Here for You as a Health Care Provider

Surgeons in an operating roomBayCare is the largest health care system in the Tampa Bay and West Central Florida regions, operating 15 hospitals and hundreds of other facilities. We exist to serve the community’s need for high-quality care, which is why many of our hospitals are in the midst of expansions and why we provide a wide array of care options, including urgent care centers, surgery centers, behavioral health facilities, physician offices, kiosks in Publix supermarkets and an innovation in care delivery, BayCare HealthHubs™.

When people can’t come to us, we go to them, with services such as a mobile medical clinic for children in underserved areas and Lab2Door to provide lab services to patients at home.

High-Quality Care for Every Individual

We serve hundreds of thousands of patients every year, but we know that our size and scope matter little to those who need our help. Their need, whatever it may be, is deeply personal to them and each one wants to be treated as an individual, not a number.

That’s why BayCare’s No. 1 goal is delivering clinical excellence to every patient, every time, in every setting where they interact with our providers. We want it to be the right care, in the right place, at the right time, provided in a way that’s dignified, respectful and mindful of patients’ need for convenience, value and, most of all, positive outcomes.

BayCare made great strides on its clinical excellence goal in 2019, earning high rankings from groups that use proven metrics to measure clinical quality and patient experience. IBM Watson Health ranked BayCare in the top 20 percent of large U.S. health systems and put three BayCare hospitals—Mease Countryside, Morton Plant and St. Joseph’s—on its list of 100 Top Hospitals. St. Joseph’s Hospitals earned the top-rated five-star quality rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. BayCare HomeCare earned 4.8 stars, outperforming competitors.

BayCare is working on multiple fronts to improve patient care and outcomes. For example, we launched robotic ultraviolet light disinfection in rooms throughout our hospitals, empowered team members and physicians to “stop the line” if they see anything amiss, initiated a ZERO HARM campaign, introduced a new physician web portal to improve clinicians’ communication and collaboration, and addressed gaps in hospital discharge instructions to ease patients’ transitions to their homes.

Smoothing the Transition Back Home

Patients with certain chronic illnesses find it so difficult to continue their recovery at home, that too often they end up back in the hospital in less than 30 days. To help those patients, BayCare developed its Transitions of Care Pharmacy Program, assigning pharmacists to work with patients for 30 days after they go home.

That’s just one example of how BayCare is transforming health care. The program not only has reduced hospital readmissions, it’s brought life-changing improvements in the path to recovery for patients and their families.

Spotlight: Carsell and Lisa Armstrong

For Lisa Armstrong, 7:30 a.m. was the worst time of day. By then, she and her father, Carsell Armstrong, were well into another exhausting, frustrating round of confusion and debate about his health care needs.

Carsell, 65, suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure and sleep apnea. Every day he took more than 20 pills, used three inhalers and slept hooked up to a special machine to make sure he kept breathing.

On Father’s Day 2019, Lisa found him in his home barely breathing. He had pneumonia. After a week in BayCare’s St. Joseph’s Hospital, he was better, but Lisa decided to move him into her home temporarily.

As a mother, doctoral student and instructor at the University of South Florida (USF), she already led a busy life. When her father moved in, so did an array of medical equipment and an astonishing collection of pills he’d been given over the years. But he couldn’t tell her what the pills were for or when he was supposed to take them. He had battled COPD since the 1990s, and he was tired of the fight.

“I personally gave up. I thought it was the end,” he said.

Lisa was overwhelmed and afraid. “He’d go to sleep and I’d stay awake to make sure he wasn’t going to … die,” she said.

BayCare Pharmacists Step In

Then Mary Lomberk, a pharmacist in BayCare’s Transitions of Care (TOC) Pharmacy Program, called and introduced herself. Mary’s husband knew Lisa at USF and felt the TOC program might help the family. Mary assured Lisa that help was on the way.

The day that TOC pharmacist Stephanie Hughes called to start working with the Armstrongs, she heard firsthand the confusion, fear and frustration disrupting their household.

To foster a sense of calm, Stephanie gave them a list of all the medications Carsell had, what each one was for and the side effects they could cause. Stephanie and Mary realized that one medication Carsell had taken for a decade was no longer recommended; they arranged for a better one. They reduced the number of pills he took each day, eliminated two of his three inhalers and wrote out a medication schedule.

Within three weeks, Carsell was so much better that he moved back home.

“They understood what my dad means to me,” Lisa said. “It was like I wasn’t alone anymore. And they were so patient. My dad felt respected. He felt like he finally understood what was happening.”

“It changed my mind about going on,” Carsell said. “I feel like I’m living my best life now.”