Dear Friends and Colleagues:
The digital age has provided us with the promise of a more efficient way to provide safer care —the much-vaunted electronic medical record. This is intended to create the ability to seamlessly share medical records among multiple health professionals caring for the same patient. The concept is both practical and logical. More timely and flexible access to critical information can enhance communication opportunities in so many ways.
We know that this will give our clinicians – both voluntary and faculty – a tremendous opportunity to deliver a higher level of care. We want to make sure that physicians know that when they practice or refer here, that they will have every advantage available. This is why New York Hospital Queens is making sure we are a leader among large hospitals that are setting up an electronic records system. With an electronic health record (EHR), accessibility of medical information to multiple providers 24/7 is the obvious benefit, another plus to an EHR system is that it establishes “a medical home”—or a single patient record— for the patient. From the information in the medical record, it becomes clear who is the physician leader with responsibility for that patient and the information is kept consistent and in one place.
So far, we have invested our funds to connect formerly disparate IT systems within the hospital and build out our hospital EHR. Progress includes the establishment of computerized provider order entry, electronic clinical documentation and installation of an integrated medication management system. In an effort to create a single patient record, we are currently migrating the Emergency Department into the hospital EHR, and we are in the process of selecting a compatible Ambulatory Care solution as well.
The EHR is a tool with the potential to be a hospital-physician bonding mechanism, which directly enhances the ability of physicians and hospitals to work together around the needs of the patient. Our goal at NYHQ is to provide seamless communication and health information exchange across multiple community provider entities that enhances the service quality and the effectiveness of the hospital’s clinical offerings. Several initiatives have been established to achieve this underlying goal. This includes the fostering of community physician EHR adoption through an accelerated pilot program, Diagnostic Laboratory & e-Prescription community outreach and a physician portal with health information exchange capabilities.
The benefits of an EHR system are clear, but, for most, the barrier has been and continues to be the enormous price tag for these systems. Through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama has allocated $27 billion for hospitals and physicians who take the steps to adopt the EHR technology. Federal incentive payments are administered through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
A hospital or physician is eligible for federal incentives if the EHR technology utilized is “certified,” demonstrates “meaningful use” and interoperability in ways that can improve quality, safety and effectiveness of care. We project that our hospital will be eligible for these funds in 2012. Although resources are tight now and for the foreseeable future, we are committed to improve care through information technology with or without government funding.
For more information about our EHR program, contact Phil Myones, Chief Information Officer, at (718) 670-1601. It’s his primary focus to help our hospital improve quality, safety and effectiveness of care through electronic means, and I’m pleased to report that we are making significant progress.
Stephen S. Mills, F.A.C.H.E.
We are pleased to announce new clinical appointments.
The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation welcomes a new physician who will help us bring a higher level of operative and non-operative fracture care to Queens. As a Level 1 trauma center, building a larger base of this expertise helps us meet a great need in the borough.
Elan Goldwyn, M.D., a trauma expert who trained in the treatment of polytrauma due to severe injuries, provides treatment for osteomyelitis, severe fractures (nonunions and malunions) as well as those in need of pelvis and acetabular surgery and post-traumatic deformity reconstruction. Dr. Goldwyn completed his Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Goldwyn achieved his M.D. degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and earned his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. He trained at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. Dr. Goldwyn is fluent in Hebrew. Contact Dr. Goldwyn at 718-670-OUCH (6824).
The Department of Surgery announces the appointment of a new director of urology who is trained in performing robotic surgery for the treatment of prostate cancer. With his addition to our medical staff, we expand our robotic surgery capabilities.
Gerald Wang, M.D., is trained in surgical oncology and robotic surgery (primarily prostate) with the new third generation da Vinci Robotic Surgery Si System, the most advanced model available. He was recipient of the Ferdinand C. Valentine research fellowship from the New York Academy of Medicine to study microscopy in the diagnosis and evaluation of response or immunotherapy in human bladder cancer. He served as chief resident in urology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He received his M.D. degree from Stanford University of Medicine, and completed his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry at Yale University. He is conversant in Mandarin and Spanish. Contact Dr. Wang at 718-670-2972.
