Healthcare Devotion Put in Motion

Top hospitals and healthcare systems deliver quality care.

New Jersey is filled with dedicated healthcare providers who put the health of their patients and communities at the forefront of everything they do. From Bergen to Cape May counties and every county in between, the more than 400 hospitals, post-acute care providers and other healthcare professionals along the continuum that make up the membership of the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) are ready to provide the highest quality of care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A great example of this devotion is the enthusiasm for quality improvement and patient safety. Our healthcare community has doggedly pursued better ways of getting patients healthy and keeping them healthy. Collaborative learning and action programs saved more than 400 lives from severe sepsis in one year; reduced hospital readmissions by 13.3 percent – second most in the nation – over a five-year period; and avoided more than 77,000 cases of patient harm and more than $641 million in unnecessary healthcare spending from 2012 to 2016 through the national Partnership for Patients initiative.

I have to say, making these strides is only possible through a spirit of innovation and leadership buy-in. And New Jersey has an abundance of both. Our leaders, programs and collective successes are recognized nationally, including:

Atlantic Health System’s President and CEO Brian Gragnolati, who is currently serving as chair of the American Hospital Association.

The Alternative to Opioids (ALTO) program started at St. Joseph’s Health is now a national strategy to curb the opioid epidemic through federal legislation signed into law in October 2018.

And New Jersey received the most “A” grades for hospitals in the 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, which scores hospitals on how safe they keep patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

The strength of healthcare in New Jersey doesn’t come from just the excellent clinical care provided. Beyond the walls of their facilities, hospitals and health systems are stepping up to address the everyday wellness challenges that our patients and their families face.

We’ve seen great interest in a new program we’re partnering on with the Housing, Mortgage and Finance Administration that offers hospitals the opportunity to build supportive housing for community members. By addressing people’s social determinants of health, hospitals can help keep their patients well by meeting basic needs first.

Several hospitals and physician practices are partnering with ride hailing companies to ensure their patients have transportation to appointments, eliminating a common barrier to managing chronic diseases and making sure access to care is attainable by everyone. Our members are also working with community leaders to address gun violence, hunger and food instability, and the unique needs of specific populations like veterans.

In 2016, the year we have the most recent data for, New Jersey’s hospitals contributed more than $2.9 billion in benefits to their communities through programs like mobile farmers markets and community health screenings. Plus, these cornerstone institutions employ New Jerseyans in more than 150,000 full- and part-time jobs, laying an economic foundation for the cities and towns they call home.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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