Prior to his current role as chief operating officer of Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Wyatt Chocklett worked in electronic medical records.
As he visited more hospitals, he realized that’s where he wanted to be. The emotion-filled hospitals gave him an opportunity to interact with patients.
About five years ago, he approached an executive at his company — Hospital Corporation of America — and asked for a shot at being an administrator. He got his first chance at a hospital in Dickson, Tenn. “I don’t think you can always wait for someone to come tap you on the shoulder,” he says. “You have to be invested in your own career.”
At TriStar Horizon Medical Center in Dickson, he worked his way up to COO. In July 2017, he was presented with a new opportunity: COO of Doctors Hospital.
At the Sarasota hospital, he ensures compliance and smooth operations on a day-to-day basis. That includes key aspects of hospital life such as the lights being on, air conditioning functioning at the right temperature and repairing anything that needs to be fixed. “I don’t wait for something to break to replace it,” he says. “I look ahead.” He also supports the hospital’s nursing teams, making sure they have what they need to take care of patients.
Chocklett’s role includes overseeing the hospital’s growth projects as well. This spring, Doctors Hospital opened a $12 million emergency room in Lakewood Ranch. Also ahead are a new $1.7 million catheterization and vascular lab, along with a $2.3 million operating room for robotic surgery.
With all the job’s demands, the biggest hurdle is prioritizing, he says. “In health care and in hospital administration, you’ve got new and different challenges every day,” Chocklett says. “You can’t be all things to all people. You have to decide what’s the most important thing today, next month and next year.”
Amid all the juggling, Chocklett carves out time for what he feels is most important, including talking to doctors and patients. “I think administrators can do three things really well to be successful,” he says. “They can and should speak to every guest they see. They can escort people if they’re lost. They can rub off scuff marks on the floor. I make sure I do those three things every day.”