Working together to move medicine forward
Celebrating our 2017 accomplishments and looking ahead to 2018
2017 Year in review
To everyone who provides and supports patient care for the UF Health Shands hospital system, UF Health Shands CEO Ed Jimenez extends a heartfelt thank you.
“We concluded another fascinating year. We had our share of accomplishments, successes and improvements,” he said.
The most complex and impressive endeavor of 2017, involving many faculty and staff, was opening our two new hospitals — the UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital — on Dec. 10. Patients with complex health conditions now receive inpatient and outpatient specialty care from interdisciplinary teams co-located in specially designed spaces unique to their needs.
“This new hospital milestone was the culmination of months of increasingly intense planning and preparations,” Jimenez said. “It took incredible collaboration and cooperation, patience and tireless work.”
A new hospitals transition steering team led five subcommittees: Communications, IT, Orientation, Patient Care and Support Services. Hundreds of hardworking and dedicated faculty and staff were involved in the incredibly detailed transition planning process.
“To everyone who had a role in helping us prepare to transition to the new hospitals, thank you for your contributions. Your commitment made this vision a reality,” Jimenez said. “You’ve made history for our organization, community, state and region.”
Here’s a look at some of the highlights of the hospital system’s accomplishments in 2017.
The hospital leadership team welcomed Eric Rosenberg, M.D., MSPH, FACP, as associate chief medical officer. Rosenberg joined C. Parker Gibbs, M.D., UF Health Shands chief medical officer, and Shelley Wells Collins, M.D., associate chief medical officer. Our physician leaders foster strong partnerships between hospital medical staff and clinical teams to improve clinical outcomes and the patient experience.
From May to October, Collins served as interim director of clinical quality for UF Health Shands. She collaborated with clinical faculty and hospital leaders to support quality and safety programs. (See “Looking ahead for 2018” for information about our new chief quality officer, Sasha Grek, M.D.)
Four UF Health executives assumed leadership roles for the hospital Clinical Quality and Patient Safety departments: Patient Experience (reporting to Irene Alexaitis, D.N.P., R.N., NEA-BC, UF Health Shands chief nursing officer); Clinical Risk Management (reporting to C. Parker Gibbs, M.D., UF Health Shands chief medical officer); Quality Analytics (reporting to Gigi Lipori, UF Health chief data officer); and Quality and Accreditation (reporting to Diana Richardson, UF Health Shands vice president of operations). They work with each team’s leaders to steer quality and safety efforts to improve patient outcomes and ensure Quality is Job 1.
Jill M. Sumfest, M.D., M.S., FACS, was named GatorCare president in July, adding to her role as GatorCare medical director. Sumfest is board-certified in general surgery and colon and rectal surgery, and has managed care expertise with commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans.
Strategic goals & growth
UF Health Physicians debuted two new practices: one in Ocala, in Marion County, and the other in Summerfield, in Lake County just north of The Villages® community. UF Health Ocala Heath Brook is serving cardiology, maternalfetal, reproductive endocrinology and infertility patients and offers a pediatric after hours clinic with UF Health physicians on site every weekday. UF Health Villages offers cardiology, gynecology oncology, urogynecology and orthopaedics services, with plastic surgery consultations.
In May, UF Health officials broke ground at UF Health Springhill to add clinical services behind the current facility. The new building will house UF Health Physicians practices and will expand primary care and specialty care, including internal medicine, family medicine, adult and child psychiatry, allergy, integrative medicine, medical psychology and pain management.
Earlier last year, UF Health entered into a formal affiliation with Sacred Heart in Pensacola to provide residency training, pediatric subspecialty care and neonatal and pediatric critical care transport through UF Health ShandsCair. Through this relationship, UF College of Medicine faculty operate physician residency programs in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology. The UF Department of Pediatrics is also working with Sacred Heart to provide specialized pediatric subspecialty care to critically ill children in the Panhandle.
With the UF Health and Sacred Heart neonatal and pediatric critical care transport relationship, ShandsCair will lead the ground and air transport of pediatric patients in the Panhandle and offer a service that can fly faster and farther than Sacred Heart’s previous air ambulance. In the event a critically injured child requires a level of care only available at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, ShandsCair can fly from Pensacola to Gainesville without stopping to refuel, which could ultimately save a patient’s life. These services join the existing relationship with Sacred Heart in adult kidney transplant.
Clinical excellence + research
Early last year, a patient received what he called a “bionic eye” — a microelectrode array implanted in the retina — here at UF Health Shands Hospital. The electrode assumes the function of damaged retinal cells, sending signals to a special pair of glasses that allows the patient to see shapes and contrasting images. This was our first patient to receive this microelectrode array and our hospital was one of only 18 implant sites in the U.S.
