical Director, but this role is designed to focus on quality and policy, not seeing patients. Some physicians will follow their patients in a nursing home, but many do not. In this case, the patient is provided with a list of physicians that will accept them in the home and typically see them infrequently. This is where Wesbury is exceptional and unique.
When past President Donald Clawson and Wesbury’s Certified Medical Director, Dr. John H. Bailey III DO, CMD and Geriatric Specialist, saw the shift to post-acute care being provided in the nursing home, they knew having a full-time Doctor would make a world of difference.
Today, Wesbury has two physicians on staff. Dr. Bailey has his office on site, and Wesbury patients are his sole focus. Dr. David A. Williams D.O. moved into Wesbury’s Medical Arts Building in the spring of 2020 and sees patients from Thoburn Village and Cribbs Residential Center as well as from the public at large. He assists with the care needs at Grace Rehabilitation and Health Center, by taking on patients from the Village Center neighborhood. They each see new admissions within 72 hours and at least twice a week thereafter. It provides great customer service and a huge comfort to families who are emotionally charged as they cope with their loved one’s condition.
After more than 25 years as Medical Director at Wesbury, Dr. Bailey has seen firsthand the impact that having a Doctor on-site has on the residents. He and Dr. Williams know their patients by name, how they look day-to-day, and can see when there is a change, allowing him to address concerns right away. “Just familiarity with each patient is huge” notes Dr. Bailey, “they arrive ill, debilitated, and on many medications. We can work with the patient and family, analyze progress, decide what medications are relevant, and reduce those no longer necessary. The results are profound. The fact that patients are coming in acutely ill and are discharged stable is a huge testimony to the outstanding quality of the healthcare team at Wesbury,” says Dr. Bailey,” as Medical Director that makes me very proud.”