From the Offices of Elliot Joseph and Jeffry Nestler, MD
August 22, 2010 Edition

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"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other" - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Hartford Hospital Leading in Risk-Management Education

Hartford Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the region to implement an organization-wide comprehensive risk-management education program focused on improving patient safety and reducing malpractice exposures. The risk-management educational program touches virtually all clinical and managerial staff as well as all of our residents and fellows. It provides a consistent foundation in risk management and practical interventions that can be used to reduce risk and improve patient safety. “We (Connecticut Surgical Group) successfully instituted this risk- management program several years ago and are benefiting greatly,” said Jeff Cohen, MD. The Seymour Street Journal will periodically provide updates for all upcoming Risk Management educational sessions associated with this initiative, including:

  • The last remaining Risk Management Rounds session (required), 6-8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 30, in Gilman Auditorium.

Hospital Completes FY 2011 Budget

Hartford Hospital has completed its budget, pending board approval, for FY 2011. Budget planning focused on strategic growth areas including the cancer center, cardiac care, transplant program, neurosciences, women’s health and primary care and includes strategic initiatives such as centralized scheduling, increased research and education, recruitment of more physicians, transparency in quality and service excellence. The challenges in preparing this budget included: achieving significant, targeted cost reductions; responding to no increase in Medicare payments, despite medical inflation that affects our hospital; possible cuts in Medicaid; and overcoming $12.7 million more in pension costs than FY 2010. The budget allows for an increase in staff for areas of the hospital that will be expanding and provides for merit pay increases. If successful, this budget would produce a 2 percent margin. This represents progress toward our goal of a 4 percent margin, which is the national benchmark for hospitals of our size and scope.

Pressure on Emergency Departments as Reform Proceeds
The CT Mirror – 8/18/10 

While many discussions of the health care system have focused on people without insurance crowding emergency rooms, research suggests that much of the traffic comes instead from people with Medicaid, a public insurance plan. And that points to an impending problem: The federal health reform law relies heavily on Medicaid to expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans.

HH2020: Building Our Future

H2020 projects will continue to transform the patient experience in coming weeks. Already, new ICU rooms on Bliss 9 and 11 are serving patients, and triage and front-end-providers rooms in the Emergency Department are increasing the hospital’s capacity to quickly treat patients. The north side of the High Building lobby is open, and the south side will open in late September, followed by the opening of the new Au Bon Pain café. Look for the Conklin and Jefferson lobbies to reopen by Sept. 30 and for the new inpatient Oncology Unit on CB2 to begin caring for patients in late October. The Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation is slated to open Oct. 1. Phase one of the Cafeteria project is done. Finally, two of three construction phases for the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center lobby have been completed, with patients and families already using the opened section of the renovated space.

Bloodstream Infections Update

Hartford Hospital went 75 days without a single bloodstream infection, thanks to a number of management and infection-control initiatives, including daily rounding, checklists and leadership walk-arounds. However, since July 19, there have been four such infection cases. The BSI team redoubled its efforts and no subsequent infections have occurred since Aug. 1. The BSI team is pushing to keep the lid on BSIs through Oct. 1 and, thereby, achieve its Balanced Scorecard goal. Of course, the ultimate goal is to eliminate BSIs at Hartford Hospital.

Research Update: Symposium Keynote

The 2010 Research Symposium, "Genomics and Personalized Medicine: The Future is Now" will take place from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14 in Heublein Hall at the Educational Resource Center on the Hartford Hospital campus. The keynote speaker will be Lawrence J. Lesko, PhD, FCP, Director, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration. A wine-and-cheese reception and poster session will follow the presentations. Attendance is free. Please contact Chris Harvey (860) 545-5620 to register. Investigators interested in presenting posters are invited to contact Anita Fowler at (860) 545-2093 for more information.

The Seymour Street Journal (SSJ) has been developed to communicate key messages pertinent to our hospital’s physicians. It will keep you informed and up-to-date on hospital, network, and health care news in a concise, convenient format. The SSJ will be sent to your preferred e-mail address every other Sunday. Back issues can be viewed here. For any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Jeffry Nestler, Medical Staff President, at (860) 836-7313.