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2011 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Call-Back Program Supports Open Heart Surgery Patients

CLEARWATER, Fla., (January 31, 2011) ¾ In an age when people are using phones for texting, tweeting and tunes -- almost everything but making phone calls, Morton Plant Hospital is using the phone to provide personal follow up care for patients who have had open heart surgery.

"Our hope is to minimize any post-surgery complications," said Bob Teele R.N., patient education coordinator and nurse navigator of Morton Plant Hospital's cardiac call-back program. "Our goal is to check on all open-heart patients with a phone call within 30 days of discharge. This one-of-a-kind service at Morton Plant's Morgan Heart Hospital allows our patients to ask questions and helps us gather specific information on their recovery."

The call-back program started in 1998 with the assistance of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Last year, Teele made approximately 1,000 phone calls as part of the call-back program. Patients are also encouraged to call Teele if they have any questions. The benefits of the program include:  

  • tracking a patient's progress by identifying any potential complications following an open-heart procedure
  • monitoring healing of the patient's incision
  • assessing pain a patient may be experiencing
  • determining if patients are following a diet and physician ordered medications
  • offering advice and assistance to patients

"Following doctors recommendations can lead to faster healing. By talking to patients, we can remind them about good post surgery care and also answer questions they might have," said Teele.

"A follow-up phone call from a nurse can be a real asset to the recovery process since many patient concerns do not arise until two to three weeks after discharge from the hospital," said John Ofenloch, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon, Morton Plant Hospital. "Programs like cardiac callback are one of the many reasons why Morton Plant is the only hospital in the United States recognized 12 times as a top hospital for heart care." Thomson Reuters named Morton Plant in its annual study identifying the top 50 U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular services.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, claiming 865,000 lives each year. During American Heart Month, education, the importance of early detection and identifying the best programs to treat heart disease are crucial to decreasing that number. 

About Morton Plant Hospital

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility. Our commitment to improving the health of everyone we serve is reflected in our community partnerships and many honors.  The hospital's awards and honors included Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care and re-designation as a "Baby-Friendly" hospital from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for its efforts to support mothers' decision to breast feed their babies. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla.  For more information about Morton Plant Hospital, call (727) 953-6877.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient's lifetime. With more than 195 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. 

BayCare's family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Hospital-North, St. Joseph's Women's, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at


Media Contacts:

Beth Hardy, (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager

Denise Moore, (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager