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Aurora St. Luke's opens two retail stores to serve patients` medical, convenience needs

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pilot program is designed to ease stress and save time
for patients and families as they prepare to leave the hospital

Aurora Health Care has opened two retail stores in Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center to better serve patients and to ease their transition from hospital to home in a new pilot program.

"Our mission is to design care around the patient," said Susan Buettner, senior vice president of administrative services for Aurora. "We want to create a care experience that is as simple and stress-free as possible, especially when it's time for a patient to leave the hospital. By having retail stores on site, families can pick up anything from a cold compress to a pain medication dispenser and be on their way."

See pictures of the stores

Products related to heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's, diabetes and other medical needs are available at For Your Well Being, a store inside the hospital. Products that are sources of comfort like pillows, music, aromatherapy and books are available as well. The emphasis is on convenience for patients and family members, allowing them to easily pick up the products they need to recover and heal at home.

A team of Aurora clinical caregivers helped select the products most beneficial to patients such as specialized skin-care products for cancer patients, compression stockings, insulin testing kits for diabetes patients, and hand and wrist supports for rehabilitation patients. Items for home use include long-handled brushes, kitchen helpers, and big-button phones. Comfort items such as neck wraps and booties also are offered.

"Patients are more engaged in their health care than ever before and want convenience and access as well as high-quality care," Buettner said. "We believe these stores will meet a growing need."

The approximately 2,400-square-foot For Your Well Being is on the first floor of Aurora St. Luke's between the outpatient pharmacy and the 29th St. entrance.

Market Express, on the third-floor Aurora St. Luke's skywalk near the physician office building, is similar to a convenience store you might find at an airport. The store, which is about 350 square feet, offers items such as toothbrushes or batteries and also features coffee, juices, sandwiches, salads, snacks and some dairy items.

Both stores are open to all - patients, family members, caregivers and the public.

For Your Well Being will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Memorial Day hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Market Express hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The store openings come on the heels of another pilot program, called the Care Center, in which medical necessities such as cold packs, elastic bandages and ibuprofen are sold in vending machines at the Aurora St. Luke's emergency department and at the Franklin Urgent Care Center. The machines include the top 20 over-the-counter home health items required by emergency department patients after they receive treatment.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Sue Pierman (414-647-6432)

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