What’s New at North Jersey’s Hudson Regional Hospital? Everything

If you ask a friend or neighbor who works at Hudson Regional Hospital, “What’s new?”, you better have a few minutes.

That’s because the last 18 months have seen major changes at the Secaucus hospital, with many more enhancements on the way in the second half of 2019.

Since taking the reins at the start of 2018, Hudson Regional Hospital’s new ownership and management team have embarked on an ambitious agenda that has encompassed everything from signing up with more insurance plans and expanding the physician staff to acquiring cutting-edge diagnostic and surgical technology, introducing new specialty services, and making extensive renovations to the hospital’s facilities at 55 Meadowlands Parkway.

“The progress we’ve made to date, and all that we have planned for the months and years ahead, serves one purpose,” said Nizar Kifaieh, MD, MBA, CPE, FACEP, president and CEO of Hudson Regional Hospital. “We’re committed to providing the best of what a great community hospital offers — in terms of patient-centric, high-quality, compassionate care in a convenient and attractive setting — along with outstanding medical and surgical services typically found only at a major medical center,” he said.

The focus on patient satisfaction is evident the moment one arrives at the hospital, thanks to major upgrades to the parking lot and lobby. Those improvements are initial steps toward a comprehensive physical-plant revitalization plan that also has seen the Radiology Department renovated and enhancements underway in the Emergency Department and patient rooms. More upgrades will be made in the months ahead, Dr. Kifaieh said.

Increasing accessibility — in every sense of the word — also is a major area of emphasis for Dr. Kifaieh and his colleagues. “We’ve always been easy to reach from throughout northern New Jersey and New York City given our proximity to the Turnpike, the Parkway, Route 3, Route 17 and other major highways, but we also want to make it easy — and desirable — for people throughout the area to look to us for their basic medical needs and for specialized care,” said the Hudson Regional Hospital CEO.

To that end, he noted, the hospital has greatly increased its in-network participation in insurance and managed care plans, and has credentialed 350 additional physicians since January 2018. Further, hospital administrators have focused on maintaining short wait times in the Emergency Department, emphasizing obstetric care, hiring nurses to offer favorable nurse-to-patient ratios, and imparting a patient-first, service-oriented philosophy embraced by health care professionals and all other staff members.

Meanwhile, Hudson Regional Hospital has introduced two robotic devices to facilitate minimally invasive spine surgery and robotic technology for minimally invasive gynecologic and urologic procedures. “We have been fortunate to have many outstanding surgeons, across a wide array of specialized areas, join our staff. Now those surgeons can employ the latest technologies, along with their considerable expertise and experience, in performing procedures that offer improved outcomes, greater precision and safety, and less recovery time,” Dr. Kifaieh said.

The upgraded surgical technology and expanded surgical staff reflects the hospital leadership’s determination to excel in several surgical services and related clinical areas, Dr. Kifaieh said. Hudson Regional Hospital has made a major commitment to minimally invasive approaches to spinal, urologic, general and gynecologic surgeries, including urogynecologic procedures to address incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and other conditions, he said. Additionally, the hospital has launched a bariatric surgery program; a wound-care service that will focus on limb-sparing treatment for people with diabetes, peripheral artery disease, and other diseases that without adequate care can lead to amputation; and interventional radiology services. Dr. Kifaieh added that Hudson Regional soon will have one of the few hospital-based open MRI machines in the area, enabling patients to receive sophisticated imaging services in a comfortable manner.

“People in our communities should not have to — and now do not have to — travel into Manhattan to obtain the benefits provided by cutting-edge technology and expert surgeons,” Dr. Kifaieh said. “We’re bringing the expertise and the latest advances to the patient, here in the community.”

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2019 and beyond, Dr. Kifaieh noted that key items on the agenda for Hudson Regional Hospital include establishing a neuroscience program, earning designation as a Stroke Center, achieving Center of Excellence status for minimally invasive spinal surgery and gynecologic surgery, as well as for joint replacement; and participating in a nationwide quality-assurance and safety program. “We’re very proud of what we have achieved to date. We’ve had outside, independent experts come in and thoroughly assess our staff, capabilities, and performance, so that we can demonstrate to our patients and the larger community in an entirely transparent manner that they can have full confidence in the care they will receive here,” the hospital CEO said.

Turning back to the changes that have been implemented already, Felicia Karsos, MBA, RN, noted that many steps that have won the most-favorable reviews from patients and families concern the nursing staff. “We have a great team of highly dedicated, highly competent nurses, and the new leadership group made a decision right from the outset to make the most of the tremendous resource that they constitute,” said Karsos, Hudson Regional Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer. That decision has translated into hiring nurses to maintain nurse-to-patient ratios that in many departments go well beyond state requirements and area norms; having a nurse practitioner available to expedite care and serve as a resource to patients, families, and other nurses; and establishing a nurse educator position.

“The nurse is the clinician who patients see most often during their hospital stay and is often their chief source of information, care and the other assistance that goes so far toward shaping their overall experience. In many ways, a patient-centric approach begins with the nurse, and we wanted to give our patients the attention and services they deserve,” Karsos said. In coming months, the hospital will be working with an independent national quality-care organization to pursue recognition of the excellence of its nursing care, she said.

Dr. Kifaieh notes that another key component of the Hudson Regional Hospital plan is to truly be a community hospital. “We are working closely with local governments, school systems, senior citizen organizations, and other groups to provide health education and other outreach, and also have upgraded our field-based emergency medical services, or EMS, to respond effectively to residents’ emergency situations,” Dr. Kifaieh said. “As a major employer in the area, we’re proud of the positive economic impact we make, but we’re going beyond that to have an impact on the overall health and quality of life that area residents enjoy. We also are focused on being sensitive and responsive to the particular needs and preferences of various ethnic and faith-based communities in our area.”

“We always strive to be an outstanding community hospital that provides high-quality, patient-centric, convenient care to meet area residents’ overall health needs while also offering them access to specialized services, including advanced surgical procedures, diagnostic and interventional radiology, obstetric and gynecologic care and more,” Dr. Kifaieh said, adding. “We’ve come a long way in 18 months, but even more is coming in the months just ahead.”

 

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Secaucus, NJ 07094

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