As we enter 2011, I wish everyone a Healthy New Year. Clearly, this will be a year of continuous and difficult challenge. It is an exciting time, but it demands that we all step up to the plate. The old ways of operating that kept many patient care delivery organizations going, even if by inertia, are long gone. Now, the winners will be those that are flexible, proactive, and can find more meaningful ways to collaborate, as well as demonstrate outcomes.
As has been the trend for some time, the solo practice of medicine is becoming increasingly unaffordable for physicians who treat patients here in Queens. So, we continue to assess where opportunities exist for the development of multi-specialty group practices, employment, matching sub specialists with internal medicine practices and various other alliances and appropriate contractual arrangements. Physician integration is paramount. NYHQ-credentialed medical staff are located throughout the area, delivering vital primary and specialty care in our communities. Currently, we have more than a dozen community-based ambulatory care centers - four of which provide primary care in: downtown Flushing, Hollis, Jackson Heights and Fresh Meadows. These facilities are strategically placed to bring NYHQ quality into neighborhoods that need it.
As part of our approach to helping our 1,600 medical staff stay whole and engaged in practice, we urge the physicians in this community to participate in one or more IPAs. Active participation can bring your voices and individual strengths together - building the critical mass that will be necessary to obtain what you need to practice medicine in this state. Now, it isn’t about fighting change, its about managing the changes that are coming. You can be a driving force for creating change and a source of stability.
As well, we want all of our affiliated physicians and stakeholders to understand our thinking around the passage of the major health care legislation of 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. There are two absolutes: the law was enacted and major Congressional funding appropriations have been set. What remains undefined are the specific regulations that will be written under this act. Obviously, the new Republican majority in the House will have an impact on those regulations, what’s uncertain is exactly how. All providers - including hospitals, long-term care facilities, physicians and other health care professionals - are now responsible for implementing this historic legislation; hence, the formation of new models like “Accountable Care Organizations,” “Medical Homes,” bundled payments and measurement tools for outcomes. We need to work as a team with clinical and non-clinical colleagues (as well as other institutions) to utilize practice-based resources and electronic support systems.
Also, the new legislation brings with it new reimbursement criteria with “pay-for-performance” at its crux. In addition, the federal government has established financial incentives to encourage the meaningful adoption of the electronic medical record (EMR). It is the expectation that all health care organizations, including physician offices, home health agencies - anyone who provides patient care - will use the EMR. Our path to implementing an electronic medical record has been direct and committed. We are well underway with the EMR in our emergency room, in the inpatient setting, and in our community-based ambulatory care centers. We are making a workable platform available to our affiliated physicians. This is one more benefit of NYHQ medical staff membership. Now and moving ahead, we will continue to leverage the strength behind our affiliation with the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System. The System fully supports physician integration and provides access to tools that help us integrate our medical staff.
We are positioned on the right course of alignment with long-term care facilities, voluntary medical staff and others. So, as we enter 2011, my message remains one of unrelenting optimism with the opportunities that can be created by, and for, those that are proactive and collaborative. The time is now.
Stephen S. Mills, F.A.C.H.E.
It is an honor for us when our hospital team members are recognized
by other organizations:
Joseph J. Abularrage, M.D., chairman, Pediatrics, has been recognized by Weill Cornell Medical College for his expertise in medical education by being named to the Education Unit committee. The Education Unit is comprised of faculty who have personal and professional experience in medical education development, course leadership, and career interest in curriculum and program development and evaluation.
Congratulations to Moshe Rubin, M.D., director, Gastroenterology, for being recognized as one of the "75 of the Best Gastroenterologists in America" by Beckers ASC Review. According to Beckers, awardees were selected for their involvement in highly reputable gastroenterology organizations, contributions to the field of gastroenterology and the receipt of highly regarded award and prizes, as well as their ability to provide excellent service and outcomes.
Our physicians and clinical staff frequently present their work at
national medical conferences and in peer-reviewed publications:
Chaim Charytan, M.D., director, Nephrology and Trude Weishaupt Satellite Dialysis Center, authored a study “Bundled-rate Legislation for Medicare Reimbursement for Dialysis Service: Implication for Anemia Management with ESAs.” His study suggests that fixed compensation may bring with it management strategies that optimize cost savings, which in turn, will maximize efficiencies in the provision of care. The study was published in the December issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
The Department of Emergency Medicine in collaboration with Critical Care Medicine, Trauma Surgery, Case Management and Quality Assurance, presented three abstracts at the 2010 NewYork-Presbyterian Quality Improvement Symposium. The abstracts were titled "Sepsis Strategy - Reducing Mortality through Process Change," "Case Management Strategy - Improving Value-based Performance Outcomes by Integrating Case Management into Emergency Department Operations," and "Critical Care Strategy - Building Team Competence through Simulation." These projects were authored by John DiDonna, R.N., assistant nurse manager; Aishwarya Nair, R.P.A.-C., quality management coordinator; Danniel Stites, M.D., chief resident, Emergency Medicine; Laura Giles, R.N., nurse manager; Alison Suarez, M.D., assistant director, Emergency Medicine residency; Mark Kindschuh, M.D., associate chairman, Medicine; George Benedetto, EMT-P, M.P.A., director, Patient Simulation Center; Alfred C. Caligiuri, R.P.A.-C., director, Urgent Care; and Adam Dorfman, R.N.C., M.S.N., case manager.
Adam Weinstein, vice president, Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Compliance, served as a panelist at a KPMG seminar on Hospital Procurement Fraud. He was asked to join the panel to share his experience and lessons learned on the topic.
