Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to report that during our unannounced survey by the Joint Commission in March, we received a preliminary report granting us three-year re-accreditation (with outstanding remarks from the surveyors). The Joint Commission is the accrediting body for health care facilities throughout the United States. The survey team stated that we set a great example for other hospitals. In particular, the surveyors recognized our team approach to rounding.

The Joint Commission has made it clear that the lack of “effective communication among caregivers” is a recurring patient safety issue in health care facilities nationwide. It is one of the seven 2010 National Patient Safety Goals established for hospitals by the Joint Commission. A lot of hard work has gone into the improvement of our communication, and we acknowledge that there is more work ahead. Sustaining a great program is as important as the establishment of it. The key word is consistency.

Many hospitals perform patient rounds. Most rounding teams involve nurses who hand-off patient information at the change of nursing shifts. What sets our rounding teams apart is that we include attending physicians, physician assistants, nurse aides, case managers, nutrition services and residents, each of whom take an active role in communication hand-offs during shift changes.

The results from our re-accreditation survey are evidence that we are on the right track. Our employees and medical staff under-stand that the way we communicate with our patients and the way we communicate as a team affects the quality, safety and patient’s perception of their care while with us.

The numerous positive comments that we received by the Joint Commission surveyors are a testament to the caring and professionalism of the more than 5,000 people who make up our team of employees, physicians and volunteers. And, I thank all of the individuals who make up our hospital team for their hard work and dedication.

To re-emphasize our priorities for the year among our senior leadership team and Board of Trustees, we had an executive retreat late last month. The meeting enabled us to update our 2010 plan for clinical programs, our financial prospects, our engagement of community-based physicians and our progress with electronically connecting physicians to our hospital.

Sincerely,


Stephen S. Mills, FACHE

 


PEOPLE & PROGRAMS

PROGRAM NEWS

Colon Cancer Awareness
Colorectal cancer is one cancer that can be prevented through screening, such as colonoscopy. According to the American Cancer Society, increasing colorectal cancer screening among adults 50 and over represents the single greatest opportunity to decrease colorectal cancer death rates in this country. Our full service endoscopy laboratory performs colonoscopies and other advanced laparoscopic procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of intestinal disorders.

March was colorectal awareness month. We participated in the Colon Cancer Challenge fundraising walkathon and run in Central Park. And, we celebrated the dedication of our GI Nurses for National GI Nurse’s Day.

Enhanced Program to Help Us Deliver a Satisfying Experience—For Every Patient, Every Day
It is our patients who determine if the way we treated them made them feel good or not. If a patient has a great experience, he or she tells others. There is no better marketing than this “word of mouth.” However, if a patient has a poor experience, this can damage our reputation and has financial implications.

Our scores as measured by HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) indicate that as hard as we have been working on patient satisfaction, we need to redouble our efforts.

To improve, we have revitalized our patient satisfaction program with a tighter focus on the three major influences of satisfaction during a patient’s experience with us—our communication, our courtesy and our control of pain. We will redesign our employee coaching programs and institutional goals as well as the patient satisfaction tools that we use.

To accomplish this, we welcomed Helen Lavas to the role of patient satisfaction director, a newly created position at the hospital. Also, we have service excellence guidance from consultants from the Studer Group. Our new patient satisfaction program is expected to bring more consistency to how we provide a positive experience for every patient— in every interaction.

New Rapid Response Lab Testing Facility in Downtown Flushing



We recently opened a Rapid Response Laboratory at the Queens Crossing retail and office building in downtown Flushing. Monday through Saturday, physicians can order a test, send a patient for blood collection and get test results back within an hour. This turnaround time gives physicians the ability to send a patient for testing and get results back in the same day. This makes  it easier for physicians to manage patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and anemia.

The facility is a patient service center with a multilingual staff (Cantonese, Mandarin and English) of phlebotomists who collect blood and other specimens. The equipment to process the tests is also based at the facility. The facility is at 136-20 38th Avenue in downtown Flushing. Appointments are not necessary. For additional information, call the laboratory at (718) 886-5080.

Research Demonstrates Cardiac Health Center’s Benefits for Patients
Two research studies conducted by our Cardiac Health Center were presented at a national American Heart Association (AHA) conference in San Francisco in March. The studies demonstrate the value of the Center’s cardiac rehabilitation and weight management programs and its benefit for patients in promoting heart health.

The first study shows that involving heart disease patients in a formal exercise program definitely improves their functional capability and quality of life, and that elderly patients benefit as much or more than younger patients. The second study, compared the Center’s “Weigh to Go” weight management program to more traditional weight reduction programs. The study found that individuals enrolled in “Weigh to Go,” which includes a more palatable diet and meal plan, had a more significant decrease in weight and were more likely to complete a weight management program.

 

PEOPLE NEWS

It is an honor for us when other organizations honor our hospital team members for their health care service.

Adam Weinstein, F.A.C.H.E., vice president, regulatory affairs, was named the 2009 recipient of the American College of Healthcare Executives Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the healthcare management profession. His contributions included his service as the Regent for New York (Bridges Area) and as chapter president of Healthcare Leaders of New York.

