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Karen Hamad, MD

May, 2016


Approval for ACGME Internal Medicine Residency Program:

We are thrilled to share the news that our Internal Medicine Residency Program has been approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The initial accreditation clears the way for SMH and FSU to begin reaching out to graduating medical students interested in enrolling in the program in the summer of 2017.

The Sarasota program is the first residency program approved by ACGME between St. Petersburg and Fort Myers along Florida’s west coast. When it reaches full capacity in year three, it will enroll 39 residents and by 2020 begin producing 13 new internal medicine physicians each year. Creating a residency program was the next logical step in Sarasota Memorial's progression to becoming a teaching hospital, but also a monumental move for our region. Ultimately, we hope it will address physician shortages in the area because studies show that many physicians ultimately open practices in areas where they completed their residency.

Sincere thanks go to the members of the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board for their support and direction, and to Wilhelmine Wiese-Rometsch, MD, founding director of the FSU College of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program at SMH, Chief of Staff Karen Hamad, MD, associate director of the program, and Chief Medical Officer Steve Taylor, MD, for their hard work in developing the program and expert guidance throughout the accreditation process.     By, David Verinder, President, CEO. 


Leapfrog Results:
A significant portion of the Hospital Safety Score is derived from responses to the annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Many hospitals, like ours, do not complete the survey because it is time consuming, places considerable administrative burden on staff and produces data that we feel is not a reliable comparison tool. Hospitals that do not complete the Leapfrog survey do not receive full credit in several self-reported safety measures, which makes comparisons incomplete and less reliable than others.

Superior ratings from other organizations include:

  • Recognized as a 100 Top Hospital in Truven Health Analytics’ 2016 study of nearly 3,000 hospitals for demonstrating best patient safety practices, superior outcomes and consistent use of evidence-based treatments.
  • Consistently ranked No. 1 on the Suncoast in U.S. New & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” study for overall quality, safety and care.
  • Only provider in the region with Magnet Nursing Services Recognition, the nation’s highest honor for excellence in nursing and patient care.
  • SMH has among the lowest readmission rates in the nation -top 4% of hospitals, according to Compare -12/15).



Sedation for MRI Patients
The SMH Departments of Anesthesiology and Radiology have worked diligently to formulate a strategy to accommodate patients who require moderate or deep sedation in order to adequately complete a diagnostic MRI examination.  A dedicated anesthesiologist now works each Tuesday in the main hospital Radiology Dept to provide sedation.  This sedation is typically utilized for pediatric patients who would otherwise be unable to cooperate with the 20-40 minute exam times, for mentally challenged patients, or for those patients who are severely claustrophobic and have failed an attempt at MRI utilizing high dose oral medication. (Typical recommended doses for adult male 70Kg pt would be single dose alprazolam(Xanax) 1.5-2.5mg).

Because there is always a risk associated with anesthesia, the necessity for attempted exam with oral anxiolysis is real.  Patients may be given a prescription to bring medications with them to any of our outpatient sites.  Additionally, please be aware that the costs associated with anesthesia and the professional services of the anesthesiologist are not covered under Medicare, Medicaid or most insurance policies, and patients will be required to make arrangements for payment for these services.

To schedule a patient for MRI with moderate or deep sedation, please call SMH centralized scheduling at 917-7322, and please ensure that you or your office staff indicate the necessity for sedation to the scheduler.  Richard J. Lichtenstein, MD Radiology Associates of Florida, PA


What patients require a trauma consult:
A Trauma Consultation may be requested for any patient presenting with a traumatic injury, who has a low probability of surgical intervention, but requires surgical consultation and/or possible observation AND does not meet Trauma Alert Criteria. Our trauma designation requires that a trauma patient be admitted to the trauma service and less than 10% be admitted to non-surgical services.

Here are the criteria that requires a trauma consult for possible admission to the trauma service:

  1. Any patient with an open fracture of a long bone
  2. Any patient with Traumatic mechanism with more than 1 injury
  3. Any single system injury AND on anticoagulants other than aspirin
  4. Any patient over age 65 with more than 1 rib fracture

All trauma consults admitted to the hospital will be admitted to the Trauma Service for a minimum period of observation prior to transferring to another service unless prior discussion among the attending surgeon and other specialty physician determines otherwise. 

Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Holiday!
Karen Hamad, MD
Chief of Staff