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Posted on January 7, 2013 | 8:20 p.m.

Cottage’s Laurie Biscaro, Sal Robledo Honored with Hospital Hero Award

Source: Maria Zate for Cottage Health System

Laurie Biscaro and Sal Robledo of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital were recently honored with a Hospital Hero Award from the National Health Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of the underserved.

The Hospital Hero Awards are given annually to honor health-care professionals who are dedicated to patient care and who help to create miracles for patients. Hospitals that are members of the Hospital Association of Southern California are eligible to submit award nominees.

Biscaro is a registered nurse and supervisor of Access Case Management. Robledo is a licensed clinical social worker and manager of Medical Social Work. They teamed up to fix a problem that plagues emergency departments everywhere — people who overuse the emergency room and treat it like a visit to the doctor’s office.

The duo took the initiative to determine the reason so many patients were chronic users of the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital emergency room. They tediously studied the medical records of these patients and determined that care coordination was the cure for chronic emergency room use. Together, they created patient-centered care plans for more than 400 children and 60 adults.

By creating the care plans, they reduced the overuse of the emergency room at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by 81 percent and saved more than $1.5 million.

We congratulate Biscaro and Robledo for earning a 2012 Hospital Hero Award.

— Maria Zate represents Cottage Health System.

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