Direct feedback leads to better digestive care experiences for patients
Special to the FMA from AdventHealth | Sept. 21, 2023

With a renewed focus on improving integration and strengthening teams to provide an optimal patient experience, two new leaders have taken the reins of the AdventHealth Digestive Health Institute (DHI).

Following direct feedback from patients, AdventHealth aligned digestive services to increase access for patients and provide a better experience as they navigate from colonoscopies to surgery as well as metabolic and weight loss medicine.

To foster a team approach to patient care, six different digestive services will be under the same umbrella and leadership team:
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Gastroenterology
  • Weight loss medicine and bariatric surgery
  • Endocrinology and diabetes medicine
  • General surgery
  • Reconstructive and plastic surgery

Easier appointment scheduling
One of the keys for improving patient access is to leverage technology with a new tool for appointment scheduling, according to Margaret White, RN, who was recently named vice president of the AdventHealth Digestive Health Institute. Called the GI Access Center, the tool is a centralized command center for all of a patient’s gastrointestinal (GI) needs. Calling this one-stop-shop number, patients will schedule their appointments and the GI Access Center will look across all AdventHealth facilities to book the earliest available appointment at their desired location. The goal is to get a patient into the hospital and seen by a provider within 72 hours.

“Expanding services to meet the digestive health needs of the Central Florida region we serve is a top priority,” White said. “Our goal in the upcoming year is for our physicians to have increased connectivity with patients while simultaneously improving patients’ access to care.”

Integrated services in a more relaxed setting
Another new DHI initiative is integrating services for weight loss management and bariatric surgery to provide an improved continuum of care. There are also plans for a medical spa in Orlando, where community members and digestive health patients have access to the reconstructive and plastic surgery team post-procedure.

The goal is to offer a variety of options in a less clinical setting that’s outside of highly invasive surgical procedures, according to Lindsay Agema, newly named executive director of the AdventHealth Digestive Health Institute.

“Building on a strong foundation of patient care, high-impact initiatives like creating the GI Access Center, growing access to programs for diabetes and metabolic disorders, and the upcoming medical spa will make it more convenient for patients to get started in their medical care as well as continue their care,” Agema said.

About the AdventHealth Digestive Health Institute
U.S. News & World Report recently ranked four AdventHealth Orlando clinical programs, including diabetes and endocrinology, among the nation’s best. Six specialties ranked as “high performing,” including gastroenterology and GI surgery.

The AdventHealth Digestive Health Institute is also home to the largest interventional endoscopy center in the U.S., holding multiple accreditations for its subspecialty programs. Specialists work together to deliver comprehensive care to treat a spectrum of conditions, from swallowing disorders to inflammatory bowel disease treatment and everything in between.