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Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

Dec 13, 2018
For more than 63 years, NCH has continuously evolved and enhanced its services to exceed the needs of those it serves in Southwest Florida. NCH continues to ensure that every decision made is in the best interest of patients and the community.

With this spirit and intent, in June NCH implemented a patient-centered hospitalist pilot program, which we believed would improve outcomes and experience for patients.  We understand that change can lead to confusion, concern, and also regret that we did not share the vision and plan more effectively. 


NCH wants to respond to your questions, reassure you of its longstanding commitment to patients and physicians, and provide clarity on the path forward for this pilot program.


Our recent efforts to increase communication included a newspaper guest editorial, full-page ads of facts, a two-way phone conference with volunteers, community forums at senior centers, and several forums with employees.  Moreover, the regularly scheduled meetings with the Medical Executive Committee, Hospitalist and Medicine Departments, and Medical Staff have continued since the start of the pilot.  We will continue to host events to foster two-way dialogue. We need to hear from you and we hope you are open to hearing from us.


We want our patients to feel empowered to make informed decisions about their care.  Therefore, understanding what this program is, and what it is not, is critical.  


The pilot program, currently in place at two units in Baker Hospital and one unit in North Naples, brings a new level of collaboration to patient care.  On these select units, patients are admitted by a hospitalist—a board-certified NCH physician specifically trained to treat hospitalized patients—who is geographically embedded in that unit, dedicated to caring for only those patients, and physically present all day long.


Each patient’s primary care physician is encouraged to partner with the hospitalist and the full care team to help ensure integrated care, best outcomes, and improved experience.  While hospitalists are responsible for writing notes and entering orders, primary care personal physicians are empowered to review hospital records and test results; recommend medications, procedures and consultants; and receive regular updates while they see their patients.


Positive results from our pilot units include almost a 50% decreased hospital-acquired conditions (such as pressure sores, falls, and infections), about a 50% lowered 30-day readmission rates, a 20% reduced average length of stay, and increased patient satisfaction.  Patients who do not wish to participate have had and presently will continue to have the opportunity, based on bed availability, to be admitted by their primary care out-patient physician to a non-pilot unit.


Since inception, NCH has been committed to serving the community, not only with daily quality care, but also by introducing nationally recognized innovations.  The test of this pilot program is one more example of seeking a way to help everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life.  


P.S. DO YOU HAVE A COLLEAGUE OR FRIEND WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN UPDATES? Please enter their email address at, and we will add them to our complimentary mailing list.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D.

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.