Last year, families of infants diagnosed with high-risk single ventricle heart defects went home with specially configured iPads and apps that help send important real-time monitoring data to their UF Health care team. Our team at the UF Health Congenital Heart Center, part of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, was first in the state to use this technology.
In the fall, three pharmacy technician trainees became the first graduates from the nine-week Pharmacy Technician Training Program, a new collaboration between UF Health Shands Pharmacy Services and the UF College of Pharmacy.
In February, we opened the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Neonatal ICU, newly renovated space for our tiniest, most vulnerable patients and their families. It expanded the NICU from 12,632 square feet to 20,844 square feet. The new environment is soothing and family friendly and supports the team’s exceptional clinical care.
As part of our collaboration between UF Health and the Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, a UF College of Medicine transplant surgeon performed Northwest Florida’s first kidney transplant last February. This is an example of how our relationships with other health organizations expand care for patients throughout Florida and the region.
Another example of pioneering clinical care last year was when a UF orthopaedic surgeon was one of only two nationwide to perform the first computer-assisted shoulder replacement surgery using a new technology allowing live navigation of the operative site. The technology, ExactechGPS® Total Shoulder Application, provides surgeons with a real-time 3-D computer model of a patient’s shoulder during surgery.
Last spring, we celebrated several hundred UF Health Shands employees for their long-term commitment at our Milestone Service Awards event. Our featured honoree was Rhea Broyles, M.S.N., R.N., for 45 years of service. She started her career as a nurse at Alachua General Hospital and concluded it as a senior quality improvement specialist with the UF Health Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety.
Awards + Recognition
Last year, our UF Health Shands nursing teams received national recognition for nursing excellence. The Trauma/Lung Transplant Unit nursing team earned their second gold Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. We now have five active Beacon Awards, and UF Health Shands is tied for first in Florida to have the most current gold-level Beacon Awards. Our other nursing units with Beacon Awards are the Cardiac ICU (gold), the Pediatric ICU (gold), the Surgical/Trauma ICU (gold) and the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (silver).
In the fall, our UF Health Shands Nursing and Patient Services teams applied for our fourth consecutive Magnet designation. This is the health care industry’s top honor for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.
In March, UF Health Shands Hospital earned the highest rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for our patient care and outcomes in congenital heart surgery. The distinguished three-star rating places the hospital among the elite in the U.S. and Canada for congenital heart surgery.
For the third year in a row, UF Health Shands ranked among the nation’s best in more adult and pediatric medical specialties than any other hospital in Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report annual rankings. UF Health Shands Hospital and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital ranked among America’s Best Hospitals and America’s Best Children’s Hospitals, respectively, in six medical specialties each.
Meanwhile, our colleagues at the UF College of Medicine gained more national prominence with a ranking of No. 40 among the nearly 150 medical schools in the country and No. 16 among public institutions by U.S. News & World Report.
In the fall annual rankings, Hospitals & Health Networks named UF Health one of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems for our use of advanced technology to improve communication, safety and relationships with patients. UF Health also placed 21st in Indeed.com’s 2017 Best Places to Work ranking of U.S. hospitals or health systems.
Hospitality + service
To improve our patients’ experience, UF Health Shands and UF Health Physicians introduced a new user-friendly paperless billing tool in the fall. Patients can view statements online any time, receive email or text notifications when new statements are available or payments are due, and set up their own payment plans.
Monthly Hospitality Huddles are now commonplace at UF Health Shands, the College of Medicine and UF Health Physicians. They help us focus on specific hospitality behaviors, outlined by the UF Health Hospitality & Service program, to help us build a supportive and welcoming culture for patients, visitors and staff.
Late fall, we launched iCARE: A Clean And Restful Environment campaign. UF Health Shands and UF College of Medicine leaders asked faculty, residents, staff and volunteers to help keep care areas and workplaces clean and tidy, and to be sensitive to noise levels on inpatient units. Staff now use spill stations for immediate clean-ups and some have “adopted” areas such as stairwells to help make a great impression for everyone in our buildings.
Last year, we began distribution of the new UF Health ID overlays for staff to wear over our existing ID badges. The new IDs display the UF Health logo and help clearly identify each staff person by name and role. This approach helps communicate who we are to our patients, visitors and customers, and gives us a unified look.
In September, we introduced Problem-Solving Care, an evolution of our UF Health branding effort. We’re sharing compelling stories about four patients who came to UF Health seeking answers to their unique health issues. These stories illustrate our academic health center approach to collaborative and multidisciplinary care; pioneering, lifesaving research to advance medicine; and safe, quality clinical care and innovative solutions for each patient we serve. Visit problemsolvingcare.org to learn more.
Blueprints on Bridge launched in September as the new employee-focused version of the Blueprints for Progress public website. It features information and resources to update staff so they can communicate with patients and customers about new construction, renovations, access and wayfinding.