The Department of Radiation Oncology welcomes a new attending radiation
oncologist and specialist in treating cancers of the head, neck, lung
Baoqing Li, M.D, Ph.D., was recently recognized by the American Radium Society and the American College of Radiology with two significant awards for his research on the prevention of the development of radiation-resistant prostate cancer cells. Dr. Li served as chief resident of radiation oncology at the University of California Davis, School of Medicine. He completed his medical residency training at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, with an elective in medical oncology. Dr. Li achieved his degree in medicine at New York Medical College. He also holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine. He completed training as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University. He is fluent in Mandarin and conversant in Cantonese. Contact Dr. Li at 718-670-1501.
A new cardiologist joins our growing faculty of cardiologists and
cardiac surgeons, to provide the most comprehensive range of diagnosis
and treatment for patients with heart and vascular conditions, right
here in Queens.
Mark Balek, M.D., has been named as an attending physician and clinical instructor in cardiovascular medicine. Dr. Balek completed his internal medicine residency and internship at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Hospital Queens. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was involved in genetics research, and of Ross University School of Medicine. Dr. Balek is board certified in internal medicine, and is a member of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association’s Greater New York Fellows’ group, and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. He is fluent in Polish. Contact Dr. Balek at 718-670-2087.
Our physicians frequently present their work at national medical conferences and in peer-reviewed publications.
Peter Wasserman, R.D., M.A., metabolic support coordinator,
infectious disease division, and David S. Rubin, M.D., director
of the Specialty Care Center for HIV/ AIDS, are co-authors of an
investigator-initiated study entitled “Highly prevalent vitamin D
deficiency and insufficiency in an urban cohort of HIV-infected men
under care.” Their paper was published in the peer-reviewed journal AIDS
Patient Care and STDs and was presented at the AIDS Society Conference
on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Cape Town, South
Africa. Their work has lead to new guidelines for HIV care in the U.S.
and Europe that now calls for routine vitamin D testing and
supplementation, when needed.
Paul Lee, M.D., vice chairman, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and chief, Thoracic Surgery Division, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation for a case study of an unusual clinical presentation of a rare renal tumor. Dr. Lee also presented “Predictors of recurrence, time to progression and disease-free survival in patients with completely resected esophageal carcinoma,” at the 90th annual meeting of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery in Toronto, Canada.
Gary Eglinton, M.D., chairman, Obstetrics and Gynecology; Catherine Herway, M.D., attending physician; and Daniel Skupski, M.D., associate chairman, Obstetrics and Gynecology, had their research, “Endocervical hyaluronan and ultrasound-indicated cerclage,” published in the journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Nandanuri Reddy, Ph.D, Associate Director of Physics, Department of Radiation Oncology, was the lead author of two studies for the journal Medical Physics: “Prostate and seminal vesicle volume based consideration of prostate cancer patients for treatment with 3D-conformal or intensity-modulated radiation therapy,” and “Comparison of structure contouring efficiency and dose-volume histograms (DVH) of Pinnacle3 and Eclipse treatment planning systems for prostate IMRT.” He presented an abstract on the latter at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
It is an honor for us when other organizations select our hospital team members as advisors and leaders.
John Sciortino, F.A.C.H.E., Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, achieved recertification as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Recertification represents his continued achievement in meeting high standards of professional development and excellence as a healthcare executive.
Congratulations to Joseph J. Abularrage, M.D., chairman of
Pediatrics, on his nomination to the Board of Trustees at the Queens
Paul Freedman, D.D.S., Director, Oral Pathology, Department of Dental and Oral Medicine, was elected Vice President of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.
With sadness, we announce the death of the first full-time chairman of Surgery for our institution.
We extend our sympathy to the family of Jameson Chassin, M.D., a skilled surgeon, a remarkable teacher and a productive scholar. He was the founder of our surgical group CRT Surgical Associates. His book, Chassin's Operative Strategy in General Surgery, 3rd edition, is the most widely read surgical atlas in the world. Today, his imprint remains visible both through the programs he built to provide excellent outcomes for our patients, and in the hundreds of students and young surgeons who were lucky enough to have him as a teacher and mentor.
Queens Eye Center Adds Advanced Imaging Equipment
The NYHQ Queens Eye Center has acquired a state-of-the-art Cirrus Zeiss HD-OCT machine for the 3D, high-definition imaging of the eye for the diagnosis and management of glaucoma. This new eye imaging equipment provides clinicians a higher level of detail and precision. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent eye damage and result in vision loss, which, once lost, cannot be restored. Funds for the new imaging equipment were provided by the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation, of which Congressman Joseph Crowley is a supporter. Congressman Crowley is the U.S. representative for New York’s 7th District, which includes New York Hospital Queens.
