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2010 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Receives Florida Hospital Association Innovation of the Year Award


CLEARWATER, Fla., (October 27, 2010) ¾ The Florida Hospital Association has recognized the Morton Plant Hospital-Turley Diabetes Project as this year's recipient of the Innovation of the Year in Patient Care award.  This project specifically helps uninsured and unassigned patients with diabetes, who are treated as inpatient or emergency room patients, but then are no longer able to access follow up care due to limited personal resources.

With the Morton Plant Hospital-Turley Diabetes program, discharged patients who meet criteria for the program, now have access for follow-up medical care to help more consistently manage their disease. In the program, patients receive proper medications, free diabetic supplies such as glucometers, test strips, swabs and syringes to stay healthy, as well as follow-up appointments with family medicine physicians.  Patients in this program receive follow up treatment six to eight times annually and transportation is also provided if necessary.  "The goal of the program is to provide a barrier-free process designed to engage and keep indigent, diabetic patients in follow-up care which can help to decrease emergency room visits and re-admission to the hospital," said Donald Pocock, MD, chief medical officer, Morton Plant Mease Health Care.  The services are free to patients and funded by a grant from the Morton Plant Mease Foundation.  

 The Florida Hospital Association honors hospitals and health systems that have developed creative, new methods and models for the delivery of patient care. Judging was based on the following criteria: 

  • Scope, originality, and implementation of innovation
  • Demonstrates effectiveness in achieving a stated purpose
  • Shows potential for applicability to other hospitals

 "This program has significantly improved the quality of life for some of our diabetic patients who would otherwise have a difficult time accessing outpatient primary care and managing their chronic disease," said Sean Bryan, MD, director of the Turley Family Health Center and program director for the University of South Florida-Morton Plant Mease Family Medicine Residency Program. "The key factors of our success are the multidisciplinary collaboration, communication and team work among hospital physicians at Morton Plant, and staff members and physicians at the Turley Family Health Center. This program began as a suggestion from hospitalist physicians at Morton Plant.  Everyone worked together to identify patients who would benefit and coordinate all the necessary steps involved in making sure patients received medical care, supplies, education and access needed to control their diabetes in the best possible way."

Over the time of the program's inception, 30-day readmissions among the patient group declined by 36 percent. Based on follow-up testing, 78 percent of enrolled patients demonstrated effective management of blood sugar within three to four months.

The purpose of the Florida Hospital Association is to advocate proactively on behalf of hospitals at the state level on issues that will assist its members in their mission of community services and care to patients.  Currently, FHA's membership includes 168 hospitals, 17 Professional Membership Groups, and over 1,800 professional members.



Media Contact: Denise Moore

Phone: (727)461-8538