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Tear Down the Hospital Walls

A “navigator” meets at the nurse’s station about a patient.

How does a hospital system vastly extend its reach into underserved communities? Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare (MLH) in Memphis says it’s through trained volunteers. In an innovative program, developed by my long-time friend Gary Gunderson, MLH partnered with almost 400 local congregations that identify key volunteers who (after intensive training) help the patients through their stay and afterwards.

Early data show the program has cut readmission rates by 20 percent and halved mortality rates. And it’s saved funds — good news as hospitals face financial challenges. It’s even better news for patients who are moving toward better health. Read the Washington Post article here.

Disclosure: This program is one of my clients.

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