FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2002
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND HHC PRESIDENT BENJAMIN CHU ANNOUNCE HHC HOSPITALS' RECEIPT OF HIGHEST RATINGS IN NYC
All 5 Public Facilities Surveyed Earn Accreditation with Full Standards Compliance
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Health and Hospitals Corporation President Benjamin K. Chu, M.D., M.P.H., today announced that each of the five municipal hospitals surveyed in 2002 has received the highest scores assigned to any hospital in New York City thus far this year. The five HHC facilities are Bellevue and Harlem Hospitals in Manhattan, Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn, North Central Bronx Hospital, and Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility on Roosevelt Island. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) surveyed the five hospitals, each of which earned accreditation with full standards compliance for quality patient care and safety. By comparison, only 2 of the 18 private hospitals surveyed in New York City received accreditation with full standards compliance. Nationwide, only 12% of all hospitals surveyed received accreditation without recommendations for improvement. Mayor Bloomberg and HHC President Dr. Chu made the announcement at the Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn.
"As we continue reducing crime, improving schools and public education, and reinvigorating the economy in our great City, we also remain strongly committed to providing high quality public health facilities and services," Mayor Bloomberg said. "These ratings confirm that our public health system meets the highest standards and that all New Yorkers may obtain top-flight medical care in the City. And while continuing to offer the best patient care and safety at these hospitals, we must also enhance health services at other public facilities so that all of our City's hospitals provide the absolute best medical care for New Yorkers."
"HHC is committed to providing patient-centered care of the highest quality," HHC President Chu said. "JCAHO's accreditation decision confirms that our efforts are paying off."
"We place a high priority on insuring that our patients' needs are met with respect and efficiency, and the Patient Navigator program is one more way that we can meet this goal," said Lynda Curtis, Executive Director of Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center and Senior Vice President of the North Brooklyn Healthcare Network.
The five HHC hospitals surveyed in 2002 earned an average score of 98, HHC's highest score ever, up from 96 in 2001 and 85 in 1996. The average score for private hospitals in New York City was 93. Over the last three years, HHC facilities have consistently exceeded the average JCAHO scores of all hospitals in New York City and nationwide. JCAHO conducts its surveys over three-year periods and will survey 10 additional HHC facilities over the next two years.
The high scores earned by HHC are particularly noteworthy in the context of the challenges that HHC facilities face in caring for an extraordinarily diverse and multi-lingual patient population, over 500,000 of which are uninsured. HHC facilities have responded by developing innovative programs to meet the special needs of their patients, such as the Patient Navigator program at the Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center. The program maintains a multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary team of customer service specialists who assist patients throughout the hospital by giving directions, providing information, and serving as liaisons among different departments.
HHC operates 11 acute-care facilities, 4 long-term care facilities, 6 diagnostic and treatment centers, and over 100 community health clinics, as well as overseeing approximately 121,000 enrollees in its managed care organization. In addition, HHC, a public benefit corporation, provides health care for more than 1.3 million New Yorkers regardless of their ability to pay. JCAHO is an independent, not-for-profit organization that is widely considered the nation's predominant accrediting body in health care, developing state-of the-art standards and evaluating the compliance of over 7,000 health care organizations every three years.