Skip to main content

Shifting Care of Chronic Ventilator-Dependent Patients from the Intensive Care Unit to the Nursing Home

Buy Article:

$20.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Background: Among the most resource intensive and challenging of medical needs is the treatment of patients requiring long-term or chronic mechanical ventilation. Expenditures are significant, and definitions of "successful weaning," are often inconsistent. A weaning program was initiated for patients referred to a standalone nursing home ventilator unit.

Methods: Weaning entailed standardized weaning protocols, enhanced socialization, a multidisciplinary approach to care, empowerment of staff to initiate weaning, and aggressive utilization of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) in selected patients.

Results: Sixty-eight (67%) of 102 patients were successfully weaned during a six-year period. NPPV facilitated successful weaning in 27 (26%) of 102 patients. Of the 28 chronic ventilator-dependent patients admitted with a neuromuscular etiology for respiratory failure, NPPV was utilized in 73% (8/11) of the successfully weaned patients. Total variable costs per ventilator per patient per day for the years 1998–2000 were $319.79, $302.75, and $297.59. Six-year cost savings for referring hospitals were estimated at $18.5 million.

Discussion: Incentives were aligned between the hospital, nursing home, and physicians to develop a financially stable model. Developing an off-site nursing home ventilator unit resulted in significant cost savings to the referring hospitals and positively affected patient flow.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Reprints and Permissions
  • Index
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more