We are pleased to announce new clinical and academic medical staff appointments.

Frank Tuminelli, D.M.D., F.A.C.P., was appointed director of prostodontics, Department of Dental and Oral Medicine. He is responsible for the NYHQ Dental Implant Program based at the Family Health Center in downtown Flushing as well as the training of dental residents who rotate through our graduate medical education program.

He achieved his certificate in prostodontics and his D.M.D from Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Dental Medicine. He formerly served as director, Advanced Prostodontics and Implant Dentistry at North Shore University Hospital-Long Island Jewish Health System, and staff prostodontist, Manhattan Veteran’s Hospital.

        Jayati Sarkar, M.D., attending ophthalmologist and corneal specialist, Department of Surgery, has joined the medical staff at the NYHQ Queens Eye Center. She comes to us following the completion of her fellowship and residency at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She achieved her medical degree at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry, India.

Akkamma Ravi, M.D., has been named as clinical director for the Department of Radiation Oncology.  Dr. Ravi is an assistant professor of radiation oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College and associate program director of the Integrated Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Hospital Queens.

Dr. Ravi earned her medical school degree and completed her radiation oncology residency with board certification from Kasturba Medical College, Bangalore University, India. She is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology.

Orthopaedic attending surgeons, Tony Quach, M.D., and Alexander Golant, M.D., were recently appointed assistant professors of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery by Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Our physicians and clinicians present their work at medical conferences and in publications as educators, researchers and scientists for the advancement of medicine.

Dattatreyudu Nori, M.D., chairman, radiation oncology, director, The Cancer Center, presented two lectures: “Principles and Practice Guidelines for HDR Gynecological Intracavitary Brachytherapy” and “Partial Breast Radiation with MammoSite HDR Brachytherapy” at the 19th Annual International HDR Brachytherapy Workshops and Prostate Cancer Symposium at the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in California.

At a recent meeting for the Council for Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) Academic Assembly in Orlando, FL, Sanjey Gupta, M.D., emergency medicine attending physician, addressed emergency medicine residents and faculty on the topic of medical charting, billing, and coding in an academic facility.

Burton S. Wasserman, D.D.S., chairman, Dental and Oral Medicine gave a presentation titled "Dental Care for the High Risk Patient with Cardiac Disease" at The Spartan Medical College in St. Lucia, West Indies, for the Symposium on the Advances in Cardiovascular Medicine.

Daniel Lorber, M.D, F.A.C.P, C.D.E., director, NYHQ’s Division of Endocrinology, and associate director, The Theresa and Eugene M. Lang Center for Research and Education, served as the principal invesigator for the ACCORD trial (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes). The trial looked at the effectiveness of aggressive treatment regiments to prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Last month, results presented from the ACCORD study showed that sometimes doing more does not translate to doing better and that aggressive treatment is not the answer for every patient.


PROGRESS

State of the Hospital for the Community- April 12, 2010
On Monday, April 12, at 6:00 p.m. at our Lang Auditorium, we will present a community-focused update about the hospital’s vision, 2009 accomplishments and our priorities for 2010. Highlights will include a video “virtual tour” of the new seven-story West Wing. This update follows a series of State of the Hospital sessions presented to the entire hospital and medical staff. Any physicians who were not able to attend the earlier sessions are invited to join us for this community presentation.

Advocacy for Health Care Funding
Representing New York Hospital Queens, Arthur Dawson, Ph.D., Vice Chairman of our Board of Trustees, and Kevin Ward, Sr. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, participated in the annual Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) 2010 Leadership Advocacy Day.

Our team discussed our hospital’s expected impact from the state budget proposals and reminded legislators about the increased number of patients served by our hospital that have come as a result of recent hospital closures in Queens. In addition, they stated the position of the New York Hospital Queens’ Board of Trustees, which has adopted the New York State resolution urging the State Legislature to oppose health care provider cuts and taxes and to ensure that FMAP (Federal Medical Assistance Percentages) funds are used to offset health care provider taxes and cuts. FMAPs are used in determining the amount of federal matching funds for state expenditures for assistance payments for certain State medical and medical insurance expenditures, such as Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

An important issue discussed with Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the Assembly’s Health Committee Chairman, was the discoverability of information when it pertains to the value of having health care providers involved with root cause analysis. The Assemblyman informed the group that he has sponsored a bill (A011596) that was introduced in January that would address this issue. We now encourage both the Healthcare Trustees of New York State and Healthcare Association of New York State to support Assemblyman Gottfried’s bill.                                   

In addition to Health Committee Chairman Gottfried, other legislators that our hospital team met with included New York State Majority Leader Senator Malcolm Smith, Senator Toby Stavisky, Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn, Assemblywoman Grace Meng (representing our district) and staff for Senator Thomas Duane (Senate Health Committee Chairman) and Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza.

Major Modernization Update



There has been significant progress on the new seven-story West wing. We started the major mechanical equipment, such as the generators, medical gases, air conditioning and heating. The building’s sprinkler system is prepared in the event of a fire emergency. Other interiors underway include the installation of plumbing fixtures, doors, flooring and built-in furniture. The installation of medical equipment in the cardiology interventional procedure rooms is in progress.





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