Newsweek recognized Mount Nittany Medical Center in its 2022 list of “World’s Best Hospitals,” for the second consecutive year, again placing the center among the top hospitals in Pennsylvania based on patient safety and quality data.
With this year’s list being determined amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Newsweek says the hospitals on the list are ones that best managed the many challenges created by COVID-19.
“Receiving this ranking under normal circumstances is testament to the clinical excellence of our teams,” said Kathleen Rhine, President & CEO, Mount Nittany Health. “Receiving it after the second year of the pandemic – with record numbers of critically ill patients and constantly evolving operational challenges – is a testament to the resilience of our people and the dedication and compassion they show our patients every day.”
The pandemic posed clinical and logistical challenges for hospitals as entire clinical units converted to negative airflow treatment spaces for COVID-19 patients, and as clinical staff pivoted to care for these critically ill patients who required an extraordinary level of care.
As part of its pandemic response Mount Nittany Health innovated to provide telehealth, virtual ER services, large-scale drive-through testing, and drive-through vaccination clinics to help keep the community safe from COVID-19. The health system’s clinical expertise, responsiveness, and drive to support the Centre Region community enabled them to care for more than 2,000 COVID-19 hospitalized patients and to administer about 50,000 vaccines.
“As difficult as the pandemic has been, we’ve learned so much that will enhance our ability to serve patients in the future,” said Tiffany Cabibbo, DSc, MSN, RN, CENP, Executive Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Mount Nittany Health. “The pandemic has sharpened our preparedness tools and encouraged us to utilize technology and remote staff to our highest benefit.”
Newsweek notes that breaking down silos and being able to quickly innovate were other traits shared by hospitals on the list. Facilities managers, IT departments, schedulers, environmental services teams, communications teams, and others worked behind the scenes to support frontline clinical staff and to deploy new systems, solutions, and services. For long periods, Mount Nittany Health utilized its Hospital Incident Command structure that met multiple times daily. The multidisciplinary team from across the health system made necessary decisions and adjustments, and communicated with staff and the community.
“Our clinical staff and support teams are second to none,” said Mount Nittany Health’s Chief Medical Officer Upendra Thaker. “I could not be more proud of how they have continued to provide extraordinary care for very ill patients for a prolonged period of time.”
The Newsweek World’s Best Hospitals list was compiled based on recommendations from medical experts, results of patient surveys and key performance indicators for hospitals.