With the suspension of services provided by the major hospital Emergency Departments in the area, Christ Hospital has remained open and able and ready to provide uninterrupted emergent and acute care to the residents of Hudson County throughout the course of this entire weather event.
To Prepare for an incident of this magnitude, the staff of Christ Hospital has been coordinating emergency drills with the Federal and State Offices of Emergency Management over the past several years. An Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was established at the hospital to serve as the backbone for relaying communications between State and local emergency agencies and was instrumental in coordinating staff, supplies, and services to patients. Christ Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the area to set up its EOC on Sunday morning, well in advance of this storm. Staff from the hospital has been working around-the-clock to make sure vital services are always available and running at optimal efficiency.
Compensating for the anticipated large influx of patients to the Emergency Department, other sections of the hospital were converted to temporary Emergency Triage staging areas. During the course of late Sunday evening, coordination efforts with Hoboken University Medical Center facilitated the safe transfer of forty patients to Christ Hospital. At no point during the transfer was the care of the patients ever compromised.
Since the onset of the storm, the Emergency Department has provided care to over 897 patients, of which, over 161 were admitted to inpatient units. The only time the hospital had to divert patients from the Emergency Room was on Wednesday afternoon for approximately one hour after Jersey City Medical Center was forced to divert ambulances briefly for a second time. This resulted in Christ Hospital receiving over seventeen ambulances at once.
The benefit of being part of a three-hospital network, which includes Christ Hospital, Hoboken University Medical Center, and Bayonne Medical Center, was immediately apparent. Once Hoboken University Medical Center made the decision to close, arrangements were made to have pharmaceutical supplies and oxygen canisters transferred to Christ Hospital to replenish quickly depleting supplies. Directors at Christ Hospital were able to coordinate logistic measures with their counterparts at Bayonne Medical Center to replenish much-needed supplies and coordinate care for patients.
The hospital provided services to a multitude of individuals including one Code Stroke patient. The Labor and Delivery unit delivered twenty-seven babies, and hemodialysis was provided to twenty-one patients. Treatment for the hemodialysis patients was coordinated with local private providers at off-site facilities. The Security Department of Christ Hospital provided transportation for these patients to the facilities. After their treatments were completed, they also provided transportation to their homes later that evening, safely navigating the darkened streets of Jersey City.
The Food Services Department provided over 3,635 meals to patients and their families and 4,450 meals to the staff working at the hospital.
Normal operations continued to take place at the hospital as well. The Transitions In Care Family Clinic opened earlier today. This clinic fulfills a commitment to dispense healthcare services to underinsured/uninsured patients. Outpatient services are provided to these individuals, regardless of their ability to pay. Similar clinics are currently providing services to patients at Hoboken University Medical Center and Bayonne Medical Center also.
Peter A. Kelly, President and CEO of Christ Hospital remarks, “Hurricane Sandy posed a serious and considerable threat to our area and its aftermath continues to offer many new challenges. The location of the hospital, the dedication of our staff, and our ability to be prepared for a disaster of this magnitude, have proven how absolutely vital Christ Hospital is as a key and indispensible component of the healthcare delivery system in Hudson County.”