Medical Center of Trinity seeks new ways to improve care

Anyone who has driven along the State Road 54/State Road 56 corridor during the past few years can easily see that the landscape is rapidly changing in Pasco County.

Subdivisions and businesses are popping up everywhere, and the need for medical services continues to grow.

Responding to that explosive growth and to evolving patient needs is only part of the equation, though. Keeping up with medical advances, staying abreast of new treatment approaches, equipping hospital staff with leading edge technology and adjusting to changes in government regulation, are other elements in Medical Center of Trinity’s quest to set itself apart for its quality of care, said Leigh Massengill, the hospital’s chief executive officer, during a recent North Tampa Bay Chamber luncheon.

Leigh Massengill, the chief executive officer of Medical Center of Trinity, was the featured speaker at a recent North Tampa Bay Chamber luncheon. She shared news that the hospital will be expanding services and will be adding a medical residency program next year. (B.C. Manion)

“We try to strategize very carefully to meet the needs of the growing community, to identify the things that people are going to need — recognizing that health care is changing at a fast pace while we’re trying to make those decisions,” Massengill said.

For instance, “more and more things are being done on an outpatient basis.

“Whoever thought that you could get your total knee replaced in an ambulatory surgical setting and go home the same day? What next?”

While the main hospital campus is now on State Road 54, the hospital had its start in New Port Richey.

“We celebrated our 40th anniversary of providing health care as Community Hospital of New Port Richey, just shortly before we moved in February of 2012 to this new location,” Massengill said.

The hospital had to retool itself and rethink its approaches, as it shifted from taking care of a group of patients with an average age of 82, to one that serves patients ranging from neonatal care to the senior population.

It was quite a culture shock for the organization, the CEO said, and continues to be an adventure as the hospital contemplates how it will grow with the community.

The hospital executive brings a wealth of experience to the challenge. Her background includes working in hospitals ranging from 150 beds to 1,500 beds in both public and faith-based settings. She began her career as a registered nurse and has held a number of leadership roles in nursing and hospital operations.

The hospital sits on a 55-acre campus and is currently occupying about 24 acres.

Additional services to meet area needs
“Since we moved in, we opened a neonatal intensive care unit, which was the first in Pasco County and is the only still, in Pasco County. That has enabled us to keep mommas, that have high-risk pregnancies, within their hometown.

“Before that, we were consistently referring people down to Pinellas and Hillsborough counties for that higher level of care. We’re now able to retain them closer to home, closer to family, especially, if you have a child that’s going to be in an intensive care unit for three weeks after their birth, invariably, you have two other kids at home and who’s taking care of that while you’re traveling 50 miles down to All Children’s Hospital?

“Two years after opening, the hospital began doing open heart surgery, now completing about 150 open heart surgeries annually.

“We keep getting more minimally invasive, as you know, and just about any type of invasive procedure is getting more and more catheter-based, more and more teeny incisions, or more and more robotic,” Massengill said.

The hospital is part of HCA West Florida, which is part of the HCA Healthcare family, and it has  distinguished itself in the HCA system, which includes 180 acute hospitals, Massengill said. The hospital’s surgery/ortho/spine unit was ranked No. 1 within HCA.

She praised the hospital’s staff for the accomplishment, noting the distinction is based on document excellence in a wide range of measures and required substantial work to achieve.

On another front, the hospital has added 14 observation beds, next to the emergency department. That change came in response to new government regulations.

“The government has changed reimbursement. The expectation is, if you show up at a hospital, we have the obligation to determine, as you’re rolling through the door, whether you’re going to require two hospital nights, in order to be considered admitted and an inpatient.

If we’re not certain, we have to keep you in an observation status, do as many diagnostic tests that are necessary to determine whether you’re going to need an inpatient stay, or to stabilize you and have that care continue on an outpatient basis. They give you 24 hours to accomplish that diagnostic testing,” she said.

Current expansion plans on the main campus call for completion of the east side of the fifth floor, and to do the east side of sixth floor for further growth and expansion.

“We continue identifying ways to differentiate ourselves relative to quality,” Massengill said.

The hospital has extended its footprint, to extend its care by adding three freestanding emergency departments, with one in Lutz, Citrus Park and Palm Harbor.

“In those facilities, 95 percent of the patients are treated and released,” she said.

The hospital also plans to add a behavioral health unit for the elderly at the New Port Richey campus.

“We’ve had many physicians come to us, asking us to create this kind of a program,” Massengill said. “We’re looking forward to opening that, once the state gives us the seal of approval.”

The hospital also recently received approval to begin a medical residency program, which will begin in 2019, the hospital leader said.

As it continues to operate in an environment of almost constant change, the hospital remains focused on achieving excellence in staff performance and patient outcomes, Massengill said.

“We know that the consumer of health care is getting more and more savvy, and they shop for excellence before they make the decision,” she said.

Medical Center of Trinity

  • Opened Feb. 7, 2012
  • 288 all-private rooms on its main campus

2017 figures

  • Total annual admissions: 16,222
  • Total annual emergency visits: 77,096
  • Total patients treated: 119,298
  • Active physicians: 380
  • Total employees: 1,482
  • Taxes paid: $8.1 million
  • Charity and uncompensated care: $22 million
  • Salaries, wages and benefits: $113 million

Source: Presentation by Leigh Massengill, Medical Center of Trinity, to members of the North Tampa Bay Chamber

Published October 24, 2018

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