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Doctors Hospital

  • Location: Coral Gables, FL
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: September 2011

Founded in 1949, Doctors Hospital opened at a time when Dade County had only 1,000 hospital beds for a community that needed double that amount. The name, Doctors Hospital, reflects the soul of its founders – a small group of doctors who were concerned about the health and safety of their patients. These doctors raised the funds to build the 98-bed hospital and even designed it themselves. They were dedicated to their mission of providing the growing Coral Gables community with the highest standards of patient care. Doctors Hospital has grown and expanded throughout the years, but that mission remains.

Located in the heart of historic Coral Gables, the 281-bed facility has a tradition of excellence, with an outstanding reputation for its services in orthopedics, general surgery, neurosurgery, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, emergency and general medical care.

Where the Pros Go
On a typical day, elite athletes from around the globe walk through the halls of Doctors Hospital. Track stars, basketball and football players and tennis champs come to the hospital's Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to seek the expertise of our internationally known orthopedic surgeons and rehabilitation specialists.

The Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, one of the most respected orthopedic programs in the world, is the official sports medicine provider for the Miami Heat, Florida Panthers, Sony Ericsson Open, Florida International University and Discover Orange Bowl. The Center also is the official medical services provider for Dolphins Game Day at Sun Life Stadium.

The hallmark of the Center is its comprehensive approach to treating orthopedic and sport injuries. Physicians consult with trainers and physical therapists to create individualized patient care plans. Surgeons use the latest technology, including robot-assisted surgery and minimally invasive procedures to help amateur and professional athletes, weekend warriors and active people of all ages recover quickly and return to normal activities.

Surgery without the Scalpel
The Gamma Knife Center at Doctors Hospital is uniquely qualified to treat brain tumors and other neurological conditions. Since 1993, the team at Doctors Hospital has performed more than 5,500 "surgeries" without using a scalpel, making them the most experienced Gamma Knife team in Florida and among the world's leaders.

The physicians use radiosurgery – sophisticated computer software that guides subatomic particles called gamma rays. From 192 different angles, laser-thin gamma rays can target tumors as small as a pea. Earlier this year, Doctors Hospital proudly introduced the latest generation in state-of-the-art Gamma Knife technology, the Leksell Gamma Knife PERFEXION. This innovative system radically broadens the use of stereotactic radiosurgery. We are now able to treat neck/cervical lesions and multiple lesions with greater ease, making treatment sessions faster and more comfortable for our patients.


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Beyond Excellent Clinical Care
In the spring of 2007, the leadership team at Doctors Hospital determined that providing excellent customer service is equally as important as delivering world-class clinical care. The first Clinical and Service Excellence Director was named and new culture of service excellence was born.

The Clinical and Service Excellence Director is responsible for instilling our hospital's excellent service standards to the department leaders, who in turn model and teach these practices to their team. All leaders are now held accountable for their department's service outcomes, and team bonus increases are rewarded to departments that achieve outstanding patient satisfaction scores.

A Service Excellence Committee comprised of members of the management team meets monthly to share ideas, implement new initiatives that will enhance the patient- and family-experience and develop reward and recognition programs for staff members.

Through nursing shared governance, a structure that promotes direct care nurse decision-making, nurses have broadened the scope of their practice. Unit Practice Councils collaborate to implement changes that create a more satisfying work environment for nurses, while delivering quality, safe patient care.

In 2009, Doctors Hospital partnered with the Studer Group and since then, leaders at Doctors Hospital have been provided opportunities to attend various Studer conferences.

Hardwiring tactics and behaviors recommended by Studer Group have enabled the organization to achieve outcomes that have made Doctors Hospital the best place for patients to receive care, staff to work and physicians to practice medicine. Staff at Doctors Hospital practice AIDET/Key Words at Key Times throughout the hospital every patient, every time. Nurse Leader rounding and hourly rounding are hardwired in all clinical areas so that patients "always" are part of their plan of care as Doctors Hospital practices patient centered care.


