October 30, 2014

Up Front

Making the Rounds

Andrew P. Corty | 5/1/2011

Andy Corty
Andy Corty, Publisher
Recently I was among 25 participants in a "white coat" mini-nternship program at Tampa General that provided us with a behind-the-scenes view of a day at the hospital.

TGH is one of Florida's leading healthcare facilities, with 1,000-plus patient rooms, 43 surgical suites and 1,200

attending physicians. In addition, some 300 resident physicians work at the hospital through the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Since I'm a nut for statistics, I noted that last year the hospital saw 262,000 patients, performed 28,000 surgeries, completed 2.8 million lab tests and dispensed 6.7 million drug doses.

Guiding me through this busy place was Dr. Harry van Loveren, who exudes a warmth and equanimity that confirms his reputation as one of the leading neurosurgeons in America. Why is he so calm? Perhaps because he attended seminary and sky-dives for recreation.

Dr. van Loveren and two other surgeons he worked with that day— Dr. Raul Olivera and Dr. Tzu Lau— explained that they need to "bring their 'A' game" to the hospital every single day. "For us, it's another day at the office, but the patient wants you alert, enthusiastic, even happy, if that's what it takes to achieve perfection," van Loveren said, "no matter what tough surgeries you had the day before."

I watched a six-hour surgery during which doctors delved deep into a woman's cranium to extract a mass that was causing her excruciating pain. Eight medical personnel were in the O.R. the whole time, using hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment. Behind the scenes, of course, were the other staff — in admitting, record-keeping, nursing, cleaning, cooking and so on — who are just as vital in keeping the hospital going. In all, it takes 6,700 staffers to run TGH.

That evening, president and CEO Ron Hytoff spoke to our group, explaining the service TGH provides to the community and the special expertise that a teaching hospital brings to patient care. Not only is TGH a Level 1 trauma center, meaning a trauma team is in the hospital 24/7, but it is a regional burn center, a transplant center, a neonatal intensive care facility and a clinical site for students of nursing and other specialties.

Of course, Tampa General is just one example of the fine healthcare providers we have in Florida, so if you have the chance to participate in this type of white coat program in your region, jump at it. You will be impressed in ways that are hard to measure.


Both statistics and my own insider's view leave no doubt that healthcare is big business in Florida. In this issue of Florida Trend, we put a special focus on business-related innovations in healthcare. See "Healthcare".

We feature a St. Johns County company, MDI Holdings, that provides sophisticated analytic software that companies can use to anticipate and manage their healthcare costs. Our round-up ranges from a service company that helps providers comply with federal healthcare laws to telephonic monitoring of high-risk patients. We've also included an update on Florida's workers' comp reform.

This topic is so important to our economy that Florida Trend will take up the issue again in September with a look at scientific innovations.


Our community portrait series continues this month with a look at St. Johns County and the cities of St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach. This beautiful stretch on the northeast coast is full of both history and modern development.


Diet update: Not much progress on shedding 15 pounds, but maybe the stint at Tampa General will make me more serious about avoiding bread, French fries and dessert.

— Andy Corty
Publisher
[acorty@floridatrend.com]

Tags: Publisher's column

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