Dear Colleagues:

We can do all the right things to make a hospital safer, by complying with the safety requirements of the federal, state and local governments and the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals. But, then, human nature steps in, an employee doesn’t wash their hands. What’s vexing is that all those safety procedures that have been put into place now fall victim to a person’s old habits.

Patient safety cannot be a theoretical concept or goal. It can’t just be taught in a course. It needs to be part of the hospital’s culture and daily life.  Looking further at the example of hand washing, study after study shows that improper hand hygiene contributes significantly to disease transmission. Every year hospitals have hand washing campaigns. The rates at most U.S. hospitals are shamefully low—at best, 50 percent or 60 percent compliance. This, despite the fact, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said for years that, “Hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection." |

At New York Hospital Queens, our Patient Safety Committee, led by our chief medical officer Stephen Rimar, M.D., and more than 100 hospital managers, reviews our hospital-wide safety measures weekly— in one of the best ways possible—making rounds on patient floors. The team gets to see our safety protocols in action, this includes hand washing compliance.Safety Leadership WalkRounds™ is a concept that originated from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) that was conceived as a tool to help senior leaders connect with staff and signal to front-line workers a true commitment to creating a culture of safety. It truly works.

I believe that by visiting these areas regularly we have made a difference in both the staff’s views of patient safety as well as patients’ and families. No complaint is insignificant, simple or an isolated problem. I have witnessed the transition of a staff who were hesitant to speak up but are now are eager to share concerns, thoughtful observations and creative ideas for change and improvement. 

If I had to sum up what I have learned from our rounds, it is that they are among one of the best ways to hear about patient safety concerns, observe our safety plan at work, and educate staff while visiting their areas. The staff learns by us and by our example. Bad habits are broken if we remain consistent and reinforce the correct way of doing things.

Sincerely,


Stephen S. Mills, F.A.C.H.E.

PEOPLE & PROGRAMS


Program News

  Heart Health Awareness
We launched Healthy Heart Month in a big way with the lighting of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, joined by elected officials. The landmark glowed red throughout the month as a visible reminder of the need to keep hearts healthy. NYHQ employees also dressed in red in support of heart health. In addition, we held a full slate of free programs to educate the public about heart disease.

 

Laser Vein Ablation for Varicose Veins
Last month we announced that a new type of endovascular surgery performed for aneurysm repair was brought to Queens. In another first for the Division of Vascular Surgery, we performed the first laser vein ablation to treat varicose veins. This minimally invasive ambulatory procedure is state-of-the-art in the care of patients with one of the most common vascular disorders: venous disease.

Spine and Sports Medicine Service
The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation recently added two new clinical services, the Sports Medicine Service and the Spine Service, with hours biweekly at the orthopaedic offices on 4 South. Yong Kim, M.D., attending orthopaedic surgeon, runs the Spine Service. Tony Quach, M.D., and Alexander Golant, M.D., will maintain the Sports Medicine Service.

New Sports Medicine Affiliation with Met Oval Foundation
The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation announces a sports medicine association with the Metropolitan Oval Foundation, administrator of the Met Oval soccer field in Maspeth, Queens. The field is home to the Brooklyn Knights, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and numerous soccer programs for all ages. The new relationship will enable the hospital’s medical specialists to provide participants in Met Oval programs with information about sports injury prevention and treatment options. For those Met Oval program participants who choose to use the hospital’s services, the orthopaedic and rehabilitation medicine specialists will provide care and treatment in the main hospital facility in Flushing, or in an outpatient Center located in Fresh Meadows.

New Test for Ulcers at NYHQ
The Department of Laboratories and Pathology has acquired a new Breath-Tek™ breath collection kit to detect the presence of the H. pylori bacterium, the leading cause of peptic ulcer disease. Results can be made available to physicians within one hour. This test, which presents an easy, noninvasive alternative to endoscopy, can be administered in a physician’s office or in the laboratory. After fasting for at least one hour, the patient exhales into a collection bag. Next, the patient drinks a tasteless liquid and exhales into a second bag. Both bags are then affixed to a computerized measurement device. Specific changes in the second breath sample over the first will indicate the presence of the H. pylori bacterium.


People News

We are pleased to announce three recent appointments of attending physicians.

Antoine Rabinowitz, M.D., has joined our hospital as a board certified attending radiologist, Department of Radiology. He has held appointments at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center, New York Medical College at White Plains (St. Agnes Hospital), and Metropolitan Hospital Center, 1998-2002. He completed his radiology residency and fellowship at Mount Sinai Medical Center and completed an internal medicine residency at Montefiore Medical Center.

Ari Jonisch, M.D., has joined our hospital as an attending radiologist with a specialty in musculoskeletal radiology. He achieved his medical degree at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, N.Y. He completed his radiology residency at Yale New Haven Hospital and completed his musculoskeletal fellowship at the NYU Hospital for Joint Disease.

