September 19, 2008

Passaic Hospitals Fall Short in State Report


Two Bergen County hospitals - but none in Passaic -- rank among the top 10 percent of hospitals statewide in key areas of treatment, according to a report released Wednesday.

Hackensack University Medical Center and the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood scored best in one or more areas of care on the New Jersey 2008 Hospital Performance Report.

The best showing by a hospital in Passaic was at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, which scored among the top 50 percent in several areas.

The annual report grades the state's acute care hospitals on how they treat heart attacks, pneumonia and heart failure, and surgical patients.

In the five years New Jersey has issued the reports, hospitals have continued to improve and they now rank second in the nation in performance standards, said Health Commissioner Heather Howard.

"The people of New Jersey are getting better care," she said.

All 73 hospitals passed, though some performed better than others.

Bergen Regional Medical Center scored the worst in the county and, in some categories, the entire state. In treating pneumonia patients, the hospital vied for last place with Bayonne Hospital.

St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic trailed the other hospitals in that county significantly.

By making each hospital's scores public, the report stimulates healthy competition among the hospitals, Howard said.

Hackensack credits its success to carefully-trained teams, standardized systems that include preprinted order sheets to ensure medications are given and constant review of processes, said Dr. Charles Riccobono, chief quality and patient safety officer.

"The positive feedback is very encouraging to our staff," he said. "They know they can deliver this level of care to their patients consistently."

The hospital scored a perfect 100 in treatment of heart attack patients, one of five hospitals statewide to do so. The hospital scored a 98 in treating pneumonia.

Valley Hospital, meanwhile, scored a 94 -- among the top 10 percent -- in surgical care, which includes prescribing preventive antibiotics and medication and treatments to prevent blood clots.

Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck scored among the state's top 50 percent in its treatment of heart attack patients with a score of 98. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center scored 90 in the quality of surgical care and 96 in caring for pneumonia patients, scores that place it among the top 50 percent.

"Our performance scores reflect our strength in providing high quality care and safeguarding our patients," said Englewood's spokeswoman, Maria Margiotta. She noted that the state report includes data from 2007 and the hospital has continued to improve.

St. Joseph's ranked among the state's top 50 percent by scoring a 98 in the treatment of heart attack, a 95 in heart failure and 92 for surgical care. The hospital had several perfect scores among the seven indicators for heart attack treatment, but scored 75 in how quickly patients underwent angioplasty or coronary intervention.

"St. Joseph's Healthcare System takes great pride in the quality of care that is delivered to our patients," said Deborah Tortora, director of quality and performance improvement.

Since the report was completed, "St. Joseph's Healthcare System has made even greater improvements in making certain that we continue to provide the highest level of patient," she said.

St. Joseph's Hospital in Wayne -- also part of St. Joseph's Healthcare System -- scored a 94 for the treatment of pneumonia, among the top 50 percent of facilities statewide.

A copy of the report can be found at:


Hospital performance

A summary of treatment of heart attacks, pneumonia, heart failure and surgical patients in 2007. The overall score is a composite of measures for the specific condition and is the percent of time that a hospital gave patients the correct treatment.

Hospital/ Heart Surgical care Heart

medical center attack Pneumonia improvement failure

Bergen County

Bergen Regional 87% 86% 73% 81%

Englewood 96% 96% 90% 90%

Hackensack University 100% 98% 93% 98%

Holy Name 98% 92% 89% 90%

Valley 97% 97% 94% 87%

Hudson County

Meadowlands 88% 95% 67% 95%

Morris County

Chilton Memorial 97% 92% 84% 90%

Morristown Memorial 99% 96% 93% 95%

St. Clare's-Denville 97% 99% 94% 97%

St. Clare's-Dover 99% 99% 91% 94%

Passaic County

St. Joseph's 98% 93% 92% 95%

St. Joseph's Wayne 96% 94% 82% 91%

St. Mary's(Passaic) 90% 87% 78% 71%

Source: New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services

(c) 2008 Record, The; Bergen County, N.J.. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.