New Hospital Fills Niche

A unique player in extended intensive care is coming to town this springNew Hospital Fills Acute-Care Niche
By Jason Dehart

A unique player in extended intensive care is coming to town this spring. Select Specialty Hospital is the area’s first long-term acute-care hospital, and it’s a concept that is new to everyone, according to Patricia Buckhalt, business development director for the new facility, located at 1544 Surgeons Drive off Miccosukee Road.

“This is totally new to the area; in other words, it’s a totally new avenue for acutely ill patients to progress to a higher level of activity,” Buckhalt said.

Select Specialty Hospital is not a nursing home, nor does it have an emergency room for patients to come in right off the street. What it does provide, though, is a means for critically ill patients to get to “a higher level of function.”

“If the critically ill or injured patient is on a ventilator, instead of maintaining them that way, we aggressively try to wean them off it,” Buckhalt said. “We progress them to a higher level of function so that they can participate in a rehab hospital. They’re not here to stay forever; they usually leave in 30 days, and then go on to the next level, which could be an acute-care rehab or a skilled nursing rehab facility.”

Buckhalt said that three more such facilities will open around Florida in the near future.

“The hospitals will love us because we will help free up ICU beds,” she said. “They can’t really progressively treat them there, and it ties up beds. So this way, the flow will keep open the beds, and our goal hopefully is to progress them to a higher level.”

Tallahassee’s Select Specialty Hospital features 29 beds, a six-bed ICU and a small surgical suite. In addition, physicians will be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a rotational basis.

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