Good healthcare systems and physicians find a way to balance the softer side of medicine with hard science.
At Florida Hospital for Children, which will soon be AdventHealth for Children, our goal is to treat everyone as a whole-person — from the preemies in our NICU to the hundreds of thousands of kids treated within our walls, their siblings, parents, grandparents and everyone in between.
Why? As a faith-based organization, we’re called to heal broken hearts as well as the brokenhearted. If we walk into a room and treat the baby, have we done our job? What about their anxious and exhausted parents? The 5-year-old sister who doesn’t know how to comprehend what’s happening? The grandfather whose spiritual tank is running on empty?
The latest technology and newest drugs may heal the patient, but we are focusing on healing and strengthening the caregivers and family, as well. And when we prioritize all aspects of medicine — body, mind and spirit — we provide patients the care they need and help heal the whole family. During the last year, we debuted several new initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to clinical excellence and whole-person health:
- We’ve partnered with Draeger, a world leader in medical technology, to bring the latest in neonatal care to Central Florida with the Babyleo incubator, which offers groundbreaking technology to regulate body heat, maximize efficiency for clinical staff and integrate families in their babies’ care. Using three heat sources, Babyleo keeps infants at their ideal body temperature. This is vital because the infant’s energy is directed toward growth and development, rather than to keeping warm. Draeger’s Babyleo TN500 IncuWarmer is being used in NICUs across the Florida Hospital system with 73 beds throughout the Orlando, Altamonte and Celebration campuses.
- We launched Compassion Rounds, a physician-led program involving chaplains and social workers uniquely focused on psychosocial and spiritual needs of parents and families. During Compassion Rounds, the team of experts meets with the family about how they are doing emotionally and spiritually, counsels them, and offers prayer if the family requests. Research shows that a family’s well-being has direct impact on patients’ health. Our Compassion Rounds team say they have seen notable impacts already, and the feedback from families and physicians has been overwhelmingly positive. The program doesn’t only have an impact on families — physicians have experienced the benefits of Compassion Rounds as well: Many have described it as “chicken soup for a physician’s soul.”
- We launched a scribe program offering an innovative approach to physician and patient communications. The program allows specially trained medical scribe to use an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) application to take notes during physician visits, thereby allowing doctors to spend more time at the bedside of their patients instead of being in front of computers. Medical scribes have been utilized in emergency rooms and specialty practices, but the use of scribes in inpatient settings is a novel concept. So far, the results of this program have been promising: patient satisfaction scores in the NICU have shown significant improvement in the area of physician communication.
We know strategies like these are working — our patients tell us, and we have received national recognitions including the gold-standard Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In December, The Leapfrog Group named us a Top Children’s Hospital for excellence in patient safety, and more recently, U.S. News and World Report ranked our neonatology program one of the top in the country.
In collaboration with Florida Hospital, Florida Hospital for Children this year became an ELSO Center of Excellence. This distinguished award recognizes programs that provide exceptional care for high-risk patients — including many neonates — needing specialized life support.
I am honored to serve alongside a team committed to unmatched excellence and with compassion for the families of Central Florida. As our organization transitions to a new brand in January, we are excited to continue innovating and providing the highest quality, most advanced and compassionate care to the children and families we serve.
About Florida Hospital for Children
Florida Hospital for Children is committed to delivering world class programs, extraordinary patient care and clinical excellence. Our flagship hospital is at the heart of a children’s network that includes primary care pediatricians, specialty clinics, emergency departments and Kids Urgent Care. With the help of Walt Disney Imagineering and input from patients, families and clinicians, Florida Hospital for Children features a seven-story, technologically advanced facility with a child-centered healing environment. We have assembled a world-class team of doctors, specialists, nurses and healthcare professionals who are second to none. At their disposal are some of the most advanced technologies, therapies and treatments available. We lead the way, not only in our approach to healthcare, but in research as well, finding new methods for treating children so we can improve outcomes. One of the premier children’s health systems in the nation, Florida Hospital for Children sets the standard for innovation, quality and comprehensive care.
By Rajan Wadhawan, MD
Rajan Wadhawan, MD, is the chief medical officer for Florida Hospital for Children, where he also serves as the medical director of Neonatology. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Wadhawan is a board-certified physician executive in pediatrics, neonatal perinatal medicine and medical management by the Certifying Commission for Medical Management. During his time at Florida Hospital for Children he has overseen care quality and the expansion of clinical service lines across the expansive care network. Under his leadership, the hospital has received accolades for quality and safety, including LeapFrog Top Children’s Hospital award and U.S. News and World Report recognition as a top neonatology program. In addition to his role at Florida Hospital for Children, Dr. Wadhawan is an associate professor at the University of Central Florida Department of Pediatrics.