Acute care units for elderly patients can reduce costs and promote quality care yet there are only about 200 in U.S. hospitals, mainly because the approach to care is outside medical norms, says Dr. C. Seth Landefeld, who developed the ACE concept two decades ago. Still, Aurora Health in Wisconsin, Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle and the University of Alabama at Birmingham successfully use ACE units to reduce infections, lengths of stay and readmissions while dealing with elderly patients who may suffer from lack of mobility, delirium or dementia.

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