|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 29, 2008
HHC President Alan D. Aviles Announces Bold Quality, Safety Agenda for Largest Public Hospital System in the Country
New 2008 Initiatives Target Care for Premature Babies, Diabetics, Mental Health Patients, Help Reduce Infections, Increase Preventive Health Screenings
In his third annual Year in Review presentation to the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) Board of Directors, HHC President Alan D. Aviles reviewed the past year’s accomplishments and announced an ambitious quality and safety agenda for 2008 that will expand services to a number of targeted patient populations, including premature babies, adult diabetics, psychiatric patients, and children and adults who suffer from physical and emotional problems related to 9/11.
Among more than a dozen initiatives, Aviles also announced that HHC will aim to further reduce hospital-acquired infections as part of its goal to become among the safest healthcare system by 2010; expand cancer, HIV and depression screening; promote exclusive breastfeeding among new mothers to improve infant health; and begin to convert to a state-of-the-art Electronic Medical Record system.
In addition, Aviles said he expects significant change in the healthcare landscape as a result of the growing demand for more transparency around quality, increasing pressures for universal healthcare coverage, and dramatic cost containment proposals at both the state and federal levels.
"No matter what challenges lie ahead, we are resolutely committed to delivering on our three strategic objectives: to stay true to HHC’ core mission to care for all New Yorkers, to provide more effective and efficient healthcare, and to build our organizational capacity to compete and excel in the face of a fast-evolving and increasingly demanding healthcare environment," said HHC President Aviles.
HHC President Aviles announced that in 2008 HHC would seek to:
- Redesign its nine Neonatal Intensive Care Units to employ evidenced-based developmental care techniques while reducing excessive levels of noise and light that are potentially harmful to very premature babies;
- Expand its TeleHealth remote monitoring care management program to 200 more diabetic patients in East Harlem and Brooklyn;
- Devise a new community partnership model to address the complex medical, mental health and social service needs of patients
- Promote in 12 languages the availability of expanded capacity at three HHC facilities to treat New Yorkers who are suffering from medical or mental health conditions related to the 9/11 disaster;
- Become more transparent by publicly reporting performance data to measure how HHC helps diabetic patients manage chronic disease;
- Enroll at least 23,000 New Yorkers in smoking cessation programs;
- Screen at least 20,000 New Yorkers for colon cancer through colonoscopies;
- Test more than 160,000 patients for HIV;
- Ensure 50 percent of new mothers leave the hospital exclusively breastfeeding;
- Achieve even lower rates of hospital acquired infections – a key patient safety goal - which have already declined by 30 percent for central-line blood stream infections and 65 percent for ventilator-associated pneumonia;
- Establish HHC Connectx to build a broad network with community physicians who will have access to a propriety web-based portal that permits the secure exchange of patient information with HHC hospitals.
Other new initiatives that will begin in 2008 and be developed over the next few years:
- Update HHC’s Electronic Medical Record system (EMR), which was among the first installed by a hospital system in New York City more than a decade ago;
- Install a specialized EMR for psychiatric patient services;
- Establish an Advanced Learning Institute that will feature computerized simulation technology;
- Invest nearly $750 million to complete construction and modernization of five facilities in the next five years.
"We are a better organization than we were just a year ago. We are better at providing access to the people who need us; better at rendering evidence-based care to patient in comfortable, technologically advanced settings; better at keeping patients free from harm in our facilities; better at informing the public about our quality of care and where we need to improve," Aviles said. "We are also better at providing linguistically and culturally competent care; better at helping patients become partners in the maintenance of their own health. And, we are better at preparing to face our challenges next year and in the years to come."
The Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest municipal hospital and health care system in the country, is a $4.9 billion public benefit corporation that serves 1.3 million New Yorkers and nearly 400,000 who are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 80 community based clinics.
For the full text of HHC President Aviles’ 2007 Year in Review remarks or for more information about HHC, visit www.nyc.gov/hhc.