NICU at Saint Peter’s University Hospital recognized for extraordinary level of care

PHOTO COURTESY OF SAINT PETER'S UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick was recently honored by two prestigious organizations for its extraordinary level of care and compassion.

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice, has ranked The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital among the top 50 hospitals in the nation in neonatology in the new 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings published online today. Saint Peter’s is ranked 46th and is the only New Jersey-based hospital to be recognized among the top 50 in this category for the second year in a row.

The 14th annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings recognize the top 50 pediatric facilities across the U.S. in 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and lung surgery, and urology.
“We are honored to be among the best healthcare facilities for neonatology,” said Bipin Patel, MD, FAAP, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief at Saint Peter’s Children’s Hospital. “Having a child in the neonatal intensive care unit is a stressful time for parents, but confidence in the destination you’ve chosen and the quality of physicians and affiliated healthcare staff can make all the difference, not only for outcomes, but for parent’s peace of mind.”

“Our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit incorporates the most advanced technologies available, but our specially-trained physicians, nurses and support staff that deliver compassionate care are the real secret to patient satisfaction,” said Mark Hiatt, MD, director of Saint Peter’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and chief of the Division of Neonatal Medicine at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.

“Even in the midst of a pandemic, children have healthcare needs ranging from routine vaccinations to life-saving surgery and chemotherapy,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of Health Analysis at U.S. News. “The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings are designed to help parents find quality medical care for a sick child and inform families’ conversations with pediatricians.”

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available. The rankings are the most comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals.

The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings rely on clinical data and on an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The rankings methodology factors in patient outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, as well as available clinical resources and compliance with best practices.

For more information, visit Best Children’s Hospitals <https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/pediatric-rankings> for the full rankings and use #BestHospitals on Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/usnewsandworldreport> and Twitter <https://twitter.com/usnews>.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence on Saint Peter’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This was the third consecutive Beacon Award for the unit.

The Beacon Award for Excellence – a significant milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and healthy work environments – recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award with gold, silver or bronze designations meet national criteria consistent with Magnet(r) Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

Saint Peter’s received its first silver-level Beacon Award in 2014, becoming the only NICU in New Jersey to receive the award. In 2017, Saint Peter’s NICU received its second sliver-level Beacon Award before receiving its recent gold-level award. In addition to the U.S. News and World Report ranking and the Beacon Award for Excellence, Saint Peter’s earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval(r) for Perinatal Care by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards in maternal-fetal medicine. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects the organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care for mothers and infants leading up to, during and after birth.

“Receiving a Beacon Award for Excellence demonstrates a team’s commitment to providing safe, patient-centered and evidence-based care to patients and families. Creating healthy and supportive work environments empowers nurses and other team members to make their optimal contribution,” said AACN President Megan Brunson, MSN, RN, CNL, CCRN-CSC. “Achieving this award is such an honor and brings such joy to those who have worked so hard to achieve excellence in patient care and positive patient outcomes,” Brunson added.

According to Dolly Allen, MSN, RN-CCRN, manager of the NICU at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, “Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit continues to attract those with an extraordinary level of expertise, training and commitment which is so deserving of this award. When you add these qualities to the true compassion and care that I see in our NICU nurses, I’m confident that these nurses are right where they want to be.”