Our Surgical Intensive Care Unit Serves as Role Model for Infection
The Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at NYHQ has been CLAB-free for 30 months! CLAB (central line bacteremia) is a potentially life threatening hospital acquired infection that can affect patients needing an IV central line. This is the case for most patients cared for in the SICU setting. According to the National Health and Safety Network, the group that measures CLAB infection rates, we rank among the best hospitals nationwide.
The Cardiac Health Center Provides Weight Management Classes
The Cardiac Health Center offers a 12-week Weight Management Class to assist participants with maintaining or regaining control over their weight. The program begins January 24. It is a medically supervised program that combines diet, exercise and behavior change tailored to the individual participant. It is led by a professional team that includes a cardiologist, exercise physiologists, registered dietitians and cardiac nurses. For more information, contact the Cardiac Health Center at (718) 670-1695.
Women’s Auxiliary Funds the 2011 Child Life Program
A one-year grant from the NYHQ Women’s Auxiliary will enable the hospital’s Child Life Program to continue its special work with pediatric patients. The Child Life Program helps children and their families cope with the stress of hospitalization. The Child Life staff helps explain medical procedures, provides diversion therapy to distract and calm children during medical procedures, and provides posttherapeutic intervention to ease anxiety. The NYHQ Women’s Auxiliary, established in 1957 with the founding of our hospital, is a volunteer organization that raises funds for much-needed equipment and program support. To learn more about these organizations, visit their webpages here on www.nyhq.org - Child Life Fund and Women's Auxiliary.
RESOURCES FOR PHYSICIANS
Physicians look to our institution for expertise and a high level of quality, especially since our services are continuously growing. To keep members of the medical community informed about our resources, we have developed a physician directory, brochures and newsletters as well as fact sheets about our new programs and services - online, accessible and easy to find, at www.nyhq.org.
New Medical Staff Directory Makes Referrals Easy
A referral directory of more than 1,600 NYHQ-affiliated physicians, dentists, and podiatrists is categorized by specialty and includes contact information, address, board certifications and training. A print version has been distributed to all members of our medical staff, ambulatory care facilities and thousands of area physicians.
Materials for Physicians About our Services
In the past month, we published the following materials:
The Bone and Joint Hospital of Queens brochure, which has information about Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and related programs. Features include information on surgical/non-surgical treatment options for bone and joint pain and our related programs, such as physical therapy, rheumatology and trauma service.
The Heart Hospital of Queens brochure, which describes the programs that make up our Heart Hospital: cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery, interventional radiology and pediatric cardiology programs.
In addition to the materials above, we have fact sheets that provide key information on many other programs. We recently published fact sheets on: Bariatric Surgery, Gynecology-Oncology, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedics, Urology, Vascular/ Endovascular Services and the Hospitalist Program. All of our materials are available to be downloaded here: Brochures, Newsletters, Fact sheets and Informational Materials.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce awarded NYHQ the “Hall of Fame” building award for excellence in design, construction and building prominence for the new West Building. The seven-floor building was part of a $210 million modernization program that began in 2007. The award will be presented in a special ceremony on January 20. The award is given only to projects that significantly impact Queens or its skyline… and the West Building does both.
Presentation of Gifts to U.S. Army
This year New York Hospital Queens reached the “10,000 toys” milestone in our eighth annual presentation of gifts to the U.S. Army from the FreeMat (The Freedom Medical Aid Team) team of EMT-Paramedics at NYHQ. The toys are given to the children of those soldiers who are stationed overseas at holiday time.
NYC Comptroller John Liu has participated in the initiative since its inception in 2002. This year, Senator Toby Stavisky, Senator-elect Tony Avella, Assembly Member Grace Meng, Council Members Peter Koo and Dan Halloran were also involved. Many other community and business organizations participated such as Community Board #7, the Flushing Rotary Club, NYPD, Flushing Chinese Business Association, NYHQ Women’s Auxiliary, Italian American Democratic Association, Boy Scouts Troop 1, Macy's Department Store, and schools: PS 24 in Flushing, St. Luke’s Church Grammar School in Whitestone, St. Mel’s Church Grammar School in Flushing and St. Francis Preparatory High School in Fresh Meadows.
Holiday Party for Community Children
Thanks to a gift from George Heinrich, M.D., Chairman, Board of Trustees, and his wife, Debra Heinrich, NYHQ hosted a holiday party for our patients and community children. Invitees included patients from our Theresa Lang Children's Ambulatory Center, the Pediatric Asthma Center, the children of NYHQ employees and youngsters from community afterschool programs, such as the Child Development Center at Queens College, Korean American Family Service Center and the YMCA. Nearly 300 children attended and received a photo and gift with Santa Claus, as well as an autograph from Mr. Met and holiday entertainment.
Blood Donor Program Achieves Milestone
Blood donations help our cancer patients, people with hemophilia or infections and victims of traumatic accidents. In 2010, we reached our goal of collecting 1,000 blood donations from employees, medical staff and hospital volunteers. In addition, 43 community groups and local businesses hosted blood drives for NYHQ. All blood collected by our Blood Donor Center remains in our hospital to help our patients. To make an appointment or schedule a blood drive for your organization, please call the Blood Donor Center at (718) 670-1007. For further information on donating blood and to view our community blood drive calendar, visit our web page here on www.nyhq.org, Blood Donor Center.
NYHQ.org Achieves Award for Web Site Design
We achieved a Best Site Design Distinction Award for our hospital Web site, www.nyhq.org, from 2010 eHealthcare Leadership Awards, a program from the national organization, eHealthcare Stategy and Trends. This distinction is awarded to hospitals with 400+ beds for Web design that is attractive and engaging, facilitates access to key site information; provides strong branding and ease of use.