There are three centers for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis in the New York City tri-state area. In northern New Jersey, the most well-known and highly regarded outpatient clinic for this disease is located at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, New Jersey. The hospital conducts clinical treatment as well as research in the field of multiple sclerosis, and also provides community education in the form of lectures and training for patients and caregivers. This paper will discuss the program, its relationship with the hospital, and the way it has been affected by trends that are common to hospital settings all over the country.
The MS Center at Holy Name Hospital has several objectives for its patients and their families; to diagnose or confirm the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis; to provide medical treatment for the management of MS symptoms; to promote enhanced mobility for patients who are challenged in those areas; to lessen the impact of secondary complications for patients; to assist patients in optimizing ability to remain independent; to help patients and their families to manage the psychological fallout of having a chronic disease; to help patients and their families join in the rehabilitation process; and to allow patients the chance to be involved in clinical research affecting relapsing-remaining as well is progressive multiple sclerosis (Holy Name Medical Center, 2013.)
The hospital utilizes a team approach to patient treatment, but regards each treatment plan as unique to the individual involved; no two people have identical cases of the disease, and everyone’s course follows a different path. When a patient comes to the Center, he or she is thoroughly evaluated by an MS specialist who is a board certified neurologist. When necessary, medications or other therapies are prescribed, as well as referrals made to other specialists who may be relevant to the treatment plan. These may include urologists, mental health providers, physical therapists, infusion services, or any other services that facilitate the treatment plan.
An important aspect of the MS Center treatment team involves two certified nurse practitioners who assist with teaching patients to learn self-care activities such as bladder management, obtaining necessary assistive devices, and providing education to family and patients. Advocating for patients is another function of the nurse practitioners. In addition, patients of the MS Center are also offered the opportunity to participate in support and therapeutic groups at that location or local chapters of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
There are many services available at the MS center at Holy Name Hospital; these include diagnostic services, MRI, EEG, EMG, physical and occupational therapies, language and speech therapy, social services, and neuropsychological testing (Holy Name Medical Center, 2013.) There are many treatments available for patients of the setting, including baclofen pump initiation and management, bowel and bladder management, infusion or oral administration of corticosteroids, management of symptoms, IVIG (gamma gobulin) treatment, disease modifying therapies, and monoclonal anti-body infusions.
The MS Center at Holy Name Hospital is affiliated with several organizations associated with multiple sclerosis. It is affiliated with the Consortium of Multiples Sclerosis Centers, or CMSC, whose mission is to stimulate and facilitate research in the field, develop mechanisms to collaborate with sharing information and knowledge among its members as well as the healthcare community, establishing and implementing methods to impact health care delivery, and forming partnerships with other organizations to accomplish their goals (The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.) The MS Center is also affiliated with the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses, whose mission is to establish and maintain a specialized brands of nursing addressing MS, to develop standards of nursing care directed at MS patients, to promote and support research for the nursing profession regarding healthcare delivery to MS patients, and to educate the healthcare community about multiple sclerosis as well is to spread this information throughout the world.
The MS Center at Holy Name Hospital is staffed by one physician, Dr. Mary Ann Picone, who is a board-certified neurologist. In addition, there are two nurse practitioners as well is a research nurse, and two receptionists. The connection between the MS Center and Holy Name Hospital is twofold: the Center utilizes hospital staff as well as diagnostic testing procedures for its patients, as well as benefiting from fund raising provided by the Hospital. For example, the Hospital has a philanthropic division that is a great benefit to the Center. Known as the Holy Name Health Care Foundation, the organization depends on financial support from private donations and other charitable groups to carry out its healing mission and to reinforce the advancements in medical technologies (Russell, 2009.) In addition, the MS Center holds fundraising events that support its mission while bringing a great deal of publicity to the Hospital. For example, the setting holds an annual charity golf and tennis invitational tournament which has raised over $130,000, funds that are used to enhance patient care as well is to promote research into multiple sclerosis (Russell, 2009.)
There are several trends occurring in the healthcare field that are having tremendous impact upon hospital inpatient and outpatient care. One of these patterns involves lower reimbursements to healthcare providers, such as Medicare reimbursements and fees paid to insurance companies (Page. 2010.) A result of this has been downsizing of hospital staff, and offering lower salaries to new employees so that more experienced healthcare workers may not be attracted to those settings. This certainly will have a detrimental effect on patient care, as there are overburdened caseloads for nurses and doctors that result in less time available to spend with or around the care of any particular patient. In addition, less experienced staff do not have the expertise necessary to provide quality patient care.
Contributing to the difficulties that are facing hospitals is the greater number of patients that are uninsured, resulting in more uncompensated care. Because unemployment numbers remain high, the numbers of people without insurance are on the rise as well, and because hospitals cannot refuse to treat patients, they must face the tremendous financial burdens incurred by providing free or charity care (Page, 2010.) This is also a factor that affects quality of care in hospitals because without the proper budgetary standards, there are fewer staff and less money to pay for state-of-the-art equipment. All of these issues have an impact on the MS Center, for example, because staff that is not compensated adequately are less likely to remain on the job so that all of their years of experience will benefit another institution that may be able to pay them more adequately.
As a hospital administrator, I would become involved in lobbying for universal health coverage so that the number of people receiving care at my hospital would result in some compensation; this would result in the hospital program operating with less of a deficit. In addition, I would increase my fundraising efforts to both develop other annual fund raising activities in the community as well is seeking to publicize the Center’s importance and respected role in the treatment of MS patients. I would continue to seek research funds wherever possible because the results of such studies could also result in more publicity for the hospital and program as well as benefiting the patients who may be on the receiving end of innovative treatments that were previously not available. I would try to offset the results of uncompensated care and budgetary cuts by holding these well-publicized charitable events, with another objective being that being such a high-profile institution might attract excellent healthcare providers who might be willing to work for lower salaries because of the ability to be associated with such a well-known and well-respected medical setting.
Holy Name Medical Center. (2013). Retrieved February 18, 2013, from MS Center: http://www.holyname.org/mscenter/
Page, L. (2010, November 22). 10 Key Trends for Hospitals in 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from Beckers Hospital Review: http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/10-key-trends-for-hospitals-in-2011.html
Russell, N. (2009, October 19). Holy Name Hospital’s MS Center Raises One $30,000 at Its Annual Golf and Tennis Invitational. Retrieved February 18, 2013, from New York Presbyterian Healthcare System: http://www.nypsystem.org/press/2009/10/holy-name-hospitals-ms-center.html
The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2013, from MS Care.org: http://www.mscare.org