At Jordan Search Consultants, our staff has the pleasure of working closely with Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital—an organization that helps kids and families transition from the acute care hospital to home. Because we are continually impressed by the work they do in the St. Louis community, we wanted to learn more about—and potentially connect with—similar organizations around the nation. Unfortunately, we found that Ranken Jordan is unique; there is a significant need for more pediatric bridge hospitals throughout the U.S.
What is the Bridge Model?
The Bridge Model is a person-centered, social work-led, interdisciplinary model of transitional care. Bridge emphasizes collaboration among hospitals and community-based providers in order to ensure a seamless continuum of health and community care across settings. For children with complex medical conditions such as brain injuries or complications due to premature birth, it helps bridge the gap between traditional hospital treatment and the comforts of home. For example, Ranken Jordan provides interdisciplinary, specialized care, rehabilitation, and treatment for children two weeks to 21 years of age. It is equipped with nursing care, respite care, education facilitation services, physical, occupational, speech, respiratory, and recreation therapies, outpatient therapy evaluations and treatment services, comprehensive, interdisciplinary child development programming, and social services.
Why do we need more pediatric bridge hospitals?
While the Bridge Model is not uncommon in the world of aging adults, Ranken Jordan is currently the only pediatric specialty bridge hospital in Missouri, and the only stand-alone facility that provides pediatric sub-acute care and rehabilitation in the nation. This is a problem because after a serious injury, children need a place to recover under close medical supervision. They cannot do this in a regular hospital. Pediatric bridge hospitals meet the growing need for subacute, traditional care, within a transitional rehabilitation pediatric setting. The best part? At institutions like Ranken Jordan, no child is turned away, regardless of reimbursement or the family’s ability to pay. Plus, in the past five years, Ranken Jordan has created roughly 200 permanent jobs without cutting a single position, wage, or benefit.
It’s indisputable that the need for pediatric bridge hospitals throughout the nation will only grow. While the transitional needs are being met for our senior populations in the forms of assisted living communities and rehabilitation facilities, there is a significant medical transition facility gap for children. Pediatric medical transitional facilities are just as—if not more—important to our communities and healthcare landscape. And it is up to us, as healthcare industry leaders and concerned citizens, to raise awareness about the issue—and the solution.