Shadow A Nurse Day
CEO Nelson Lazo shadows a nurse

The Fruits of our Labor
Since implementing strategies to enhance and improve the patient experience in 2007, our outstanding customer service efforts have led to measurable success. Prior to the fourth quarter in fiscal year 2007, Doctors Hospital's overall patient satisfaction scores were in the 45th percentile as compared to our national peer group in the Press Ganey data base. At the end of 2007, patient satisfaction scores increased to the 88th percentile. During fiscal years 2008 – 2011, overall patient satisfaction scores have averaged in the 95th percentile.

Press Ganey, Quarter 3, FY11:
Overall- 96th percentile
Inpatient- 98th percentile
Outpatient Services- 91st percentile
Emergency Department- 94th percentile

Happy employees translate to happy customers. The results of the 2010 Gallup Employee Opinion Survey placed Doctors Hospital in the 89th percentile, with an overall score of 4.59. More than 83 percent of the hospital's employees participated in the survey, and the results demonstrated high levels of employee engagement.

Doctors Hospital is a wonderful place to work. Our annualized turnover goal is to be at or less than 10 percent and the results for October 2010 to July 2011 were a successful six percent. The current vacancy rate is at a low five percent, well under our goal of at or below eight percent.

To achieve customer service success, it is also important to provide our professional nurses a work environment in which they are supported and encouraged to excel. The results of the 2010 National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators survey of direct care nurses showed that Doctors Hospital nurses are "highly satisfied."

While keeping our patients and staff satisfied, we realize the great importance that physician satisfaction plays in making Doctors Hospital a healthcare organization of choice. The results of the physician satisfaction surveys conducted by HealthStream Research in 2010 showed that physicians ranked Doctors Hospital in the 99th percentile when asked the question "How satisfied are you with this hospital?"

Reaping the Rewards
Awards and recognition have accompanied the rising employee, physician and patient satisfaction scores.

  • HealthGrades awarded Doctors Hospital the Emergency Medicine Excellence Award and Outstanding Patient Experience Award in June 2010.
  • The Emergency Department was awarded the Studer Award in November 2010.
  • U.S. News and World Report named Doctors Hospital to its Best Regional Hospitals Honor Roll 2010-2011.
  • Practice Greenhealth recognized the Doctors Hospital with its Partner for Change Environmental Excellence Award in April 2011.
  • Doctors Hospital received the HealthStream Award for Top 2010 Physician Satisfaction Scores.
  • The VHA Clincial Excellence Award was given to Doctors Hospital in May 2011.
  • Doctors Hospital received the Gallup Workplace Award in May 2011.
  • HealthGrades recognized Doctors Hospital with its Outstanding Patient Experience Award 2011.

Reaching Out to the Community
Serving the community goes beyond providing excellent care and service to the patients who walk through the doors of Doctors Hospital. The hospital staff's caring ways extend to the Coral Gables community and beyond.

  • The doctors at the Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine have developed a program to provide free medical care, preventive healthcare and physicals to high school students in Miami-Dade County schools.
  • The Operating Room team held a food drive to benefit the Camillus House in Miami, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian services to men, women and children who are poor and homeless.
  • The Specialty Services Unit Practice Council collected personal hygiene items for the homeless in "Project Hope Tote."
  • Doctors Hospital employees have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for families in need and have rallied to prepare and serve holiday meals to the poor.
  • Money raised through a new initiative, "Project Goat," will enable Haitian families to purchase a goat.

Providing World-class Customer Service
Today, Doctors Hospital stands as a great memorial to the ideals, selfless devotion and community spirit of its founders. The interdisciplinary team at Doctors Hospital is dedicated to providing our patients with world-class customer service – a combination of safe, quality clinical care and excellent patient service. Patients and families are at the center of everything we do at Doctors Hospital – they are quite simply, the reason we exist.

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