Q&A with Dana Bledsoe, President of Nemours Children’s Hospital Orlando
April 04, 2017
by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor
For this month’s installment of Hospital Spotlight, we spoke with Dana N. Bledsoe, president of Nemours Children’s Hospital Orlando to learn about the unique challenges medical professionals face and the special focus they have when caring for young patients.
HCB News: What inspired you to get involved in health care?
DB: My first experience in the health care field occurred in high school. I was a nurse’s aide in a local nursing home. From there, I went on to nursing school and during my pediatric rotation I was inspired by a 3-yearold. There was a situation where her family couldn’t be with her and when she was being discharged, she looked up at her mom and told her she had named the stuffed animal she had with her “Dana.” It was over. I was hooked. Looking back, I don’t know if I realized the impact that you can have on a child or a family at their most vulnerable time, but I appreciate it now.
HCB News: How long have you been with Nemours?
DB: Two years in June that I have been an employee and I’ve worked with Nemours for a number of years prior to that.
HCB News: What attracted you to a job there?
DB: Without a doubt, it was the extraordinary people with both talent and passion. It’s also the culture of excellence and the commitment to deliver an extraordinary experience to patients and their families.
HCB News: What type of management style is practiced there?
DB: It’s largely participatory with an entrepreneurial spirit that comes with a new organization. It’s part of envisioning how everything comes together to serve our patients.
HCB News: What do you think attracts other employees?
DB: I think in addition to the people and culture, there’s excitement about having the opportunity to build new programs from the ground up. It’s almost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
HCB News: Why do patients and their families choose you?
DB: One of the things patients and families tell us is the experience they have here. That goes back to the culture. We’re committed, without fail, to partnering with the families to make them part of the care team. The outcome of that commitment is reflected in our Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence award for maintaining a 95th percentile rating in patient experience.
HCB News: How did the implementation of the ACA impact your facility and are the current questions surrounding the ACA causing problems or concern?
DB: I would say it’s a volatile time in health care. We’re all in a situation where we need to be part of the solution to shape what the future looks like, but no one has the answers right now. We also look to partner with our government to figure out solutions. Since our patients are too young to vote, we have to be their advocates. It’s important to ensure they don’t experience a deterioration of access to care.
HCB News: What are your hospital’s key areas of focus and has that changed over the past few years, or do you believe it will be changing in any way?
DB: One key area we currently focus on that will remain a priority is the development and advancement of programmatic offerings. We will continue to bring in new services such as pediatric interventional radiology. There are only 100 pediatric fellowship-trained interventional radiologists in the country and we have three. We will continue to build on this internationally recognized program. Another area we’re highly focused on is tele-health. We were the first pediatric system to launch a tele-health app. I’ve personally used it as a mother, so I can talk about it from both sides. We also use tele-health technology to support our hospital partners. Additionally, we partner with schools to back up the school nurses. It’s wonderful technology and allows for keeping children and their families as close to home as clinically safe.
HCB News: Is there any state-of-the-art technology — either medical equipment, or health IT technology at Nemours — that you’d like to talk about?
DB: A thoughtful and novel approach is our hallmark clinical logistics center, staffed by paramedics 24/7. The eyes of our team have access to monitors connected to patients in our hospital and our sister hospital in Delaware. All of this is connected to the EMR. Visitors from all over the world come to see how it works and how it might help their facilities. It has been open more than four years now.
HCB News: Do your patients ever inspire changes in your facility?
DB: There’s probably a number of things they have inspired. The one that immediately comes to mind is the prom we hold for our patients. Gowns are donated, a makeup artist comes in and does their makeup, there’s a red carpet and great music. We want children to have the chance to experience their prom and we do what we can to make it happen