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Patient Safety at HackensackUMC Mountainside

A relentless focus on continuous improvement

We pride ourselves on adhering to a higher standard of patient safety and quality. Among others, we are members of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); and the New Jersey Hospital Association. In addition, we utilize Press Ganey for patient satisfaction surveys. Our goal is to provide quality patient care in a safe environment, creating a positive, personalized experience for all of our patients. Evidence shows that the implementation of our Best Practices standards can work to reduce or prevent adverse events and medical errors. Under the guidance of the executive team and members of our medical staff, we strive to improve the processes that contribute to the delivery of patient care on a daily basis to ensure consistent and sustainable improvements.

Hand hygiene: a health essential

Hand washing is the simplest, and possibly the best way to prevent the spread of infection and disease both in hospitals and at home.  Germs that you accumulate on your hands throughout the day can be easily spread to others.  You can also introduce these germs into your body by touching your eyes, nose and mouth.  Infections that can be spread by your hands include colds, flu, and gastrointestinal problems.  With many new diseases occurring, proper hand hygiene is one of our first and best defenses.

Proper hand washing technique

Hands should be washed with warm water and soap for a minimum of 15 seconds.  You should rub vigorously to make sure you have killed any potential bacteria.  It is also important to clean between each finger, where bacteria may hide.  Be sure to dry your hands well to avoid any recontamination. 
Alcohol-based cleaners may be used only when hands are not visibly soiled.  You must rub hands vigorously until the gel is completely dry.

Information on preventing falls

One of every three people over the age of 65 falls each year; senior falls are the leading cause of hospitalization.  A major consequence of falls is a decrease in mobility and independence and an increase in length of stay in a hospital or long term care facility.
HackensackUMC Mountainside is committed to providing a safe environment for all of our patients.  On admission, every patient is screened for their risk for falling.  Armed with this information, appropriate precautions are put into place.  In order for us to assure success, we need both the family and their loved ones to partner with us in our Fall Prevention Program as follows:

Be alert for risk factors to falling, which include:

  1. Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
  2. Feeling weak or dizzy
  3. Confusion
  4. Impaired judgment
  5. A history of falls

While in the hospital

  1. Use the call light when you need assistance
  2. Use non-skid slippers or shoes
  3. Keep personal items within reach
  4. Use assistive devices such as walkers and canes, if required
  5. Reach out to staff for any safety concerns

Information on smoking cessation

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of serious illness such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and emphysema.  Smoking can increase your chances of developing certain forms of cancer.  Secondhand smoke, which is smoke that a smoker exhales, can lead to serious illness in the nonsmoker.  To protect your health and the health of your loved ones, you should stop smoking. 
Mountainside Hospital offers classes in behavioral modification and other techniques to help overcome the desire to smoke.  To register for classes, please call 1-888-973-4MSH (4674).  Class fees may apply. 
The NJ Quitline and NJ Quitnet offer free services to NJ residents who want to stop smoking. 

To speak to a counselor, please call 1-866-NJSTOPS.

Information on vaccines

Influenza

Influenza is a contagious virus that can be spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal secretions.  Influenza can cause fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue, headache, cough and muscle aches.   The influenza vaccine can prevent influenza.  It takes about 2 weeks to develop protection after receiving the vaccine and the effects last about 1 year.
Those who should get vaccinated include:  All children from 6 months to 18 years; anyone with long-term health problems such as heart disease, lung disease and kidney disease; anyone with a weakened immune system; those with certain muscle or nerve disorders; anyone who lives with or cares for people at high risk for influenza-related complications; and anyone who wants to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza.  The vaccination time frame is from October through May.  Consult with your health care provider for additional information on allergy precautions and other concerns.

Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal disease is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.  It is a leading cause of vaccine preventable illness and death in the United States. 

Anyone can get it but some people are at greater risk:
  • People 65 years and older
  • The very young
  • People with certain health problems
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Smokers
Pneumococcal disease kills about 1 in 20 people who get it.  The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.  Most healthy adults who get the vaccine develop protection to most or all of these types within 2 – 3 weeks.  Those who should get it: all adults 65 years of age or older; anyone 2 through 64 with long-term health problems, with a disease or condition that lowers the body’s resistance, or who is taking a drug that lowers their resistance; any adult 19 through 64 years of age who is a smoker or who has asthma. 

H1N1

H1N1 influenza is caused by a new strain of influenza virus.  It is spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and sometimes by touching contaminated objects.  Signs of H1N1 include fatigue, fever, coughing, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, and sneezing.  Some people experience diarrhea and vomiting.  Most people feel better within a week but others get pneumonia or other serious illnesses. It is very different from seasonal flu viruses.  Vaccines are available to protect against this flu.  These vaccines include an inactivated virus that is injected into the muscle and a live intranasal vaccine.
Those who should get it: Pregnant women, people who live with or care for infants under 6 months old; healthcare or emergency medical personnel; anyone 6 months to 24 years old; and anyone 25 through 64 years old with certain chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems.  The vaccine is currently available.  Consult your medical provider for additional information on allergy precautions and other concerns.

The Joint Commission:

1-800-994-6610 or email complaint@jointcommission.org

NJDHSS

1-800-792-9770 or by mail at P.O. Box 367, Trenton, New Jersey, 08652

Patient/Information/Central Scheduling:
(973) 873-7787 (local) or 877-523-7787 (toll free)

Please note that the hospital will not retaliate against you in any way for filing a complaint/concern.