WESLEY CHAPEL — From the ground up, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel is patient-centric. Its accommodating layout and calming atmosphere — in the form of colored walls, wood doors and natural influences — create a sense of relaxation amid the stress of treatment, said CEO Denyse Bales-Chubb. But for its 725-member staff, the new Adventist Health System hospital is also employee-centric. The Pasco County campus ranked No. 1 for large businesses, according to the Tampa Bay Times top workplaces survey, which was conducted in partnership with Workplace Dynamics. "I think that a lot of care was taken in the design of this hospital to make sure that everyone felt like they had a nice environment around them," Bales-Chubb said.
Even navigating the 200,000 square foot facility is simple — convenient for patients but critical for employees. The wards are similar, so nurses and physicians can easily find their way around on a new floor. And because of that, Bales-Chubb said employees feel welcome and respected — even the lab technicians.
That's because the lab and the pharmacy are located at the front of the hospital, surrounded by glass. Pharmacists and staff are visible from the lobby, a sense of spotlight those employees are not used to, Bales-Chubb said.
"I'm from a lab background," she said, "and our labs were always in the basement of the hospital."
The hospital opened about three years ago, but it's continuing to grow. About 112,000 square feet of new space is scheduled to be complete by December 2016 — an expansion that will open about 400 new positions at the campus.
Bales-Chubb used words like teamwork, input and open-door to describe staff relationships and said the hospital's culture is collaborative. As a result, employees feel more compelled to contribute.
Those contributions translate to patient care, Bales-Chubb said. For instance, the staff — nurses, physicians and most departments — meet twice a day for "bed board," an opportunity to look at individual patients and assess their needs.
"What's this person's situation, what do they need, what is the care plan for today?" said Tracy Clouser, the hospital's director of marketing. "Every single patient, every day. It's a very intentional focus, and it's that teamwork."
Bales-Chubb said those daily meetings set Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel apart.
"That physician-nurse rounding doesn't happen in a lot of other hospitals," she said. "At this hospital it does, and I think it shows an attention to detail and communication that is missed out in a lot of others, and that goes right back to the culture of making sure we take care of that patient."
Every other week the hospital sends out an employee newsletter to keep everyone in the loop, Clouser said, and three times a year the entire staff gathers for a town hall meeting — an opportunity to voice concerns, recognize employees for their work and have fun. And they're only about 30 minutes long.
"The goal is to inspire, educate and celebrate," she said. "It translates to better outcomes."
Even at the executive level, collaboration stretches across the Adventist Health System's five bay-area hospitals, along with the Florida Hospital at Connerton Long Term Acute Care facility, Bales-Chubb said, which ranked No. 22 for midsize businesses.
"You're constantly on the phone, calling your sister hospitals to touch base," she said. "We all have the same basic core values, and we all want to be on the same page."
Jennifer Candler, director of marketing at Florida Hospital Carrollwood, agreed. Her hospital ranked No. 26 for mid-sized companies and also placed on the report last year.
"We've done a lot of work over the past years to change the culture," she said. Adventist Health System took over the Carrollwood campus from Universal Community Health in 2011. "We've really been able to make some impressive strides."
Candler said her employees participate in a town hall similar to Wesley Chapel's four times a year and have worked toward more open communication and collaboration since the switch.
The hospital also just broke ground on a $71 million expansion project — an opportunity to incorporate design into treatment, like the Wesley Chapel campus was able to do.
"When you come in the hospital it's a stressful experience," she said. "You want an environment that's more calming, less sterile, more inviting. That's why this expansion project is really exciting – we can build a modern, new piece of our facility that will be taking into account the most recent design findings as far as aesthetics and technology."
Contact Rachel Crosby at [email protected] or 813-226-3400. Follow @rachelacrosby.