In 2017, we also introduced new online versions of our two main newsletters designed for staff who provide and support patient care at UF Health Shands and our outpatient programs. You can easily find News+Notes and The Q (Quality) Report on the Bridge under the “News & Events” tab, along with all UF Health multimedia news tools.
The Bridge continues to expand as an internal communications resource. The “Empathy Corner” feature on the homepage is the most-viewed section, highlighting stories that show the kindness and caring of our UF Health family around the system.
The TransLoc Rider app launched in January 2017, providing patients, visitors and staff with a convenient user-friendly tool to track UF Health Shands shuttle routes. Access TransLoc Rider online or on mobile devices to see the realtime location of our shuttles and when they will arrive at stops. Search any mobile app store for the free “TransLoc Rider” app.
The UF Health Protect app also launched in January 2017. It’s a free personal safety app for faculty, staff and students. Intuitive navigation quickly connects users with digital safety tools. Virtually connect with and share your real-time location and movements with another user you trust; use the Safety Toolbox to sound an alarm from your mobile device; or use Staff Resources to access general emergency guidelines and contacts.
Last February, our Sixth Annual Wellness Event was a big success, with an improved overall wellness score of 73. Meanwhile, a 21 percent participation increase had more than 3,000 employees attending events at one of the 10 UF Health locations. Participation and engagement in our Wellness programs grew: More than 800 employees participated in the 12 Tweaks program, more than 600 completed a workplace-sponsored challenge and around 400 participated in a wellness seminar.
In March, we reached an all-time high when 8,345 employees completed the annual UF Health Shands Employee Engagement Survey, with 84 percent participation. Our overall engagement score was 4.26 (out of 5), putting us in the 86th percentile among academic health centers nationwide. This reflects that employees feel valued and that you feel leaders appreciate and will use your feedback.
In April, 31 UF Health teams raised $54,000 for the March of Dimes March for Babies. UF Health received the Gold Boot as the area’s No. 1 fundraising team.
In September, 724 members of the UF Health family showed their commitment to the American Heart Association’s Alachua County Heart Walk, making us the top fundraising company for the sixth consecutive year. The 39 UF Health teams raised almost $40,000, and together, the community raised more than $224,000 to support the AHA.
In October, our UF Health teams supported the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. Eighteen UF Health teams raised over $15,000, making UF Health the top local contributor, contributing to the overall total of more than $100,000 to support innovative breast cancer research.
In the fall, UF Health Shands employees generated more than $228,000 for the United Way of North Central Florida. The funds will help support critical community-based programs that assist families and individuals.
In 2017, our own UF Health Raising Hope at Work campaign raised more than $200,000 thanks to nearly 1,800 UF Health Shands and UF College of Medicine faculty and staff who chose to support projects that directly impact education and patient care. Every Raising Hope at Work dollar generated is invested into our organization.
Looking ahead for 2018
A top priority is for us to establish the new UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital among our family of hospitals at UF Health. We will continue to build patient volumes for these inpatient and outpatient programs and support improved patient care, innovative surgical procedures and great interdisciplinary collaboration.
Meanwhile, plans are underway to renovate and repurpose the space vacated at UF Health Shands Hospital. These ongoing strategic efforts are to adapt these spaces to address our patients’ most pressing health care needs and provide an even better patient experience, while supporting the care needs of our skilled teams.
For details about how we plan to use vacated hospital space, please read the Nov. 30 edition of the “On the Same Page” e-newsletter from David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. You can find OTSP on the Bridge under the “News & Events” tab.
The collaboration between UF Health Shands and Select Medical is also evolving as we plan for shared ownership and Select Medical operational oversight of long-term acute care services and rehab hospital programs. More information will soon be shared.
When it comes to clinical quality and patient safety, 2018 will bring renewed energy thanks to the appointment of Sasha Grek, M.D., the new UF Health Shands chief quality officer as of Nov. 1. Grek is also a UF College of Medicine clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine.
“With Dr. Grek on board and our executive team well-connected in quality leadership, we look forward to the continued evolution for our clinical quality and safety efforts,” Jimenez said. “Our focus will be a different analytical way of thinking about data, making it more relatable to our doctors and nurses. We want quality goals and progress to resonate with everyone. Dr. Grek is the perfect person to lead us through this change.”
Accreditation is top of mind as we anticipate The Joint Commission visiting our UF Health Shands hospitals in the first half of the year. Additionally, our nursing colleagues have applied for Magnet redesignation, which would be our fourth-consecutive designation from the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center with the nursing industry’s top honor.
“Thank you for another remarkable year,” Jimenez said. “We owe our success to each person in the UF Health family who comes to work every day ready to make a difference. Because of you, people who need help and healing can come to UF Health for outstanding medicine and compassionate caring.”