Orlando, FL (April 16, 2012) – Orlando Health is introducing a new in-patient care system at Orlando Regional Medical Center beginning May 1, 2012. The new model will increase the amount of time hospital-based doctors -- known in the medical profession as ‘hospitalists’-- spend with patients inside the hospital and their families. The new approach is aimed at improving patient care by enhancing the communication and collaboration between hospitalists and patients’ primary care physicians and specialists.
“Doing what is best for our patients is at the heart of the change to our hospitalist program,” said Sherrie Sitarik, president and CEO, Orlando Health. “This new delivery model promotes optimal patient care, and it is an essential element in our mission to transform our systems, operations and programs so that everything we do revolves around patients’ needs.”
The program is part of Orlando Health’s patient focused strategy introduced by Mrs. Sitarik in January, 2010. The strategy is a multi-year undertaking aimed at transforming the model of care across the organization. The goal is better integration of clinical care for patients and increased collaboration between medical staff and physicians so that patient care is seamless, more effective and efficient. Orlando Health expects the new approach will improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.
With the new model, hospitalists will be responsible for fewer patients. There will be a comprehensive hand off between care providers, including patients transferring from one level of care to another, such as from the intensive care unit to the step-down unit. Hospitalists will be continually on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week allowing patients and families the benefit of improved access and availability as well as enhanced communication and continuity of care. Hospitalists will also be actively involved in quality care processes. A pilot of the new in-patient model launched at Orlando Health’s Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in December, 2010. The program was implemented last fall at South Seminole Hospital. Both programs have received very positive reviews from local physicians who interact with the new hospitalists teams at Orlando Health facilities.
"One of the challenges facing physicians and patients alike in recent years has been the fragmentation and loss of continuity of care between the doctor's office and hospital settings. The new hospitalist program at South Seminole Hospital has significantly improved consistency of care and flow of information for our patients," said Martin Derrow, MD, Chief of Internal Medicine for Physician Associates.
The exclusive arrangement features hospitalists who are all employed by Orlando Health, which has tremendous benefits to patients. As employed physicians, they receive the support and resources that a large organization can provide, thereby freeing them from administrative and operational pressures. This allows physicians to more closely concentrate on patient care.
“This new approach continues to honor the relationship patients have with their primary care physicians and specialists,” said Wayne Jenkins, MD, president Orlando Health Physician Partners and senior vice president, Orlando Health. “Primary care physicians may still personally admit and manage the care of their private patients at Orlando Health hospitals, if they so choose. Orlando Health’s hospitalist program is just another option for primary care physicians that has been shown to be effective in many other markets across the nation.”
Exclusive practice agreements for hospital-based physicians are standard in the healthcare industry. Experience has shown that exclusive hospital-based providers - ranging from anesthesiologists to emergency medicine practices to pathologists – create stronger alignments and better continuity of care within a hospital setting. Orlando Health’s new hospitalist model builds on that experience and goes one step further by ensuring physicians are provided with resources and support to help them deliver exceptional care to patients.
About Orlando Health
Orlando Health is a $1.9 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of hospitals and care centers in the Orlando region. The organization, which includes the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics, is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. They are: Orlando Regional Medical Center; Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children; Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies; Dr. P. Phillips Hospital; South Seminole Hospital; Health Central, South Lake Hospital (50 percent affiliation); St. Cloud Regional Medical Center (20 percent affiliation) and MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando – the first affiliate of one of the nation’s premier cancer centers, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Orlando Health’s areas of clinical excellence are heart and vascular, cancer care, neurosciences, surgery, pediatric orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatology, and obstetrics and gynecology.
Orlando Health is one of Central Florida’s largest employers with nearly 16,000 employees and more than 2,500 affiliated physicians supporting our philosophy of providing high quality care and service that revolves around patients’ needs. We prove this everyday with over 110,000 inpatient admissions and nearly 690,000 outpatient visits each year. In all, Orlando Health serves 1.6 million Central Florida residents and nearly 3,000 international patients annually. Additionally, Orlando Health provides approximately $239 million in support of community health needs. More information can be found at www.orlandohealth.com.