South Florida Hospital News
Friday May 14, 2021

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November 2015 - Volume 12 - Issue 5


Larkin Community Hospital: Providing Compassionate Care in an Educational Setting

Teaching hospitals, healthcare facilities that train new physicians, have become the foundation of the country’s healthcare system. In the United States, the healthcare system relies on teaching hospitals for the clinical education of physicians. Of the 6,003 hospitals in the United States, only about 400 are teaching hospitals comprising just 6 percent of all hospitals. Today, millions of Americans go to a teaching hospital for specialized surgeries, lifesaving care and complex treatments.

“One of the main misconceptions about teaching hospitals is that people think they are going into a place where they will be guinea pigs or be experimented on by people who don’t have any experience since they are just learning,” says Jack Michel, M.D., president and chairman of the board at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami. “The data shows the exact opposite. Studies show that patients at teaching hospitals have better outcomes and survival rates.”  

This is pretty easy to figure out why, adds Dr. Michel, and it’s mainly because there are more eyes on the patient, from the interns to the residents to the fellows. “You have ready access to physicians. Doctors are onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients are under the continuous care of medical professors and residents, which gives patients a unique advantage.”
This academic environment encourages physicians to seek innovative solutions to patients' problems. Attending physicians must stay on top of the latest medical developments in order to teach medical students, residents, student nurses and allied health professionals.
“Usually the major cause of error in healthcare is a lack of attention,” says Dr. Michel. “If somebody wants to be quick and make a decision, there is no one to check on them. That’s what leads to medical errors.”
Also, Dr. Michel notes that with a teaching hospital, patients receive the latest and most innovative technologies. “If you have a difficult condition that is rare and not commonly seen, you will get better care from a teaching hospital,” he says.
Larkin Community Hospital is one of 12 designated statutory teaching hospitals in the state of Florida. It offers the largest number of training programs for Osteopathic Physicians in the country and offers training in 32 different specialties. It also sponsors an allopathic residency program in Psychiatry, an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program, an American Society of Health System Pharmacists Accredited Pharmacy Residency Program and a Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency Program. Larkin’s School of Nursing offers a Registered Nurse Associate Degree and a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. In addition, its College of Biomedical Sciences offers a Post-Baccalaureate Biomedical Sciences Degree program.
“The way that we distinguish ourselves is through a multi-disciplinary approach to education,” says Dr. Michel. “There is much interaction among our different disciplines which I think is a model for healthcare in the future. These interactions among healthcare providers break the current silos currently in place in the healthcare industry. It really allows us to communicate across disciplines. This is key to a more effective and a more efficient healthcare delivery system.”
One of the main issues Larkin will be tackling over the next several years is the lack of minorities in healthcare in Florida. Currently, about 3 percent of Florida physicians are African Americans and 9 percent are Hispanics. In the Miami-Dade public school system, 65 percent of the student population is Hispanic while 30 percent is African American.
“We’re not mentoring those kids properly,” says Dr. Michel. “We plan to do a lot of outreach to high schools and middle schools to really encourage these minorities to enter into the healthcare profession.”
To go a step further and really address this issue, Larkin is applying for a charter middle school.
“The concept is to really entice these kids to go into healthcare,” says Dr. Michel. “If we can achieve that, it would be a major development possibility for our area and our state.”
Another priority for Larkin is the establishment of @LarkinLabs, which Dr. Michel says represents its "moonshot" into the future. @LarkinLabs is a transformative vehicle which will allow Larkin to pursue ideas to change the world. It plans to work to conduct multidisciplinary research, including social media, mobile technology, and innovative wearables technologies in healthcare. The goal is to enhance its ability to understand and improve individual and population health behaviors, and outcomes through direct evidence-based interventions. At the center of it all will be its proprietary artificial intelligence system, Hippokrates, which will analyze the data and help them discover innovative solutions.
“We’re really excited about this development,” says Dr. Michel. “Our vision is to bring cutting edge insight to the study of all aspects involved in daily life while analyzing the data to improve health. Our healthcare system in the U.S. is the most expensive and most inefficient in the world. We need to improve upon that. Hippokrates will allows us to gather data from patient encounters and try to determine what are the best outcomes and treatments that result in better outcomes.”


For more information on Larkin Community Hospital, visit

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