Long-awaited Next Step at Lake Nona

Mar 05, 2021 at 11:44 pm by pj

When Deborah German, MD, first arrived in Central Florida at the end of 2006 to helm the development of UCF College of Medicine, she immediately expressed her view that a teaching hospital was key to the medical school.  


“We needed a hospital to accomplish our goals to be one of the nation’s premier 21st century medical schools anchoring a Medical City that could one day be a global destination for education, research and patient care,” said German, vice president for health affairs and founding dean of the UCF College of Medicine. “Today, we celebrate the next step in creating a healthcare hub in Lake Nona that will increase economic development and improve health for all.”


The first of March has seen the beginning of the next developing step for Lake Nona Medical City.


“In addition to providing convenient access to outstanding healthcare services in Lake Nona, this hospital will provide important educational opportunities for tomorrow’s physicians and support the work of our UCF researchers seeking innovative treatments and cures,” said German.


The center, located in the heart of Orlando’s Medical City at 6700 Lake Nona Blvd., is a result of a partnership between HCA Healthcare’s North Florida Division and University of Central Florida Academic Health.


Leaders of both organizations were on hand to break ground in October 2018 for the, 64-bed, $175 million, 204,709-square-foot hospital which will provide 24/7 emergency care and a full range of healthcare services featuring luxury family birthing units, inpatient and outpatient surgery including minimally invasive and robotic technology, diagnostic imaging, laboratory services and a cardiac catheterization lab. The medical center will have room to expand to 80 beds based on community needs. It was designed for future expansion up to 500 beds.


“The grand opening of UCF Lake Nona Medical Center is the realization of a vision that will impact the community for years to come,” said Wendy H. Brandon, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer. “With the rapid growth in Lake Nona, this community needed a hospital close to home. Our team looks forward to becoming more engaged in the region’s wellness and supporting Lake Nona’s commitment to health and well-being. Whether you need treatment for an acute injury or illness, or if you are seeking resources for advanced specialty care, our community can count on UCF Lake Nona Medical Center to provide high-quality, patient-centered care.”


UCF Lake Nona Medical Center has invested in the latest technology to support the commitment to superior quality care including noninvasive focused ultrasound incisionless brain surgery for the treatment of debilitating tremors and Parkinson’s disease.


 Patient safety has included systems for enhanced security and communication.


In addition, the medical center boasts Sepsis Prediction and Optimization of Therapy (SPOT) technology, an automated 24/7 real-time algorithmic system that monitors patients to provide for early intervention.   


HCA Healthcare’s SPOT algorithm is informed by data from millions of patient care episodes. It sees signs of potential sepsis humans cannot see while excluding instances when humans inaccurately suspect sepsis. Hospital computers, through “machine learning,” are trained by ingesting millions of data points on which patients do and do not develop sepsis. Those computers monitor clinical data every second of a patient’s hospitalization.  When a pattern of data consistent with sepsis risk occurs, it will signal  an alert to technicians who call a “code sepsis.”

The bedside nurse responds, begins evaluating the patient, and if sepsis is not “ruled out,” treatment begins immediately.


Other technology to support quality patient-centered care and safety includes:


  • “Smart” nurse call system,
  • Digital display in every patient room provides real-time care plan and team information,
  • iMobile clinical communication tool,
  • MyHealthONE Patient Portal for online access to test results, patient registration and scheduling,
  • Real-Time Locating System to improves safety and workflow efficiency,
  • Digital newborn footprint identification safety system,
  • Electronic health record and computerized physician order entry.


The medical center staff is committed to becoming engaged in the region’s wellness, whether for acute injury or illness or specialty care.


The hospital will bring an estimated 350 jobs to the region with more than 250 physicians on the hospital’s medical staff in primary care, cardiology, colorectal surgery, general surgery, gastroenterology, orthopedic surgery, pulmonology, nephrology, OB/GYN, gynecologic oncology, infectious disease, nephrology, neurohealth sciences, spine and urology.


Along with more convenient access to healthcare, the community will also benefit from the economic impact of new jobs and tax revenue.


Annual economic impact is estimated at $1.4 million in local and state taxes and $13.8 million in charity care, uninsured discounts and other uncompensated care. Hospital executives expect to see 17,000 patients the first year.


UCF has a 20 percent stake in the medical center’s ownership with HCA Healthcare-North Florida Division, but shares 50 percent of the governance responsibility.


HCA Healthcare is comprised of more than 185 hospitals and 2,000+ sites of care in 21 states and the United Kingdom.


Other HCA hospitals in the North Florida Division include Central Florida Regional Hospital (with Level II Trauma Center) in Sanford, Oviedo Medical Center, Osceola Regional Medical Center (with Level II Trauma Center) and Poinciana Medical Center.


The UCF College of Medicine is a research-based medical school with a culture based on partnership and collaboration. The college’s medical and biomedical programs capitalize on UCF’s existing strengths in biological sciences, modeling and simulation, engineering, optics and photonics, psychology, chemistry, film and digital media, business and nursing.

The college is a founding member of Orlando’s growing Medical City at Lake Nona.