by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | December 11, 2014
From the December 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Larry Coomes leads Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center,
a general medical and surgical hospital in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He took some time to speak with HCBN about the factors that make his facility unique.
HCBN: What attracted you to the health care field?
My first career was in automotive. I worked for Ford and Porsche. But my wife is a nurse, so I heard a lot of the trials and tribulations about what goes right and wrong in health care. I went back to school and got my MBA and had a lot of companies interested in my background — they were looking for people with a different view of things, those coming from outside of health care. I’ve been in health care now for 11 years.
HCBN: Do you have any major goals you’re working toward in the short- or long-term for Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center?
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We want to provide the best and safest care for the community. In the long-term, we are working to be the most state-of-the art facility with the most state-of-the-art equipment.
HCBN: Based on Palm Beach Gardens’primary services, is it safe to say that the majority of your patients are older?
We’re a dynamic market. We have a larger subset of the population that is Medicare eligible and a seasonal market during the winter.
HCBN: Do you have any significant uptick in business in the winter?
Our business fluctuates about 20 percent higher during the season.
HCBN: What services are most in-demand at your facility?
I’d say the engine that drives every hospital is the emergency department. Cardiac is our primary service line — we do more open hearts and cath than any other provider in the area. But overall, we’re still a full-service hospital.
HCBN: Are there any services or ways of interacting with patients that are unique to Palm Beach Gardens?
I would say that we’re a very visible management team here — so daily interaction is the norm. What sets us apart is being proactive, taking care of any issues before they get out of control.
HCBN: Can you talk about the new technologies you’ve added for cardiac and vascular procedures in the hybrid OR?
The newest thing in the hybrid OR is Siemens’ Zygo — it’s robotic and automatic — when the doctor needs to take an image, the machine comes in, does the image and moves out of the way. In a typical setting, the fluoroscopy machine would be in the way the whole time. Our hybrid OR is also decked out with multiple HD flat screen monitors and a high-tech lighting system. We opened the hybrid OR in July. It allows us to do minimally invasive valve replacement procedures and more work in cranial as well.