Baptist Health South Florida has been an ongoing provider of medical services to residents in the Cayman Islands for many years. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull speaks with Allen Brenteson, the hospital’s corporate vice president, to hear about some of the latest services on offer for Cayman residents as well as his thoughts on how the relationship can be strengthened in the future. Second in a three–part series.
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Another not so widely known service with which Baptist Health is having great success is its addiction treatments held at the South Miami Hospital.
“We cater to patients from all over the world here,” he confirms. “People arrive with addictions to drugs, nicotine, alcohol, etc and spend their initial time in detox. They then move to a living facility where they live together in small housing compounds and are monitored as they learn to live their lives without their addiction.”
Patients can spend anything from one or two weeks to a longer period of time beating their addiction in this way.
“We have had an 80 per cent success rate,” Brenteson confirms.
“We take a holistic approach to the addiction. During the treatment we make it clear that it is not just the addict’s problem but the whole family’s, especially where it is the parents that are supplying the cash to the child to further his or her addiction. In particular, we ensure that the family is involved in the psychological sessions.”
Brenteson says that Baptist Health takes a unique approach when it comes to the treatment of cardiovascular disease, bringing in a team of experts to discuss the condition, again from a holistic standpoint, involving not just the heart surgeon but the circulatory system experts as well in the decision-making process.
“Unfortunately in a lot of places the diagnosis is left up to the heart surgeon alone in cardiovascular cases,” he states. “At the Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute treatment paths for patients include input from all specialists, providing increased levels of safety and a more effective treatment.”
Brenteson says, as a case in point, that a member of a Middle East royal family came to the hospital suffering from peripheral problems relating to their circulatory system and had been advised elsewhere that they would need to have their feet amputated.
“They came to Baptist and were able to walk out of the hospital further to their treatment,” he confirms.
Heading this pioneering treatment is Dr. Barry Katzen, a world-renowned expert in his field whose former patients includes former American Vice President Dick Cheney, for whom Dr. Katzen was flown to Washington so he could treat the standing vice president at that time.
Other pioneering medical treatment comes in the form of Katzen’s work in the development of angioplasty for peripheral vessels. “Dr. Ramon Quesada is leading the field on using stents to reach the heart via vessels in the wrist rather than the groin. This allows a more rapid discharge from the hospital, saving costs.
Furthermore, Baptist Health is one of the few hospitals in the US using the latest technology to monitor all its intensive care units in one go.
“Following a serious operation, patients are transferred to intensive care units for round the clock care. We have ICUs in all of our hospitals and these units generally have between 15 to 40 beds each. Although each unit is monitored by a doctor and nurses, we also have a central monitoring centre which electronically monitors all units at once; 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Brenteson explains. “This means that no one is ever left unmonitored at any time, giving greater safety to patients and reducing mortality rates.”
Next month read about strengthening the relationship further, as well as Brenteson’s thoughts on medical tourism.