Leading Edge of Health Care

When a health care system is dedicated to elevating and innovating every aspect of care, patients benefit. That’s why in 2023 BayCare enhanced both patient and provider experiences with innovative tools that improved care, reduced wait times and allowed more face-to-face time between patients and physicians.

BayCare embraced opportunities to partner with leading health care technology companies to implement patient-centered innovations to strengthen family bonding and help patients get back home to their families sooner. It piloted hands-free clinical notetaking tools to help clinicians spend more time listening to and focusing on patients and explored voice-to-text notetaking for nurses. BayCare also installed self-service registration tablets in emergency rooms.

BayCare welcomed technology assisted by artificial intelligence (AI) that allowed radiologists to diagnose strokes more quickly, accelerating patient treatment. And it announced plans to invest in the newest proton therapy treatment options, being the first health care provider to bring this important cancer-fighting technology to West Central Florida. 

Innovation also means enhancing the work far away from the doctor’s office and the bedside to ensure supplies arrive where they’re needed as efficiently as possible. Twenty-five robots now glide through the BayCare Integrated Service Center (BISC) in Temple Terrace every day, supporting team members filling supply orders for all 16 hospitals and many ambulatory locations. The robots helped BayCare double productivity, boost safety and reduce team member turnover by 30%.

“I was thrilled to have the ability to implement robotics. Being in supply chain for 30 years with BayCare, it was almost something you would only dream of.”

— Victor Celiberti, director for the BayCare Integrated Service Center supply chain services

Supporting Family Bonds

A 24/7 live-streaming video service in three BayCare neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) helped families of the most fragile young patients stay involved in their baby’s care. AngelEye allows families around-the-clock access to view their baby via a secure app on phones, tablets or computers.

Additionally, the PatientConnect app enables doctors and nurses to easily share updates, photos and videos, helping to enhance communication and involvement in a baby’s care. “Adding the AngelEye technology is one of the ways we can create stronger bonds for our most fragile patients and their families,” said Brenda Carvalho, director of patient care services for the NICUs at Mease Countryside Hospital and Morton Plant Hospital. NICUs at Mease Countryside Hospital, Morton Plant Hospital and St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital installed the technology.

A Better Patient Discharge Experience

BayCare’s use of digital technology to enhance the hospital discharge experience drew national attention and rave reviews from patients and nurses. Developed during the nursing shortage of COVID-19, the Virtual Nurse program enabled bedside nurses to spend more time directly caring for patients while a virtual nurse handled all discharges, answered patient questions, provided education and offered reassurance.

Using the Virtual Nurse program, BayCare nurses sit at a computer in a central location at the hospital. There, they have access to patients’ medical records, a secure web camera, multiple monitors and a headset. Support teams deliver iPads on tripods to the patients’ bedsides, enabling them to have a secure video call with the virtual nurse.

In 2023, the nation’s leading nurse credentialing organization, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, awarded its 2023 ANCC Pathway Award and $100,000 in prize money to BayCare to further develop the new Virtual Nurse program for patient discharge.

“Patients tell us they appreciate the undivided attention of the virtual nurse while our nurses working at the bedside appreciate being able to focus on patients who still need their care in the hospital,” said Jen Ransford, vice president/chief nursing officer for BayCare’s West Region.

New Options for Cancer Treatment

In 2023, BayCare announced it will invest $33 million to build West Central Florida’s first proton therapy center, significantly enhancing local access to cutting-edge cancer care. The installation at St. Joseph’s Hospital Cancer Institute will elevate the comprehensive cancer care services provided across BayCare, including the accredited radiation oncology programs at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg and Winter Haven Hospital in Winter Haven.

Helping Clinicians with Paperwork

BayCare is working to use AI-enhanced clinical note-taking software for physicians and nurses, including a pilot program. This gave them more time to listen and observe patients and less time after hours completing their documentation.

“Immediately, I saw a decrease in the amount of time I was spending after hours … about two hours per night. It allows me more face-to-face time with the patient during the visit, more eye-to-eye contact and a more personalized visit. It allowed me more time with my family and a better work-life balance.” - Jennifer Salansky, MD