Breaking Records in the Emergency Department
On July 20, the Emergency Department experienced a record registration of 422 patients in a 24-hour period. This was an all-time high, except for the H1N1 “swine flu” epidemic, when the staff saw more patients but at a much lower level of acuity. We can attribute the increase in volume to economic factors. Due to three recent hospital closings in Queens and the loss of jobs during this time, there has been a significant increase in individuals who are using our Emergency Department for medical care. For a point of reference, our ER was built to accommodate 55,000 patient visits per year. This year it’s estimated we’ll have 120,000 patient encounters.
We Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Our hospital was one of the first among New York City hospitals to accept Mayor Bloomberg’s challenge to reduce gas emissions by 30 percent by 2017. We developed a comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory with which to track all hospital energy uses over time, including diesel, fuel oil, natural gas and electricity. Our tracking system shows us that, so far, we achieved an 18 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
NYHQ Cancer Center Achieves Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation
The New York Hospital Queens Cancer Center was granted a three-year accreditation with commendation by the Commission on Cancer (COC) of the American College of Surgeons. Our cancer program was specially recognized with commendations in eight areas including community outreach programs related to cancer screenings and prevention, clinical services, and cancer data management. Commission on Cancer accreditation is achieved by only one in four hospitals that treat cancer patients and is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in diagnosis and treatment of cancer. NYHQ has maintained COC approval since 1987.
Congress Passes FMAP Increase Extension
When the NYS Budget finally passed in early August, Medicaid reductions were included in the cuts in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). The following week the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to provide a six-month extension to the FMAP increase that was due to expire December 31. The value of the extension would be an estimated total $1.4 billion to New York State over state fiscal years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.
This extension will mitigate to a considerable degree the need for Medicaid cuts to satisfy the state’s FMAP contingency plan. Instead of $450 million in Medicaid cuts to hospitals, nursing homes, home care, physicians, other providers, and Medicaid managed care, the reductions will be approximately $125 million, including federal dollars.
West Wing Update
A plan is in place to move into the new West Wing building sequentially throughout the month of September. As of press time, it was expected that the first patients would move in just after Labor Day. The main lobby entrance on Main Street also will open at that time.
Over the past few months while we were waiting for the Department of Health to grant us final approval to move into the building, our employees and medical staff were trained in fire safety procedures for the new building and were brought up to speed on new equipment upgrades.
Existing employees will provide care in the new patient care areas. Vacated spaces in the older building will be renovated and re-assigned. The addition of 80 patient beds brings our certified count up to 519 beds.
New York Hospital Queens Maintains High Visibility in the Community:
National Night Out Against Crime
National Night Out Against Crime (NOAC) was celebrated though out the country. We were well represented in Queens, by participating in three police precinct events. We offered free glaucoma screenings at the 109th Precinct (Flushing) and the 110th (Elmhurst, Corona) events, and held a blood drive at the 107th Precinct (Fresh Meadows) event.
Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Three New York Hospital Queens teams participated in the 20th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. We were well represented by the “Baby Catchers,” a team assembled by our Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; the “Dragon Hearts,” from our Heart & Vascular team, and new team, the “Ionizing Dragons” from our Radiology Department.
NYHQ takes to the water in the 20th annual Dragon
Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
NYHQ Presents September Community Health Fair
In collaboration with Assemblywoman Grace Meng, we are presenting a Health & Safety Fair on September 25, 2010, from 12 p.m to 4 p.m. at St. Ann’s Church in Flushing. We will showcase our available services and provide free health screenings.
The 2010 HANYS-PAC campaign is underway. This year, more than ever, we need to make sure that our elected officials understand the challenges we face so they can advocate for effective approaches. We need to elect people who care about health care in both Albany and Washington, D.C.
HANYS has worked with the Medical Staff Society of New York State and other hospital and physician groups to win enactment of a law to curb unfair managed care practices. With our support, HANYS continues to push for medical malpractice reform and other stalled issues in the State Legislature, like the “doc fix” bill and tort reform. To make a donation to the HANYS-PAC please contact Debbie Pagano Cohen at 718-670-1586.
The 22nd Annual Frank Randazzo Jr. Golf and Tennis Classic
The Randazzo Jr. Annual Golf and Tennis Classic raises funds for our cancer research and cancer patient programs. The event will be held on September 7, 2010, at the Old Westbury Golf & Country Club in Old Westbury. We want to encourage our physicians and employees to participate. For more information call Julie Varghese, director, Special Events, 718-670-1564.