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2005 Press Releases
Morton Plant Hospital Starts New Hospitalist Program

CLEARWATER, Fla., (October 11, 2005)- Expanding on the success of it's pediatric hospitalist program, Morton Plant Hospital has launched a new hospitalist program focusing on adult patients. Hospitalists are physicians who take care of hospitalized patients who do not have a physician or whose primary care physician prefers to have an on-site medical team in charge of coordinating care.

"The new hospitalist program at Morton Plant will be hospital-wide and will provide patients with even more one-on-one, individualized care," said Hal Ziecheck, chief operating officer, Morton Plant Hospital.

A hospitalist is essentially an admitting physician who spends their workday in the hospital and is readily available to a patient. They coordinate treatment and consult specialty physicians when needed. They are able to respond immediately to test results and changes in a patient's medical status, reducing variation in care, the length of stay for the patient and increasing patient satisfaction.

"The hospitalist program benefits inpatients at Morton Plant and outpatients at other facilities," said Jordan Messler, M.D., who was recently named medical director of Morton Plant's hospitalist program. "Primary care physicians can devote more time to their patients in office settings knowing that they have a clear line of communication to physicians tracking patient needs at Morton Plant."

Prior to his appointment at Morton Plant, Dr. Messler was an assistant professor in Emory University's Department of Medicine, working in the hospitalist unit at Grady Health System in Atlanta, Georgia.

According to the Society of Hospital Medicine there are approximately 12,000 hospitalists throughout the country, with that number expected to grow to 30,000 by 2010. Morton Plant has operated a pediatric hospitalist program under the direction of Daniel Plasencia, M.D. for nearly two years.

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. Since 1999 Morton Plant has been awarded 13 Top 100 Hospital designations in the areas of cardiovascular, stroke, orthopaedic and overall care by the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success. Morton Plant also has received the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and has partnered with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., (727) 462-7000.

Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 468-7586 Pager