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AdventHealth East Florida Division is named to Modern Healthcare’s 2024 Innovators list

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Modern Healthcare’s 2024 Innovators list

ORANGE CITY, Fla. – The AdventHealth East Florida Division was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the Innovators for 2024 for its efforts in addressing nursing challenges.

Modern Healthcare is a business news and information brand within the health care industry and this national recognition honors leaders and organizations driving innovation that improves care, achieves measurable results, and contributes to the clinical and financial goals of the organization.

“As our communities grow, the need for more health care services and caregivers grows in tandem, but national workforce shortages can make it challenging to ensure there are always enough clinicians on hand to deliver high-quality patient care,” said Michele Goeb-Burkett, senior vice president and chief nursing officer of the AdventHealth East Florida Division. “To support the growth and sustainability of the local health care workforce, our team found creative and innovative ways to not only ensure training and education opportunities are accessible locally, but also address challenges faced by nurses and improve care delivery.”

Based in Altamonte Springs, AdventHealth is the only national non-profit healthcare system headquartered in Florida. With over 90,000 team members, it’s among the largest faith-based systems in the U.S., spanning over 50 hospitals across nearly a dozen states.

The AdventHealth East Florida Division, headquartered in Orange City, Florida, is the largest hospital system in the region, comprising seven hospitals with a total of 1,397 beds in Daytona Beach, DeLand, Orange City, New Smyrna Beach, Palm Coast and Tavares.

Modern Healthcare’s 2024 Innovators list

“We know the challenges nurses face as a whole were intensified by COVID-19 and improving the overall nursing experience is a top priority for our entire organization,” said Audrey Gregory, Ph.D., RN, executive vice president and CEO of the AdventHealth East Florida Division. “With this in mind, our team invested in implementing several innovative programs to support current nurses, while also recruiting and better preparing new nurses. It is an honor to have these efforts recognized through Modern Healthcare’s Innovators list.”

The East Florida Division was the first in the AdventHealth system to pioneer a virtual nursing program, deploying remote nurses to support bedside teams, thereby reducing workload and improving care.

Additionally, the division opened the largest simulation center within AdventHealth’s Central Florida network for hands-on training, preparing current and future clinicians for real-world scenarios.

With five meticulously designed classroom labs that replicate patient rooms, the simulation center serves as a training ground for clinicians from AdventHealth facilities in the region, as well as nursing students from higher education institutions, including the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University. Through interactive manikins capable of simulating diverse health conditions and scenarios, clinicians undergo realistic training.

To nurture the next generation of nurses, the division also established a $900,000 permanent endowment fund at Daytona State College (DSC) in 2023. Through this fund, DSC hired two coordinators to bolster the academic performance of students in the nursing program, improving graduation rates and NCLEX pass rates.

This was an added layer to the longstanding relationship between AdventHealth and DSC. An established Nurse Residency Program bridges the gap between nursing school and clinical practice for DSC graduates. Additionally, AdventHealth serves on DSC’s nursing advisory board, provides student scholarships, and offers tuition assistance for team members attending DSC.

The AdventHealth East Florida Division also led research on improving the nursing experience. Clinical leaders published first-of-its-kind research on nursing burnout in the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, promoting mental well-being among clinicians and highlighting practical solutions.

These combined efforts contributed to the East Florida Division reducing the number of external agency nurses by an impressive 83% and substantially decreasing nursing turnover in 2023.

All in all, this helped AdventHealth as a system achieve one of the lowest agency rates among the 20 largest health systems in the country.

“The role of innovation has always been paramount in health care, and our 2024 honorees as top Innovators are driving real change in the industry,” said Mary Ellen Podmolik, editor in chief of Modern Healthcare. “The wide variety of projects underway by these executives and organizations demonstrates a dedication to tackling the ‘what ifs’ that can improve the delivery of healthcare and improve communities and the patient experience.”

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