Patients First: A New Era Of Accountability Brings Quality And Safety To The Meadowlands
New Jersey is one of the most competitive environments for hospital-based healthcare nationwide. With that competition, comes accountability and the need for quality care and patient safety. For the last two years at the Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center (MHMC), new management has been devoted to the goal of rooting out poor performance and bringing the highest levels of care and safety to our patients. Their goal is now being realized.
In 2010, current management, MHA, LLC, assumed operations of a failing hospital suffering from a sizable lack of productivity, a building in serious need of functional and technology upgrades, and a history of poor quality and indifference to patient safety. In an effort to preserve healthcare in the Meadowlands and to preserve the futures of its most effective employees, MHA painstakingly looked for ways to move the facility to the thriving, community healthcare center it has become. MHA demanded accountability at all levels of the organization to fix serious deficiencies such as:
- Sexual harassment
- Sleeping on the job
- Failure to appropriately identify patient
- Payroll fraud
- Weak management on night shift
- Failure to show compassion to patient family/visitors
- Use of cell phone during one-to-one patient observation
- Poor IV placement/medication administration
Fixing these issues was imperative to re-establish quality performance and credibility for our patients and the community. Since early 2011, we have:
- Made unprecedented physical and technology upgrades to our facility
- Implemented staff performance standards and created a culture of safety to ensure quality of care
- Removed staff that does not meet those performance standards, lack appropriate licensure and credentials, or those whose actions on the job jeopardize the care and recovery of our patients.
- Reduced staff in certain hospital departments where lower volumes dictate a smaller staff, with a commitment to staff up when volume increases
- Instituted a sense of financial responsibility in all aspects of our operations, creating opportunities for cost savings in some areas and deeper investment in other areas
At MHMC, we prefer to manage our operations with facts rather than through sentimental bias. Evidenced by our unprecedented surge in quality care and patient safety performance, MHMC has become a healthcare powerhouse in Hudson County. These achievements, which show the true commitment of MHMC and its healthcare family to our patients and the community, include:
- Highest ranked hospital in Hudson County, for DOCTORS and NURSES, by www.HospitalCompare.hhs.gov a program of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Five-star rating for gall bladder (cholecystectomy) surgery outcomes for the second consecutive year from Healthgrades.
- Highest ranked hospital both in New Jersey and above the national average, for CLEANLINESS, by www.HospitalCompare.hhs.gov a program of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
In many cases, our patients and neighbors in the Meadowlands area have seen, heard, and, in some cases, been dragged into the negativity surrounding the evolution of MHMC. Despite the surge in our performance, the leadership of the labor unions continues to spread negativity and baseless claims about the operation of and care at MHMC. We have faced an unprecedented number of physical inspections and labor actions, all borne by union leadership that should be applauding their members’ contributions to MHMC rather than being a barrier to future success.
Our open invitation to representatives of our labor unions to discuss the issues still remains. An open dialogue and a committed partnership to care for our neighbors, is a winning combination for everyone involved. In the end, our patients must remain our top priority.