Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital

  • Location: Hollywood, FL
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: January 2008

Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, a facility of the public, not-for-profit Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, Florida, is a world-class children's hospital. The administration, physicians and employees of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital (JDCH) are excited to be named the January Fire Starter of the Month by the Studer Group.

JDCH combines compassionate care, advanced technology and the expertise of the largest diversity of board-certified specialists in the region. Additionally, it's the only children's hospital in the region to perform cardiac catheterization and open heart surgery, as well as provide an inpatient pediatric rehabilitation program and a chronic hemodialysis program.

Since its opening in 1992, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital has lived up to its namesake—world-renowned baseball legend Joe DiMaggio. The ballplayer DiMaggio, with his timeless 56-game hitting streak, had a tremendous will to win. So, too, does Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, whether in providing world-class medical care to its patients and families or gaining top-ranked patient satisfaction results.

JDCH had approximately 7,000 admissions and observation cases last year – up from 2,000 during its first year of operation. The staff has grown from 72 pediatric physicians in 1992 to approximately 500 today. The hospital has been named the "Best Hospital for Pediatrics in Broward" for 11 consecutive years in South Florida Parenting magazine. The same publication has named JDCH as "Best Hospital for Pediatric Emergency Care in Broward" for five years, and "Best Place for Services for Special Needs and Family Care" twice.

Principles for Success

Studer Group principles that have helped JDCH reach its goal of excellence:

  • Discharge phone calls to patients have brought the hospital notable, consistent success in achieving top marks in patient satisfaction.
  • Rounding to meet employee needs – meeting employees, getting their suggestions and giving employees the tools they need to provide patient satisfaction is important at JDCH. Rounding and meeting with employees helps retain staff. For fiscal year 2007, JDCH had a turnover rate for RNs of 7.4%, the lowest of any of the Memorial Healthcare System hospitals and less than half the national average.
  • Leadership development and having an emphasis on accountability/measurement in leadership is a strong principle at JDCH. All JDCH leaders are evaluated by accountability metrics, which helps leaders focus on what's important.
  • Concentrating on patient and family satisfaction is stressed at JDCH. If patient and family satisfaction is high, people will want to come to JDCH, which in turn helps the hospital's financial stability.
  • Having a purpose – making a difference in people's lives is important at JDCH. JDCH staff and employees realize the importance of putting the patient and family first.
  • JDCH actively involves families in the hospital and has created several family advisory committees. These family advisory committees help the hospital "see things from a different perspective." Information sharing and collaboration between families and staff are the cornerstones of the JDCH approach.
  • The concept of measurable goals has greatly contributed to the hospital's success, whether it's reducing infection, patient satisfaction, turnover, or becoming financially stable.

Top Patient Satisfaction Scores

"Since 2002, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital has maintained patient satisfaction in the top 5% nationally, as measured by Press Ganey Associates," said JDCH Administrator Nina Beauchesne. In the third quarter of 2007, JDCH patient satisfaction scores for inpatients ranked 97% and Emergency Department patient satisfaction ranked 99%.

"These numbers are phenomenal," said Brenda Cantrell, Studer Group Partner Relations Coordinator. "This hospital also provides service and events for the community."

JDCH provides hundreds of community events annually including baby safety showers, baby saver classes, back-to-school physicals, child ID, drowning prevention, safety town and teddy bear clinics.

In the last six years, admissions and observations have risen nearly 22%—making JDCH the fastest-growing children's hospital in Florida. With the population of Broward and Palm Beach Counties continuing to grow dramatically, plans are underway to build a more than $100 million, four-story, stand-alone Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, with 40+ additional beds, pediatric medical and surgical services, children's cancer services, expanded outpatient and pediatric diagnostic services, and two enclosed walkways connecting the hospital to the Memorial Regional Hospital campus.

Someone once asked Joe DiMaggio why he played so hard, and DiMaggio replied, "Because there is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time. I owe him my best." JDCH takes the same approach to caring for children's unique needs. Their motto is "Simply the Best!" and the hospital takes great pride in providing unparalleled medical treatment, staff, services and programs for a growing population.

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