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Aurora Health Care Among Six Sites Chosen for National Medicare Collaborative on Geriatric Care
Date:10/5/2009

health systems, medical schools and hospitals with a portfolio of programs that could be the standard of care for older patients," said Marsha Vollbrecht, Aurora's director of Senior Services.

Aurora's ACE program is designed to help older adults maintain their mobility during a hospital stay, enable them to live independently at home after discharge, and minimize the amount of rehabilitation needed before they return home.

The Acute Care for the Elderly concept was developed in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. The ACE program was put in place at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee in September 2000, and later was expanded to 11 Aurora hospitals, improving outcomes for older patients throughout eastern Wisconsin.

The Aurora Senior Services team developed two new pieces for the ACE program that are of particular interest to other health systems. The first is called ACE Tracker, a software integrated with electronic health records that helps identify vulnerable hospitalized seniors. These may include patients who are at risk of falls after they return home. Once the problem is identified, the ACE team intervenes, creating a treatment plan to address the patient's specific needs.

The second new component of ACE is "e-Geriatrician", which helps Aurora geriatricians perform "virtual rounds" via telemedicine. Geriatricians assist patients at Aurora's hospitals across eastern Wisconsin without the need for travel. They confer with a hospital's full interdisciplinary team, which includes a nurse facilitator, team nursing leader, case manager, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist, dietitian, social worker and chaplain. The geriatrician then collaborates with the team to devise an appropriate, timely treatment plan.

"The collaborative was attracted to Aurora not only because of our success in developing this model of care, but also because of our ability to effectively spread that model to all of our sites," Dr. Malone s
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SOURCE Aurora Health Care
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