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WI hospitals treating low-income patients aim to cut readmissions

Journal Sentinel, August 27, 2012

Rajesh Bhargava, a physician at the Aurora Medical Center in Summit, has spent part of the past 2½ years developing a checklist to help prevent patients from ending up back in the hospital. In the Milwaukee area, Aurora Sinai Medical Center and Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph Campus, two hospitals that provide care for a disproportionate percent of low-income patients, have low readmission rates. Bhargava and others at Aurora were given the job to develop standardized processes that could be implemented at all of the health system's hospitals. One challenge is developing checklists and designing processes to ensure that a long list of seemingly minor tasks get done. The health system started with a program—Better Outcomes for Older Adults through Safe Transitions, developed by the Society of Hospital Medicine—and then modified it.