Lee Health is Shaping the Future of Florida Healthcare with Innovation

March 20, 2024

Since the opening of its first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a healthcare leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated healthcare services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health, as well as dedicated to cultivating an innovation culture across Florida’s healthcare system. Lee Health believes that every idea has the potential to make a meaningful impact on the lives of their patients and their community.

Recently at Synapse Summit 2024, Dr. Scott Nygaard – COO at Lee Health – joined a panel to discuss HealthTech State of the Union: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities. A key takeaway was Lee Health’s intentional innovation processes, rooted in human-centered design, to nurture and bring to life groundbreaking big ideas. But they don’t do this alone. Lee Health collaborates closely with patients, dedicated care team members, strategic partners, and community members. Together, they guide the reimagining of how healthcare is delivered.


Innovation at Lee Health: Robotic surgery program focused on excellence


Lee Health has not only embraced robotic-assisted surgery, they are also at the forefront of surgical innovation with a fleet of 27 state-of-the-art robotic systems and a team of more than 80 robotic surgeons.

Throughout Lee Health, their surgeons perform a wide range of procedures, from lung biopsies and lobectomies to abdominal wall reconstruction, hysterectomies, prostatectomies, hip and knee replacements, spine fusions and more. Over the past year, there has been a substantial 64% increase in robotic procedures because of the technology adoption across various specialties.

“Our robotic program is not only focused on the quantity but also on the safety and quality of surgeries,” explains Juan Ibarra, M.D., MS, system robotic surgery program manager.

Robotic surgery uses a high-definition camera and precision tools, which allow surgeons to perform complex procedures with more accuracy and smaller incisions.  All this means an improved patient experience: smaller scars, shorter hospitalizations, lower risk of adverse side effects, faster overall recovery time, less pain, less blood loss, and quicker return to normal activity.

“We have seen significant improvements in crucial metrics [with robotic surgery], such as reduced lengths of stay and 67% of our robotic surgery patients returning home the same day,” said Dr. Ibarra. “This focus on quality and safety extends to enhancing patient outcomes, exemplified by our achievements in reducing surgical site infections, blood transfusions, readmissions, and reoperations.”

Dr. Ibarra adds that the robotic surgery program at Lee Health has embraced a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. “We have integrated new technologies, like the robotic-assisted bronchoscopy and the water-jet ablation of the prostate, further enhancing the scope of care for our patients without requiring them to leave the community,” he said.

Discover how innovation is not just a buzzword at Lee Health; it’s a commitment to a healthier, brighter future. Learn More


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