TRENTON, N.J.-A new law allows physician assistants to begin practicing in the state after graduation. Previously, physician assistants had to wait unit receiving certification results. Now, they may practice under temporary licensure while being supervised by a physician or licensed physician assistant. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, in cooperation with Rutgers University, operates the state's only physician-assistant program.
SUMMIT, N.J.-Overlook Hospital has signed an agreement to buy two private, for-profit nursing homes in Berkeley Heights and Linden, N.J. The facilities have a total of 400 beds and are owned by Hospicomm, a Philadelphia-based developer and manager of nursing homes. Terms weren't disclosed. Overlook, a 589-bed acute-care hospital, already has a residency training program at the Berkeley Heights facility, where second- and third-year family-practice residents participate in one-month geriatric rotations.
NEW YORK-Fifteen New York City hospitals are participating in a program to examine and improve patient care. The United Hospital Fund, a New York-based research and philanthropic organization, initiated the program with a $395,000 grant from the New York-based Commonwealth Fund. It's part of the Picker/Commonwealth Program for Patient-Centered Care, a national quality improvement program based at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The New York hospitals will survey patients in seven areas: respect of their values, preferences and needs; coordination and integration of care; information, communication and education; physical comfort; emotional support and alleviation of fear and anxiety; involvement of family and friends; and discharge planning. The results will be used to design improvements and quality-monitoring systems.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.-Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, the state's largest physical medicine and rehabilitation hospital, has joined the University Health System of New Jersey. Kessler, an affiliate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, has facilities in West Orange, East Orange, Saddle Brook and Chester. The UHSNJ is a not-for-profit consortium representing UMDNJ and eight major teaching hospitals. Kessler is the first new member to be added in five years.