ACCORDING TO THE U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, women make approximately 80 percent of healthcare decisions, spend almost two of every three healthcare dollars and are more likely than men to be the caregivers when a family member becomes ill. Women utilize more healthcare than men, in part because of reproductive services, but are also more likely to seek medical care than men.
As the key decision-makers and consumers of healthcare, women deserve and receive state-of-the-art patient care at New Jersey’s top hospitals, and advances in medicine are very often used for the treatment of conditions that have a particular impact on females. Given the vital role of women in modern healthcare, this year’s Annual Chief Medical Officers Roundtable—featuring Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Holy Name Medical Center and The Valley Hospital—focuses on the following “key advances in women’s healthcare.”
Roughly one million people are affected by the development of blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), each year in the United States. This results in 100,000 deaths from pulmonary (lung) embolism, or long term complications such as swelling, chronic wounds and leg pain, among others. For women in particular, the risk of developing DVT can increase if she is taking estrogen-based medications (birth control pills), becomes pregnant, is over the age of 40, or has had a previous blood clot, cancer or surgery. For years DVT was treated conservatively with blood thinning medications, without any surgical options. Unfortunately, 50 percent of patients developed chronic leg swelling or other complications. However, current technology in the vascular realm allows us to proactively treat women of all ages with minimally invasive catheter-based techniques. These advances are safe, avoid open surgery, reduce potentially lengthy hospital stays and prevent chronic leg issues. Several devices currently in use allow us to access a clotted vein through a small needle puncture in the skin. We are then able to remove the clot in its entirety, restoring blood flow to normal, allowing our patients to get back to their daily routines.
Hackensack University Medical Center
By Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D.,
Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
Hackensack University Medical Center is one of 11 centers funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop imaging tools that accurately measure placental health. We have developed and published a technique that can diagnose women with a rare placental disease called Abnormally Invasive Placenta (also known as placenta accreta). It is vital to have a quantitative measurement to diagnosis at any hospital without needing a specialized hospital for an expert opinion. Such tools are uniquely useful for telemedicine and providing specialty care in remote locations. HackensackUMC is also pioneering a strategy that allows nurses, obstetricians and anesthesiologists to better assess maternal blood loss in obstetrics and reduce maternal postpartum hemorrhages. We are the first hospital in the United States to integrate this system with our electronic medical record system, Epic. Members of the obstetrical and IT teams work to achieve a real-time reading of Quantified Blood Loss. Utilizing mobile devices and cloud technology, with continuous updates during the delivery process, photo scans of sponges and canisters are uploaded to the secure cloud. Within a few seconds, the results are uploaded to Epic, which immediately alerts physicians and nurses of blood loss levels similar to that of a vital sign.
Holy Name Medical Center
By Adam Jarrett, M.D., MS,
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, CMO
Holy Name Medical Center’s Interventional Radiology Department (IR), which is regionally recognized for minimally invasive therapies and success with patients whose conditions are unable to be resolved at other facilities, is using the Magellan™ Robotic System to perform uterine artery embolization. Holy Name is the first hospital in the Northeast to use the Magellan system. Magellan is a game-changer, not only for the patients who benefit from shorter procedure times and greatly reduced side effects compared to open surgery, but also for the physicians providing the treatments. Holy Name’s interventional radiologists treating uterine fibroids—the most common non-cancerous tumors in women, which can nevertheless cause significant discomfort—have complete maneuverability to navigate through tiny vessels using guided-imagery. With the flexibility to rotate 360 degrees and bend 180 degrees in any direction, the IR physicians can position the catheter to effectively eliminate the tumor with extraordinary precision and speed. The minimally invasive procedure is safe—with reduced radiation exposure to both physician and patient. On average, 85 percent to 90 percent of women who have had the procedure experience significant or total relief of symptoms, providing an excellent alternative to a total hysterectomy.
The Valley Hospital
By Robert Brenner, M.D.,
Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. The philosophy of caring for women with breast cancer is changing and we are proud of our team approach to providing patients with the latest oncoplastic surgical techniques. Oncoplastic surgery combines the latest plastic surgery techniques with breast-conserving surgery for the best cosmetic result possible. For those patients who require a mastectomy, immediate reconstruction is the standard of care. At Valley, we offer the latest in econstruction options, including implant-based reconstruction, DIEP-flap reconstruction, single-stage reconstruction and more. Skin and nipples increasingly are being preserved for more natural results. In addition to oncoplastics, we provide a variety of treatment choices, including the latest advances in medical oncology, opportunities to enroll in clinical trials and the new radioactive seed localization, which allows doctors to precisely pinpoint and remove very small breast cancers that can be seen on a mammogram but not felt in the breast. We pride ourselves on the multi-disciplinary approach we take with our patients before, during and after breast cancer surgery. The addition of integrative services is offered before, during and after
standard treatment regimes to provide a holistic approach to care.