Reza Zarnegar, D.O., attending physician, Neurology Division, Department of Medicine, recently joined the Neuroscience Center. Dr. Zarnegar completed fellowship training in epilepsy, neuromuscular diseases and intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Among his responsibilities is the EMG laboratory at the Neuroscience Institute offices in Fresh Meadows.


Our physicians and clinicians present their work at medical conferences. As educators, they are instrumental in training residents, fellows and other clinical professionals. They conduct and publish their research for the advancement of medicine.

Manish Sharma, D.O., M.B.A., assistant emergency medicine residency director, is presenting at an educational session at the Council for Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) Academic Assembly in Orlando this month. His presentation covers core competency training for emergency medicine residents and the use of a wireless audience response system for immediate feedback in a group-learning environment.

Jose D. Torres, Jr., M.D., attending emergency medicine physician, addressed our Department of Medicine’s Pulmonary and Critical Care Grand Rounds. He discussed difficult airway management techniques including rescue oxygenation, endotracheal intubation and airway adjuncts.

Rachel Waldron, M.D., EMS director, and Dr. Jose Torres hosted a training session to introduce NYHQ paramedics to difficult airway adjuncts and advanced techniques to improve their ability to successfully oxygenate and ventilate critically ill patients en route to the hospital when standard methods fail. George Benedetto Jr., M.P.A. EMT-P, Director of the NYHQ Patient Simulation Center, assisted with the training session by incorporating simulation patients in the exercise.

David Barlas, M.D., associate emergency medicine residency director, was re-appointed a senior peer reviewer for the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine for 2010.

Jeffrey E. Rosen, M.D., chairman, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, is the lead investigator in two industry-sponsored clinical trials: A 26 Week, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Single Intra-Articular Injection of 1.2% Sodium Hyaluronate for Treatment of Painful Osteoarthritis of the Knee, with Optional 26-Week Open-Label Safety Extension; and A Prospective, Non-Randomized, Externally Controlled, Open Label Multi-Center, Pivotal Study to Examine the Safety and Effectiveness of the HemiCap Focal Femoral Condyle Resurfacing Prosthesis.

   S. Daniel Huang, M.D., attending plastic surgeon from the Department of Surgery was the principal speaker at the Plastic Surgery Division meeting and Grand Rounds.  Dr. Huang gave an update on the latest laser Doppler, tissue oxygen, and flow probe technology available for the monitoring of microvascular patency and tissue viability.  Dr. Huang is leading the Plastic Surgery Division's effort to refine the clinical assessment of microvascular reconstructions.

 

PROGRESS

Major Modernization Update
Save the Date: June 16, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.
We have set a date for our ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception for the new seven-story West Wing. We hope that you will be able to join us as we celebrate this historical event for the hospital and this community on June 16, 2010, at 5:30 p.m.

We would be deeply honored to have many of you who attended the February 9, 2007 groundbreaking ceremony to return for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

 

 

Progress on the New Building
The exterior for the perimeter of the West Wing is complete. The exterior canopy for the drive-up car drop off continues to be under construction. Two of six elevators in the new building are operational; work continues on the remaining four elevators.

The boilers and heating system are expected to start up this month pending final approval by the New York City Buildings Department. The installation of the built-in furniture on the nursing units has commenced. The installation of flooring is scheduled to begin at the end of this month.

   

A Spring Night Gala Celebrates NYHQ Accomplishments
On June 7, 2010, at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan, we will celebrate our collective hospital accomplishments and the completion of our major modernization program. We will also present the Year 2010 Pacesetter Award to Julian DeLia, M.D., a pioneer in the treatment of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.  Entertainment will be provided by legendary entertainer and comedian, Bill Cosby.

As we prepare to open the doors to our spectacular new West Wing in June, we are at a historic moment in the history our medical center.  Support of A Spring Night Gala by our physicians, corporations, and organizations and community leaders is critical as we further our mission to provide the highest quality of care to our community. 

We invite you to purchase a table or tickets to this very special event or to participate in our special advertising journal.  For additional information, call the Division of Public Affairs and Marketing at (718) 670-1564.

Health Care Funding Advocacy in Albany
Our hospital is joining others across the state that are taking action to voice our concerns about Governor Paterson’s proposed taxes and health care cuts at the Healthcare Association of New York State’s 2010 Leadership Advocacy Day.

A team of administrators and board members from are hospital will visit Albany on March 3 and meet with state legislators from the Assembly and Senate to discuss the impact of the Governor’s proposed budget. The team will urge members of the state Legislature to oppose health care provider cuts and taxes and to ensure that FMAP funds be used to offset health care provider taxes and cuts.

We are encouraging our employees and members from the community to participate in a letter writing campaign addressed to our state legislators who represent us. Please go to www.helpyourhospital.org and www.helpyournursinghome.org to find out how the Governor’s proposed budget cuts will harm local health care providers. Send letters to local state legislators in opposition to health care funding cuts.

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