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July 11, 2018

Inside Look: Florida Hospital Tampa’s pediatric care

Florida Hospital Tampa’s affiliation with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital brings high-quality pediatric care to Tampa Bay patients.


All the pediatric expertise, specialized technology and kid-friendly spaces in the world don’t mean much if they’re too far away to fit in your family’s life.

It is in the spirit of bringing that care closer to home for families in Hillsborough and Pasco counties — without compromising on quality — that Florida Hospital Tampa is working together with a regional expert in pediatrics, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

This collaboration has matured to the point where Florida Hospital Tampa can treat a wide range of pediatric conditions, including surgery and neonatal care.

“Our [affiliation] seems to grow by the month, thanks in part to a strong commitment by administrators who are fully vested in high-quality pediatric care,” says Dr. Drew Rideout, pediatric surgeon and surgical director of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Johns Hopkins All Children's

Dr. Rideout and his partners have brought their surgical niche of minimally invasive neonatal and pediatric surgery to Florida Hospital Tampa, a technique that uses much smaller incisions, allowing most children to recover in just a few days.

In addition to collaborating with All Children’s Specialty Physicians like Dr. Rideout, Florida Hospital Tampa has specialized technology and kid-friendly settings. That includes a pirate-themed emergency room lobby with interactive game stations and a vibrant jungle-themed pediatric inpatient unit.

Technology investments have made Florida Hospital Tampa’s pediatric care both safer and more child-friendly. For example, the emergency room features colorful lighting and wall projections to calm and distract children. Similar ambient lighting is used in the pediatric operating room that features state-of-the-art equipment, including an anesthesia machine tailored to the safety needs of children.

Along with these upgrades comes something less visible but just as important: the special know-how to treat infants, children and adolescents. After all, quality health care isn’t only about technology; it’s also about the hundreds of little steps that have been painstakingly created based on the best scientific evidence.

And Florida Hospital Tampa has integrated these steps from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, called clinical guidelines, into its care for children.

For example, Dr. Rideout and his partners have been working with physicians in Florida Hospital emergency departments to reduce radiation exposure to young patients. It’s an especially important issue for children, who are more sensitive to the effects of radiation.

Most children with abdominal pain now receive an X-ray and ultrasound instead of a CT scan to test for appendicitis, reducing radiation exposure by more than 90 percent.

Nowhere are child-specific clinical guidelines more important than for the treatment of infants. Florida Hospital Tampa’s neonatal intensive care unit, staffed at all times by a Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital neonatologist, is well suited to accommodate high-risk births.

Florida Hospital Tampa has also invested in staff who support children and their families.Its child life specialist uses play to reduce stress, helping kids and their families cope with the challenges of their hospital experience. When appropriate, families also have access to a pediatric social worker, dietitian and chaplain.

Expanding high-quality pediatric care to Florida Hospital Tampa — by providing the only pediatric critical care services for residents of northern Hillsborough and eastern Pasco counties — is about more than convenience.

When your child is in the hospital, being close to home minimizes time lost traveling back and forth, and helps you maintain a connection with your nearby family.

By combining kid-friendly settings, expertise in pediatric care and use of the latest clinical guidelines and technology, Florida Hospital Tampa and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital have put high-quality care in reach for Hillsborough and Pasco county families.

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