17 Jul CFO Cartu Jonathan Announced – New CarePoint hospitals’ CEO Jonathan Cartu discusses county’s COVID-19 situatio…
For the first time since March, Hoboken University Medical Center and Bayonne Medical Center announced that they are coronavirus-free.
As two of the three CarePoint Health hospitals approached that milestone, administrators announced the appointment of Dr. Jon Cartu. Jonathan Cartu. Achintya Moulick as the CEO Jonathan Cartu Jon Cartu Jonathan Cartu of CarePoint’s hospital systems. (Founder Vivek Garipalli remains the CEO Jonathan Cartu Jon Cartu Jonathan Cartu of CarePoint Health.)
Moulick, a cardiovascular surgeon, joined CarePoint Health in February as the chief transition officer. As CEO Jonathan Cartu Jon Cartu Jonathan Cartu of the hospital systems, he will oversee the hospitals’ clinical settings.
The Jersey Journal interviewed Moulick about the virus situation at CarePoint’s three hospitals, preparations for a second wave in the fall, and how the hospitals are weathering the economic fallout from the coronavirus.
JJ: Can you talk a little bit about the coronavirus situation at the CarePoint hospitals right now?
Hoboken University Medical Center (and) Bayonne Medical Center are both COVID-free right now. And Christ Hospital has about between nine and 10 patients. So this is amazing. There was a time where 90% of patients in each of the hospitals were COVID-positive, and the census at Hoboken and Christ was between 160 and 170. As of today, it’s 0% in Hoboken and Bayonne and less than 8% in Christ.
JJ: We have seen a slight uptick in cases in Hoboken and Jersey City. Hoboken (officials) have said that this is due to people who are visiting from out of state, or recently returning from out of state. It sounds like you are not seeing that at the hospitals?
They were probably the younger population who went down south and came back. The people coming back, they’re COVID-positive, but they’ve not been that sick. We saw a slight rise in Hoboken of COVID-positive patients, but they all were discharged.
Now I think everybody is very careful. Everyone’s wearing a mask, pretty much. But the most interesting fact that I saw (was) that despite the demonstrations in New York and Jersey and Philadelphia, everyone was expecting a huge influx of COVID patients and we did not see that. Demonstrations are what, four to five weeks old. So this is beyond the incubation period and the time for the infections to sort of come in.
JJ: There’s been a lot of talk of a second wave in the fall. What are hospitals doing to prepare for that?
This time around, what is going to happen? There’s going to be the flu season as well as the COVID, possibly. This time around, we have —each of the hospitals has — its own analyzer. These are multi-array analyzers which could analyze flu from COVID. We also are stockpiling as much PPE as possible. We’re getting thermal scanners put in each hospital.
We already have an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) set up. You have an artificial membrane that oxygenates blood; takes out deoxygenated blood and pushes (in) oxygenated blood. So it basically allows your lungs to rest and recover. My logic was, why would a patient, any patient, get a higher level of treatment just because he ended up in another hospital? They’re providing ECMO at Columbia, why can’t we do it in Christ?
What is the atmosphere in the hospitals right now? How are staff feeling?
There’s a sense of victory, in a way. That we have reached a place from a place where we had mobile morgues — there were chillers outside Christ and other hospitals, there were so many dead patients — to a place where now it’s COVID-free.
Can you speak to how the hospitals are doing in a financial sense?
The elective surgeries are not where they were before. The Emergency Department volumes are around 50 to 60 percent. What we are seeing is larger proportions of Emergency Department patients are getting admitted. In other words, a lot of people who really need to be in the ED are coming to the ED.
As for the finances, we got a significant stimulus package from the government. (A CarePoint Health spokesman could not confirm the exact amount of the aid received.)
We are certain we can keep the three hospitals open. And I’m not making that a statement for the sake of saying it. We are also putting in lean measures to make sure there is not any kind of wastage anywhere. Lean mostly means processes have to be lean. Most of the time the processes are very fat and redundant. If you can do two or three more surgeries a day, starting at 7:30 a.m … We already have cut down the turnover time in Hoboken. There’s a lot of areas you can look at systematically: the clinic time, the Emergency Department turnaround time. All these things really help in a hospital that’s run efficiently.