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Expanded Discharge Lounge Provides a New Step in the Care Continuum

UVA Health University Medical Center Discharge Lounge

Hospitals across the nation are continuously working to find new ways to improve the patient experience, ease the transition from inpatient to home, and ensure a bed is available for the next person in need. UVA Health is no exception, so we have expanded our Discharge Lounge to provide the best possible transition from hospital to home.

This innovative use of space provides a comfortable and restful experience to medically cleared, discharged adult patients who are waiting to complete final steps before returning home, e.g., filling prescriptions or awaiting transportation. There are clear standards in place for discharge to the lounge. For example, patients must be competent, alert, and steady, able to walk to the bathroom, and free of infection like flu or COVID.

UVA Health University Medical Center Discharge Lounge Entrance

The Discharge Lounge is adjacent to the main lobby of the University Medical Center (in the former Surgical Family Lounge area) and offers a comfortable waiting area with easy access to the front drive of the hospital. There are 50 seats and 16 wheelchair bays available for patients.

The Welcome Team staffs the lounge, and in partnership with the Staffing Resource Office, protocols are in place to respond to any medical issue that might arise. A thorough handoff of care takes place at the time of transfer to ensure any patient needs or risks are addressed.

Currently, this lounge sees approximately 30-40 patients per day from across the medical center including the Operating Room and adult inpatient units. While the average stay in the lounge is less than 15 minutes, this important step in the care continuum is saving so much more in-bed hours and the number of beds available for incoming patients.

Transferring a patient to this area after discharge is as easy as requesting support from our capable transport team to the Discharge Lounge in Epic.

I am extremely proud of the teams who have made this expansion possible. The projected improvements in our patient throughput and ability to achieve timely discharges will greatly benefit our team members and are expected to have a positive impact on patient safety and satisfaction. Stay tuned for updates in the coming months as we continue to enhance this space to further improve the discharge experience.

Take care and be well,