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Clinical Quality

Hunterdon Medical Center leads hospitals in New Jersey and the U.S. for many leading performance indicators of quality healthcare. These quality measures are gathered by three leading organizations:

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) — CMS is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that oversees Medicare and works with state governments to administer Medicaid.
  • The Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (TJC) —The Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies over 17,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States.
  • The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services — This state agency oversees public health services, senior services and health systems as well as healthcare management and administration in New Jersey.

Hunterdon Medical Center has received the “A”rating from the Leapfrog Group for its outstanding practices in patient safety.  This “A” rating from the Leapfrog Group represents the hospital’s commitment to quality healthcare outcomes that meet not just our standards, but national ones.  Hunterdon Medical Center was also ranked the 9th best hospital in New Jersey (with 350 beds or under) by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., one of the nation’s most respected health care research and information companies.  These rankings were published in Inside Jersey’s 2015 Top Hospitals issue. Hunterdon Medical Center also ranked 10th for top hospitals for the treatment of prostate cancer, neurological disorders, hip and knee replacement, congestive heart failure, stroke, breast cancer and 7th for the treatment of high risk pregnancies.   In addition, data from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shows Hunterdon Medical Center’s admission rate for Medicare patients is significantly lower than the national average.  Hunterdon Healthcare is proud of these achievements and that we are able to provide outstanding care to the community we serve.

We encourage our patients to visit the following resources to compare our quality of service to other healthcare systems across the state and nation.

Quality Indicators – Hunterdon Medical Center measures quality based on its response to the following situations:

Hunterdon Medical Center Heart Attack Care

Hunterdon Medical Center provides fast treatment for heart attacks. Hunterdon Medical Center’s door-to-balloon time (the time a patient enters the Emergency Department until the time a balloon is inserted to open up the artery) averages less than 60 minutes, which is faster than national guidelines (which are about 90 minutes).

Heart Attack Measures

A heart attack (also called an acute myocardial infarction or AMI) occurs when arteries leading to the heart become blocked and cause the supply of blood to be slowed or stopped. When this happens, heart muscle doesn’t get the oxygen and nutrients it needs. As a result, any heart tissue that is affected may die.

Due to the urgent nature of a suspected heart attack or AMI, it is vital to recognize symptoms provide heart care quickly, particularly for patients who may have previously experienced cardiac arrest. The longer the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen by coronary artery disease or a sudden heart attack, the more damage to the heart muscle occurs.

The most crucial element that affects the survival of patients having a heart attack is how quickly the arteries of the heart can be reopened. All elements of heart attack care are important, yet receiving medication or a procedure to unblock blood vessels sooner translates into higher survival rates.

 

Heart Failure Care

Hunterdon Medical Center provides expert care to help diagnose and manage heart failure. Our goal is to improve heart function for all heart failure patients.

Our success in treating people for heart failure (also called congestive heart failure) is measured by the percentage of patients that receive appropriate treatment. The goal of Hunterdon Medical Center is to provide all appropriate measures for treating heart failure 100% of the time.

Heart failure means the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. “Congestive” refers to a buildup of fluid. This condition can cause shortness of breath, swelling of limbs and other symptoms. Underlying problems such as coronary artery disease and high blood pressure can contribute to this problem.

The goal of Hunterdon Medical Center when treating heart failure is to provide specific tests and medication to improve heart function. Additionally, Hunterdon Medical Center provides lifestyle counseling to help our patients embrace ways to improve their health after being discharged from the hospital.

Hunterdon Medical Center Pneumonia Prevention and Care

When a patient arrives at Hunterdon Medical Center with signs and symptoms of pneumonia, our expert staff provides quality care to diagnose and treat.

Pneumonia is a lung disease caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It can spread to the blood, lungs, middle ear or nervous system. Pneumonia can fill the lungs with mucus, causing lower blood oxygen levels. It mainly causes illness in children younger than age 2 and adults over age 65, and can lead to death in these populations. About 2 million people in the U.S. develop pneumonia each year.

Providing appropriate antibiotics in a timely manner and giving oxygen as needed are treatments that improve the outcomes of pneumonia patients. Preventive measures such as flu and pneumococcal vaccines, as well as smoking cessation counseling, also help reduce the incidence of pneumonia.

Hunterdon Medical Center Surgical care

Hunterdon Medical Center is a participant in the Surgical Care Improvement Project, a national campaign aimed at reducing surgical complications.

Hunterdon Medical Center has consistently provided quality surgical care by embracing nationally recommended treatments or best practices. Our success in treating surgical patients is measured by the percentage of patients who receive appropriate treatment. The hospital’s goal is to provide all appropriate measures for avoiding post-surgical complications 100% of the time.

The Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) within the Hunterdon Healthcare System consists of quality measures that examine a defined set of treatments for our surgical patients. These measures are reviewed monthly and help reduce the incidence of four types of post-surgical complications: surgical site infection, adverse cardiac events, deep vein thrombosis and postoperative pneumonia.


Hunterdon Medical Center Rapid Response Teams

In the event of a concerning change in the patient’s condition, a Rapid Response Team intervenes as quickly as possible to stabilize the patient’s condition to prevent a more serious outcome.

Hunterdon Medical Center’s Rapid Response Teams may be called to assess patients for:

  • Chest pain
  • Change in heart rate
  • Change in systolic blood pressure
  • Change in respiratory rate
  • Closing airway
  • Change in mental status
  • Seizure
  • Failure to respond to treatment

A Rapid Response Team is comprised of a nursing supervisor, critical care nurse, respiratory therapist, intensivist, resident and the patient’s nurse. The team can be at a patient’s bedside in under a minute, bringing the expertise of a critical care unit to every unit in the hospital. The teams are available
24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The goal of all Rapid Response Teams at Hunterdon Medical Center is to prevent the need for more intensive treatment and refer the patient to a critical care unit if necessary. Our Rapid Response Teams have helped cut down on the number of calls for immediate assistance after a patient’s heart or breathing has stopped.

Hunterdon Medical Center Surgical Infection and Operative Complications Prevention

Many  post-operative infections and post-operative complications can be prevented by using proficient surgical and operating room procedures.

The most critical factors in the prevention or post operative infections, although difficult to quantify, are the sound judgment and proper technique of the surgeon and surgical team as well as the general health and disease state of the patient.

 

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