Why a Respiratory Hospital?

Why a Respiratory Hospital?

A simple guide through the process and possibilities ahead

When your loved one is hospitalized in the ICU in an acute care hospital, dependent on a mechanical ventilator to breathe, you need to know what to expect. After they are stable, discharge to another hospital will be scheduled for specialized respiratory care.

This is called transfer to a lower level of care and is most often to a respiratory hospital or long-term care hospital (LTCH/LTACH). These are medical facilities that serve patients with complex medical needs who require longer hospital stays and need highly specialized care. Stays are typically less than 30 days.

As soon as the patient is medically stable, discharge to another facility, a lower level of care, or home, is scheduled.

At this point, the patient may benefit from a Skilled Nursing Facility, Acute Rehabilitation, or Home Health Care.

Hospitals and insurance providers work closely to ensure your loved one is provided with an individualized treatment plan with the goal of moving to the next lower level of care, as soon as they are medically stable.

We understand that when a loved one is ill or injured, dealing with a hospitalization can be difficult for family members too.

We know you need to know what to expect.

We hope this simple guide provides some answers for you. We welcome any other questions you may have.


Important Medical Terms to Help Navigate Critical Illness

Stable – ready to be moved to another hospital

Lower Level of Care – when a patient gets better and needs less intensive care

Discharge – leaving a hospital to go to another hospital or another facility

Recovery – getting better, how much better is different for every patient

ICU – Intensive Care Unit – a hospital unit for critically ill patients –
usually 7 - 21 day stay

Hospital – a medical care facility for many different patients

Long Term Care Hospital / Long Term Acute Care Hospital – a hospital for patients who have been discharged from an ICU

Rehab / Rehabilitation – a place or process for helping a patient regain strength or skills

Skilled Nursing Facility – a care facility for continued recovery

Length of Stay – the amount of time someone is hospitalized

Tracheostomy - a medical procedure that creates an opening in the neck to allow air to enter the lungs through a tube

Ventilator / Mechanical Ventilator – a breathing machine

Ventilator Weaning – a process to reduce dependence on a breathing machine to allow a patient to breathe on their own again

TIPS© Weaning Protocol – Therapist-Implemented Patient-Specific “TIPS©” Weaning Protocol.
This is an evidence-based specialized respiratory care practice developed by Barlow Respiratory Hospital interdisciplinary team of health care professionals, led by our own board-certified pulmonologists and adopted as a standard of care in hospitals nationwide. Patients are guided through an individualized step-by-step method, implemented and monitored by respiratory care practitioners, to recover the ability to breathe on their own.

Frequently Asked Questions