Eighteen months ago, the Secaucus hospital embarked on an ambitious campaign to offer area residents the high-tech, specialized services normally found in an academic medical center along with the patient-centric focus and full range of care that are the hallmarks of a community hospital. In this interview, Hudson Regional’s President and CEO provides an update on progress to-date — and further enhancements on the horizon.
Ever since new owners and a new management team took the helm at Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus in January 2018, the community hospital has been firing on all cylinders. From making extensive renovations and recruiting top physicians in numerous specialties to attaining in-network status with major insurance plans and investing in cutting-edge technology, Hudson Regional Hospital has taken several large steps toward its goal of setting a new standard for community hospitals and delivering a best-in-class patient experience for area residents in need of inpatient or outpatient hospital care.
“We have studied the needs of the community and developed a specific blend of services to enhance health care quality in a region that lacked an exceptional maternity program, a world-class emergency department, a best-of-breed focus on minimally invasive robotic surgeries, etc.,” said Nizar Kifaieh, MD, MBA, CPE, FACEP, president and CEO of Hudson Regional Hospital.
Key strategic enhancements at Hudson Regional Hospital over the past 18 months include:
Investments in Top Talent
“We’ve recruited top physicians and surgeons from New York City and New Jersey to join our staff,” Dr. Kifaieh shared. “Patients who previously traveled to institutions that are outside the area for treatments with trusted practitioners now can have the same high-tech, minimally invasive surgery — often with the same surgeon — at Hudson Regional Hospital.” Dr. Kifaieh added that the medical expertise of the hospital’s seasoned team of physicians is augmented by the skills and commitment of all of Hudson Regional’s staff members. “From our post-operative support professionals and nurses to our physical therapists, case managers, and more, we offer outstanding in-patient and extended services,” he said.
Investments in Technology
Dr. Kifaieh and his management team understand that investments in the right technology help the hospital’s surgeons, physicians, and support staff achieve the best patient outcomes. Among other state-of-the-art technology, Hudson Regional Hospital has invested in cutting-edge Mazor, Globus ExcelsiusGPS, and da Vinci Xi-branded robotic-assisted surgical systems to facilitate minimally invasive spinal, bariatric, urologic, and other procedures and will soon acquire another robot uniquely designed for joint replacements. “Use of these types of minimally invasive, robotic-assisted technologies enhances the precision with which procedures can by performed by surgeons while reducing the length of the post-operative recovery period for patients,” Dr. Kifaieh explained.
In other activities, Hudson Regional recently launched a comprehensive wound management program that will soon feature a licensed hyperbaric chamber. “Our team is focused on limb-saving procedures and re-vascularization of extremities for those patients dealing with chronic diabetes and other conditions that might otherwise necessitate amputation,” Dr. Kifaieh said. “In addition, Hudson Regional now possesses one of the few hospital-based open MRI machines in the area, enabling patients to receive sophisticated imaging services in a comfortable manner. Our hospital’s interventional radiology program is also among the best in New Jersey, and last year we opened a new Center for Sleep Medicine to support those patients dealing with sleep apnea and a broad range of other sleep disorders.” Dr. Kifaieh added that Hudson Regional Hospital has also introduced a new approach to dialysis access that involves the insertion of a magnet into vessels, enabling completion of dialysis procedures in a more comfortable and minimally invasive way.
Investments in Process Improvements
In addition to maintaining short wait times in the hospital’s Emergency Department and negotiating for in-network rates with almost all of the insurance companies, and
increasing its in-network participation in managed-care plans to meet patients’ needs for affordability and accessibility, Hudson Regional Hospital has invested in a number of tools and programs to provide a positive and efficient patient and staff experience. “We continue to invest in the education of our staff to continuously enhance patient care, and we’ll be rolling out a robust new electronic medical record (EMR) system later this year to provide physicians and nurses with ready access to information that will support real-time clinical decision-making,” Dr. Kifaieh said.
Investments in Renovations
Hudson Regional has invested in major upgrades to the hospital’s parking lot (where parking is free) as well as to its lobby and Radiology Department. “Enhancements to our Emergency Department, operating rooms, and patient rooms are underway, with more upgrades to come throughout this year,” Dr. Kifaieh added. “We’re excited for patients, visitors, and staff members alike to experience our completely renovated facility, which is being strategically upgraded area by area.”
Investments in Community Outreach
“We’re proud of the extensive range of community outreach programs we offer,” Dr. Kifaieh said. At a time when other area hospitals have shut down such critical services as pediatrics or obstetrics and downsized many outreach programs, “we’re committed to filling a void for families and underserved populations in Hudson County,” he noted, adding that Hudson Regional Hospital provides extensive services to women and children. Among those, “we offer free prenatal classes to expectant mothers and fathers on the second Saturday of every month and have forged strong partnerships with key community organizations, including Alliance Community Healthcare, North Hudson Community Health, and the Meadowlands YMCA.” According to Dr. Kifaieh, “it’s about serving our local constituents, improving the health of area residents, and helping them get back to their families and jobs more quickly.”
Investing in the Future
Anticipated new capabilities and designations on the horizon for Hudson Regional include the establishment of a neuroscience program, designation as a Stroke Center, achievement of ‘Center of Excellence’ status for minimally-invasive spinal surgery, gynecologic surgery, joint replacement, and special surgery, and participation in a nationwide quality-assurance and safety program.
“Overall, we’re committed to our local residents and want to be known as the top health care destination in the community,” said Dr. Kifaieh, who noted that Hudson Regional Hospital’s transformation has earned it rave reviews from patients, medical professionals, and industry organizations. In its mission to build a healthier community, he said, “we’re a model community hospital that takes pride in providing all of the essential services — and then some — and delivering the area’s most exceptional patient experience.”
Hudson Regional Hospital is located at 55 Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus and can be reached at (201) 392-3100 or by visiting www.hudsonregionalhospital.com.