inclusion on the list of the top five hospitals in the New York City area is the product of meticulous attention to detail, according to the hospital's executive director, Dennis Connors.
"The report gave the check mark that we do a good job," said Connors, who is also the chief service excellence officer for the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System.
He credited the hospital's success in the Consumer Reports' ranking, and among its patients, to the staff's ability to work as a team and keep patients comfortable.
Rate of infection was one of the report's four areas of grading. Connors said the hospital has not had a central line infection, or one around a tube feeding directly into the heart through the chest, in three years. The number of infections related to joint replacements is also zero, he said.
He credits this in part to meetings held each Friday where employees from all departments, including engineering and cleaning staff, convene in the hospital's conference room to bring up any concerns and share information.
Connors said he doesn't allow use of any mobile devices in those meetings, demanding the attention of everyone present in order to identify problems large and small, from mold on a ceiling panel to legibility on patient records.
"It helps the staff to feel like they have an open, safe place to share information," he said.
Also evaluated for the list were rates of return visits by patients.
"People having a good experience is very important. We try to anticipate what patients want," Connors said, noting the popularity of the hospital's food.
It is safety, however, that must always be the first priority, he said.
One aspect is educating the families of patients as to proper care once they leave the hospital. The 256-bed institution allows open visitation, encouraged by couches that pull out into beds and the fact that most rooms are single-occupancy to allow for privacy.
Having families more present during a patient's stay helps in educating them, Connors said.
Nurses are assigned to no more than two patients at a time, creating better relationships between staff and those in their care, and less room for confusion, said Connors.
Of course, it's the fundamentals which are elemental to keeping patients safe, he said, and the emphasis on that is never dropped.
"The first thing any new employee here does is meet me, and I stress the importance of hand-washing," Connors said.