NCH CEO shares his vision for the future of the hospital

Reporter: Lindsey Sablan Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
(Credit: WINK News)

NCH CEO Paul Hiltz leads a team of 5,000 during a pandemic. Our partners at Gulfshore Life just recognized him as one of their men of the year, an award that is given to a select few who shaped Southwest Florida this past year.

Running a hospital never ends for Hiltz, even as the pandemic slows.

In fact, now is when the real work starts.

“We’ve expanded and will now be moving to almost 50,000 square feet in the emergency department,” said Hiltz.

In December, that new emergency room at NCH Baker will open with more private rooms and new technologies built in.

Based on experience from the pandemic Hiltz said, “we’ll have much better customer service and, and just a safer emergency department to come to.”

Another focus for this 30-year health care veteran is training and keeping hospital staff.

In May, WINK News showed you the new simulation center that provides students and professionals with hands-on practice.

Now the hospital’s laser-focused on the new heart institute.

“Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in America,” said Hiltz.

The building is a work in progress, but the medical work has already started.

Hiltz said, “we’ve got I think, 15 clinical trials going on in cardiac disease. We’re expanding our residency program, we’ll have 48 internal medicine residents in conjunction with MAYO Clinic.”

Then there’s the issue of your health, and the hospital plans to keep your health care affordable.

“So we’ve got the lean six sigma teams, and you’re looking at how do we take cost out of here without impacting the quality of care? The pharmacy costs are enormous in hospitals, we have a pharmacy and therapeutics committee here made up of doctors and pharmacists to look at the efficacy of drugs and the cost associated with that,” said Hiltz.

Another way to reduce waste; soon doctors will have all of your records digitally.

“It’s going be a big deal here, especially for people that travel to the north in the summertime, they’ll just have one record and that will eliminate we think a lot of waste a lot of potential mistakes.”

As Hiltz looks toward the future, he’d be remiss not to recognize all the doctors, nurses and volunteers who kept the hospital running in the middle of a pandemic. “It’s people really putting the patient first and putting the patient in front of everything else.”

Hiltz said along with his staff, the community has also been amazing.

Generous donors provided 60,000 meals to hospital staff during the pandemic.

You can read more about the men and women of the year in the November issue of Gulfshore Life.

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