Newswise — Bret J. Rudy, MD, senior vice president and chief of hospital operations at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn, has been named one of the nation’s top 25 healthcare innovators by Modern Healthcare magazine, one of the healthcare industry’s most respected periodicals.

Rudy was recognized for his efforts to improve quality, safety, and accountability at the Sunset Park hospital since its merger with NYU Langone Health in 2016. During his tenure, he has successfully implemented a number of organizational changes in the areas of clinical care, education, and operations. Some of those changes include replacing outsourced emergency medicine physicians with full-time faculty; introducing an around-the-clock hospitalist service; launching new nursing quality initiatives; investing in robotic surgical equipment to offer more minimally invasive procedures; and reducing overall hospital wait-times by streamlining processes and improving the patient experience.

These systemic changes resulted in all-time improvements in key quality metrics while continuing the core mission of addressing the needs of the Brooklyn community. Rudy spearheaded efforts to expand the hospital’s capacity to perform complex surgeries, while simultaneously reducing the patient’s time spent in the hospital. Additionally, a critical measurement used by hospitals across the country has shown NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn is saving more lives: the mortality observed/expected index, an indicator of survivability from disease or injury, dropped from 1.16 in fall 2017 to below 0.5 in 2019, meaning the higher level of care at the hospital is resulting in many more lives saved.

Remarkably, all of this was done while maintaining financial sustainability thanks to the introduction of lean management protocols and process improvements. In Sunset Park—the highest Medicaid-concentrated community in the United States—the hospital has even been able to increase its charity care to $149 million in 2019.

“What we have accomplished at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn could not have been possible without Dr. Rudy and his dedicated team that is laser-focused on making this healthcare facility second to none,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, president and CEO of NYU Langone Health. “With the support of our entire network, including our ambulatory practices, Dr. Rudy has been able to build the borough’s leading hospital for quality and safety. We congratulate him on this prestigious recognition of his work.”

A board-certified pediatrician, Rudy began his medical career treating children and adolescents with HIV and AIDS in Philadelphia. He later became a national leader in HIV care and research for adolescents, serving on several National Institutes of Health-funded research networks including the White House Advisory Committee on Adolescents for the Office of National AIDS Policy. Prior to joining NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn, he served as vice chair in NYU Langone’s Department of Pediatrics where he continued his work in HIV care and research while overseeing a number of successful quality improvement efforts at the hospital’s main campus in Manhattan.

In accepting the award, Rudy made clear that the work to improve healthcare in Brooklyn is far from over.

“We will continue to make safety and quality the top priority as NYU Langone-Brooklyn continues to expand to provide more complex surgical and medical procedures to the community,” he says. “The future is very bright for healthcare in Brooklyn.”

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