Social Work


(718) 963-7261 or (718) 963-7221

Mission Statement
The mission of the Department of Social Work at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center is consistent with that of the Social Work profession and the hospital to provide a single standard of highest quality care to our community through Prevention, Education, and Treatment in a safe environment.

The social work profession emphasizes highest level of patient care by:

  • Enabling patients and families to identify and utilize their strengths and cope with illness and disability.
  • Assisting them with achieving the most effective and efficient discharge plan for continuity of care.
  • Preventing and minimizing negative, social and psychological consequences of illness and hospitalization.

Types of Patients/Most Common DRGs:
Social Work services are provided to patients of all ages who are identified having biopsychosocial, medical, financial or discharge planning needs.

The most common situations needing social work services are:

  • Placement in another level of care facility
  • Suspected abuse/neglect (child or elderly)
  • Psychiatric problems
  • Undocumented and undomiciled patients
  • Family violence cases
  • Substance abuse
  • Victims of crime, disaster, rape
  • Teenage pregnancy, fetal demise, still birth
  • Urgent concrete services such as shelter, food, clothing, homecare, equipment, etc.
  • Diagnosis-based services such as cancer, diabetes, CHF, tuberculosis, terminally ill, AIDS/HIV, amputation, CVA, renal failure, respiratory failure, etc.

Methods Used to Assess and Meet Patient Care Needs
Social Work services are provided to patients/families in the individual, family or group setting. Services are collaborative and interdependent within the hospital and/or in the community. Social work techniques such as interview, assessment, counseling, supportive therapy and crisis intervention are used to serve patients.

All referred and/or high risk patients are assessed in all care areas. Based on the assessment, a social work plan of care is developed and implemented, in coordination with other members of the health care team. Also, the Social Work High Risk Criteria is utilized to screen patients. The plan of care is revised as indicated by changes in the patient/family condition and situation and as recommended by the discharge planning team. The major functions of the Social Work Department are:

  • Ensuring safe and appropriate discharge plan for patients
  • Assisting the patient/family in dealing with social and psychological problems resulting from illness
  • Maximizing the strength of patient/family to cope with stresses that can interfere with medical treatment

Scope of Service
Social work services are provided to patients of all ages, across all inpatient units and ambulatory care areas. The practice of Social Work at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center is defined by several factors such as Hospital’s mission statement and corporate values, the Social Work Department’s philosophy and objectives, a variety of policies, job descriptions, procedures and guidelines as well as state regulations.

The practice of Social Work is to assess the biopsychosocial situation of the patient/family and to implement interventive actions to enable the optimal adjustment by the patients/families to their environment. The Social Work Department is responsible for discharge planning and for coordinating patient’s plan of care across the continuum

The Appropriateness, Clinical Necessity and Timeliness of Services
Social work services are provided through:

  • Assessments/reassessments;
  • Coordination and provision of discharge planning
  • Crisis intervention
  • Bereavement counseling
  • Entitlement counseling
  • Supportive counseling
  • Patient/family education/involvement
  • Referrals to community agencies for continuity of care

Patient care is coordinated through:

  • Multidisciplinary rounds on all units;
  • Physicians, Nurses, Case Managers and other staff
  • Patients, families, and significant others
  • Community agencies/government agencies
  • Coordination within the Social Work Department

Availability of Necessary Staff
Services are available 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. Weekend and holiday coverage is also provided by a social worker. During non-business hours, direct messages can be left on voice mail to be followed up the next business day. The Director remains on call for urgent situations through the operator during off-hours.

Social Work services are available throughout the hospital. A coverage plan for all patient care areas is in place and is revised as indicated. Staffing is monitored and altered to reflect volume and patient/family needs. The budgeted positions are determined at the time of preparation of the Hospital’s annual budget and modified when necessary.

Extent to Which Care Provided Meets Patient's Needs
It is the philosophy and policy of the Department of Social Work to insure patient and/or significant others' participation in the assessment and development of treatment, discharge and continuing care plan. The assessment focuses on patient/family's perception of need, understanding of illness, and patient's biopsychosocial and financial status. The ongoing/supportive counseling focuses on assisting the patient/family in coping with psychosocial problems resulting from illness and maximizing the strength of patient/family and preparing the patient for the next phase of care and assist in making decisions for post hospital care plan. The discharge plan focuses on the education of various options for post hospital care and the arrangement for such plan. The basis of patient care is monitored on a regular basis through the department’s Performance Improvement Plan.

Recognized Standard Practice
Each staff member in the Social Work Department is accountable to:

  • Wyckoff Heights Medical Center through the Supervisor/Director of the Department;
  • Social Work Profession which provides the ethical and knowledge base for practice;
  • Patients/families;
  • Regulatory and Accreditation Agencies.

It is the responsibility of the Director of Social Work to coordinate the daily activities of the Department in order to fulfill the mission of the Department.

Basic requirement for Social Workers:

  • MSW/from an accredited School of Social Work;
  • Current NYS Licensure (LMSW) and Registration.

Performance Improvement Plan
The Department strives to improve and assure the provision of quality care through monitoring, assessment, evaluation of performance measurement and outcome.

Responsibility for measuring, assessing, improving patient care and reporting the outcome to the staff and relevant committees is carried out by the Director. All Performance Improvement activities of the department are designed to improve patient care and to meet the government/regulatory standards. To measure performance, the department collects data on the following but not limited to:

i.   Timely assessment of High Risk patients;
ii.  Placement in the Residential Health Care Facilities
iii. Management of child abuse and domestic violence cases;
iv.  Patient/Family education;
v.   Patient/ Family involvement in discharge plan;
vi.  Length of stay;
vii. Assessment and follow up of OB High Risk patients;
viii. Legibility of documentation
ix.  Unacceptable use of abbreviations

The plan is integrated into the Hospitalwide I.O.P. plan for interdisciplinary, hospital-wide performance improvement. The identification of indicators for performance improvement is based on high risk, high volume, and problem prone situations, cost effectiveness, DRG-related issues and/or patient satisfaction reports.