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New Study Shows Independent Hospitals Are Associated With Better Patient Experiences

A focus on patient outcomes, experience, and satisfaction enable Hudson Regional Hospital to outshine its larger competitors.

In the fast-paced, competitive, and budget-strapped environment in which health care often operates today, more hospitals have opted to merge or consolidate in order to survive.  And while a number of studies have revealed that commercially insured patients have ended up experiencing higher prices as a result of these mergers, few studies have focused on the effects that these consolidations have on the quality of care provided to patients.

According to an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine in January 2020, however, a recent study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality explored that very topic.  The result?  After tracking Medicare claims and Hospital Compare data from 2007 through 2016 across more than 2,200 hospitals, the study concluded that “hospital acquisition by another hospital or hospital system was associated with modestly worse patient experiences and no significant changes in readmission or mortality rates.”

It’s an outcome that comes as no surprise to Nizar Kifaieh, MD, MBA, CPE, FACEP, president and CEO of Hudson Regional Hospital, an independent community hospital in Secaucus.

“The study showed no conclusive benefits in terms of the quality of patient care following a merger and revealed that merged hospitals may actually experience worse measures in some areas,” Dr. Kifaieh said.

An Independent Center of Excellence

Ever since new owners and a new management team took the helm at Hudson Regional Hospital in January 2018, the self-owned facility has been intent on delivering the utmost in patient-centric care and representing a center of medical excellence in northern New Jersey.  From recruiting top physicians across numerous specialties to investing in cutting-edge technology, attaining in-network status with major insurance plans, undertaking extensive renovations, and more, Hudson Regional Hospital is setting a new standard for independent community hospitals and delivering a best-in-class patient experience for area residents in need of inpatient or outpatient hospital care.

“We want to be the No. 1 choice in health care for residents of our community and surrounding areas,” confirms Dr. Kifaieh.  “At a time when hospitals nationwide and even in our area are merging and curtailing or dropping many services, we’re committed to being a full-service community hospital and to providing superior care to patients and families.”

“We’re a stand-alone, privately owned hospital where every single interaction counts and we work extremely hard to ensure that every patient has the best clinical outcome possible,” Dr. Kifaieh said.  Compared to larger health care systems with layers of management and highly bureaucratic processes, “we’re a smaller, more nimble hospital and oversee every activity that goes on in our institution,” he said.  “We seek the most talented physicians and offer them a hospital that will cater to their needs, putting the most cutting-edge tools in their capable hands and enabling them to do what they do best, which is to care for their patients in the highest way possible.”

“While I’m the CEO of Hudson Regional Hospital,” Dr. Kifaieh added, “I’m also a physician and can confirm that, by way of inefficient and/or bureaucratic managerial processes and procedures, little things can get missed in larger facilities as a result of their size and layers of administration.  The owner of our hospital has been in the health care industry for years and fully understands the need for efficiency and productivity, particularly when it comes to the most modern technological tools.  Because we’re small and don’t require layers of management to make decisions, we can get to a better clinical outcome faster than many larger institutions,” he said.  “Other hospitals lag because their decision-making process is long, but our process at Hudson Regional Hospital is lean and quick, which ultimately benefits patients.”

“Hospital mergers are often pursued for financial reasons, as are many decisions involving patient care, and it can take these entities a long time to fix the bottom line,” Dr. Kifaieh noted.  “However, at Hudson Regional Hospital, we’ve emphasized our clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction from day one and have been dedicated to addressing every aspect of the patient experience.”  This has involved the hospital’s extensive investments in top-notch physicians, cutting-edge technology including Mazor, Globus ExcelsiusGPS, Stryker Mako, and da Vinci Xi-branded robotic-assisted surgical systems as well as a state-of-the-art open MRI, and facility-wide upgrades.

“These days, there are a lot of educated patients out there who will research surgeons and health care centers before selecting a facility,” Dr. Kifaieh concluded.  “We understand that and combine highly skilled providers, great patient outcomes, patient-friendly private rooms, and the utmost in modern technology to deliver a best-in-class patient experience.”

Easily accessible from routes 1, 3, 9 and 17, I-95, I-495, the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, and the Lincoln Tunnel, Hudson Regional Hospital is located at 55 Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus and can be reached at (201) 392-3100, or by visiting hudsonregionalhospital.com.

Note: This article originally appeared on NJ.com.

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