N.J. Hospitals Go 4 for 4, but Quality Work Continues

Some valuable new data was released recently showing progressive improvement in the quality of care given in New Jersey hospitals. So while my previous blog may have convinced you that I’m only focused on the Sports page (it’s looking good for that N.J. Turnpike series!), I also read with great interest the Hospital Performance Report issued by the N.J. Department of Health and Senior Services. This report showed that N.J. hospitals continue to improve the quality of healthcare in our state. Our hospitals improved their performance in all four overall categories contained in the report – heart attack care, pneumonia care, surgical care and heart failure care. In fact, this year we saw an increasing number of “100s,” which is the top score that reflects full compliance with certain standards of care. This year’s report also included several patient safety indicators for the first time, and New Jersey’s hospitals performed better than or on par with the national average in 10 out of 12 indicators.

Hospitals and their dedicated teams of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals work hard at providing quality care and looking out for patient safety. This work is continuous as new improvement strategies are identified and implemented. Earlier this month, another report issued by the ratings service HealthGrades reaffirmed what we saw in the state report – continued improvement in the quality of care provided by New Jersey hospitals. The HealthGrades report showed New Jersey among the top five states in the country in improvement for heart failure and stroke care, along with coronary intervention procedures.

At NJHA, we have focused a lot of time and attention on helping hospitals improve through the NJHA Institute for Quality and Patient Safety. We can’t and won’t rest on our laurels. Quality and patient safety are too important.

Postscript: For those who responded to my last blog post, I must report that my husband and son are telling me I‘ll have to move out if we do indeed have a Yankees versus Phillies World Series. I am almost sure they are joking.

Written by Betsy Ryan at 19:41


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Craig Smith said...
I am a recent convert to the Democrats and now want to be part of the solution so I wrote this article for you - the senators of California. How to fix the Health Care Crisis: Growing up around medicine and doctors I have learned a few things about the rise of the health care cost problem. It is not what many think…fat cats increasing rates. For effective control of costs and a re-emergence of the grandeur of the US Health system, ten steps must be taken immediately. They are not cruel suggestions, rather real solutions for the problems we face.
1. Standardize Prices for procedures – Equalizing the cost Hospitals and Medical Groups may charge for a similar procedure allows insurance to budget expected costs.
2. Limit Liability for Malpractice – For any mistake including Gross Negligence, neither person nor family affected by the malpractice claim may capture more than 1 Million in damages.
3. Force all Medical Malpractice to Arbitration – Less expensive for the hospital, medical group and easier access for consumer to file a complaint / claim.
4. Nationalize a Government Healthcare System – Provide government Health Insurance for Government Hospitals– Consumers can opt to have free insurance via the government (funded by taxes) to be insured. Government run Health (like VA system) will be longer lines but less expensive health care and focus more on acute care rather than preventative. Care is first come first serve basis, as socialized medicine.
5. Incent the taxpayer to have private health insurance instead of the free one by giving them a $8,000 direct tax write-off.
6. Force Pharmaceuticals to offer name brand meds as generics to Government Health System at 50% off.
7. Repeal any laws requiring private hospitals and private practice to care for uninsured. Instead refer them to Government Health System.
8. Set a max threshold payment any insurance (private or government) would pay, whereby anything beyond 1M within 10 years is not covered for any reason. The unhealthy will die anyway and should not bankrupt the system.
9. Employers may at their option, choose the least expensive option for employees, even no insurance (Government Health System).
10. Give additional yearly tax credits for every member of the family for obesity body fat measurements that can be certified and filed online by any healthcare provider. Severe / High – no credit, Mild / Elevated - $200, Normal / Low $500.
11. Health Care Database – Based on Social Security Numbers, a facility treating a patient may request and receive secure electronic medical records from a previous treatment or facility.
We face a certain break in our health care system within the next 1 to 5 years unless significant change occurs. The rise of health care costs is because the system is ineffective at treating and communicating together. The changes above all or partial will help lower the costs of healthcare to the individuals, allow for coverage for everyone and incentivize better health and private insurance.
October 26, 2009 06:19