Q & A with Joel Seligman, president and CEO of Northern Westchester Hospital

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Q & A with Joel Seligman, president and CEO of Northern Westchester Hospital

par Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | July 05, 2019
From the July 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


HCB News: What is Northern Westchester best known for in regard to medical procedures?
JS: Several things. I’ll start by saying that any hospital has to become clinically sophisticated to be relevant and important. That’s because the things we did in hospitals 10 or 20 years ago don’t even occur any more. Our strategy here is to become more and more clinically advanced. We’ve done that in our cancer programs where we have an amazing group of specialists and subspecialists with all the technology they need, with a health and wellness program wrapped around it so that our patient experience is second-to-none.

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It is true in robotics, where we’ve become a leader, certainly among community hospitals. We compete almost at the level of some of the large teaching hospitals. Our third da Vinci robot is arriving in July. We’re a center of excellence across a variety of specialties and a training center for robotic surgery. I used to think it was the future, but it’s now the present and it will be ever more prevalent.

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The third thing is high-risk obstetrics and advanced neonatology care. We are a Level III neonatology program in New York State which is the highest level a community hospital can be. We deliver over 1,600 babies a year, many of them high-risk and they do extraordinarily well in this hospital. We have around-the-clock on-site obstetrics, anesthesia, neonatology all on-site around the clock. It’s a very strong neonatology and mother/baby program. And we can offer families private rooms.

Our ER is at the 98 percentage nationally in patient experience, which is the number one community satisfier. I could go on all day!

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HCB News: Can you talk about challenges for Northern Westchester?
JS: We’re all part of a healthcare system that wants to transform and become more value-based. A huge part of our priority here is to focus on patients and what happens to patients before they get here and after they leave. Yet, we live in a payment system that is stuck in time decades earlier. It’s still paying for volume, paying for the most advanced things you could do in the building, but neglecting the things that could keep people out of the hospital. The payment system is so misaligned with the way we know the healthcare system wants to be restructured.

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