To anyone outside the medical field, the term “swing bed” might seem confusing but at Orchard Hospital this is a great service available  to those people who might not be quite ready to go home following surgery, illness or injury.

A swing bed patient at the hospital will stay in their current hospital bed and room without having to change rooms. The main thing that will change is the hospital stay status. It will change from “acute” to “skilled” rehabilitation.

Because every hospital has a limited amount of days a patient can stay, as an acute patient, swing beds extends that time.

The patient might require further care to reach an optimal level of strength and wellness to safely return to their home or residential facility.

The Swing Bed Program helps patients achieve this goal through hospital-based skilled nursing care and rehabilitation and Orchard Hospital has just had their maximum amount of swing bed patients allowed increased from 10 to 24.

The swing bed program is especially beneficial for those who might be living alone and need some extra assistance until they are up and around on their own.

Swing bed means a patient is on their way to recovery but needs extra care, extra time and possibly physical therapy.

In order to qualify as a Swing Bed patient, you must have had at least a three-night qualifying stay as an acute care patient within the last 30 days (at any hospital) and require a daily skilled need such as rehabilitative therapy or IV antibiotics.

Many may not realize that infusion services are available to patients and outpatients of Orchard which means as  swing bed patient, antibiotic infusion therapy can be offered for those who might have Osteomyelitis and require weeks of antibiotics, sometimes twice a day. Patients are welcome to stay as a swing bed patient and go home when the two weeks of infusions are up.

Outpatients who visit Orchard Hospital daily for infusions may have an infection such as sepsis from a septic knee, frequent pneumonia, cellulitis or need wound care such as with MSRA.

The medical staff at Orchard can give any type of IV treatment including hydration which can be done as an outpatient including IV transfusions.

Private rooms are available with private bathrooms for swing bed patients.

Each treatment plan is tailored to a patient's individual situation.

The program is open to anyone who has a recommendation from their doctor for extended care, whether the patient was originally at Orchard Hospital or not.

In fact, area hospitals are choosing to send some of their patients to Orchard because unlike skilled nursing facilities, a doctor and Respiratory Therapist are  on site 24 hours a day.

The hospital's physical therapy unit is vital in the rehabilitation of many of their patients.

Enloe Medical Center has sent multiple patients who have had surgery to Orchard to receive rehab  because Gridley is their home. Patients may receive a day pass  so that they can go to their home  and pick up things that they may need .

This is very beneficial especially for the family members who won't have to travel to visit their loved one.

Rehabilitation Services offered at Orchard Hospital include physical, occupational, speech, and recreational therapy with a full gym available; therapies scheduled as practical to what patients can tolerate; nutritional therapy; tube feeding, infusion therapy; wound care, cardiopulmonary and a discharge planner who will assist you first by discussing your plan of what is needed and what is covered. For example, Medicare A has a 20 day limit for skilled nursing but the 21st day can be used for transition along with locating resources and preparing you for discharge.

If a Medicare patient needs to stay past the 21st day, they will receive 80 percent coverage from Medicare and 20 percent will be billed to their secondary insurance.

Skilled nursing facilities do not have a pharmacy on the premises and often have to wait for a prescription to be filled and delivered.

An in-house Dietician is available five days a week which is also not available in skilled nursing facilities, (except of course the Hovlid Skilled Nursing inside Orchard Hospital).

Lab and Radiology Departments at Orchard are covered by a 24 hour on-call physician.

Orchard Hospital also offers an Activities Director and a Social worker. The Activities Director visits patients to offer reading materials, puzzles, crafts, games and television.

Social Services visits the patients to offer psychological, social and spiritual support.


The top priority for the staff of Orchard Hospital is to help patients recover independence and mobility in a safe environment.

“As a Critical Access Hospital,  our responsibility is to get the patient stable whether that is by transferring to another hospital or getting you home,” Julie Thompson, MS RD,  Orchard Hospital's Utilization Manager and Registered Dietician stated.

“Anybody who comes in and is treated for acute care will be assessed whether they can be treated here or transferred. We can take care of most needs but not always within the 96 hour time frame for acute care patients,” Thompson stated.

“We want to get you well enough to go home,” she stated.