From the Offices of Elliot Joseph and Jeffry Nestler, MD
April 17, 2011 Edition

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“Quality is everyone’s responsibility.” - W. Edwards Deming


Medical Staff Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the six physicians who will receive awards at the Medical Staff spring event on May 25. They are:

Hartford HealthCare Develops Four Core Institutional Values

Values are the foundation of an organization’s culture. They shape the environment in which we work, and help patients, their families and our community members know what to expect from us. With input from staff members throughout the system – including Hartford Hospital – Hartford HealthCare has developed a patient-focused set of values to live by as a system. We began the process in February 2010. We established a work group that examined each HHC organization’s values and then used those to develop a set of four systemwide values that fit the HHC strategy for patient care and community service:

  • Integrity: We do the right thing
  • Caring: We do the kind thing 
  • Excellence: We do the best thing
  • Safety: We do the safe thing

Over the next few months, we will be talking more about these values and the behaviors and expectations associated with them. They should guide all our actions and behavior and help us achieve the HHC vision of being “nationally recognized for excellence in patient care and most trusted for personalized coordinated care.”

Generous Gift Honors Dr. Meraney and Urologic Oncology Staff

A generous gift inspired by Dr. Anoop Meraney and the urologic oncology nurses and staff on Bliss 8 will create the Bliss 8 Patient Resource/Ostomy Training Room, to be opened in late spring. For the donor, Sam Dolfi, the project represents a memorial to his wife, Jan, who died of bladder cancer last August. It also represents his gratitude for the care shown to her and his strong desire to support patient and staff education on issues related to the disease and to promote a better understanding of ostomy care. The room will feature a variety of teaching aids, including hands-on simulation with ostomy care manikins, video and computers, and reading materials. There, family members will be able to practice with equipment at their leisure after being taught by a nurse. The initiative is also supported by a company matching gift and donations made in memory of Jan.

Dr. Robinson Awarded Fellowship by ACPE

Dr. Kenneth J. Robinson, emergency medicine, was recently awarded Fellowship by The American College of Physician Executives for demonstrating significant and enduring contributions to the advancement of medical management. Fellowship shows that Dr. Robinson has earned a master’s degree in medical management (MHCM), is board certified by the Certifying Commission on Medical Management (CCMM) and has attained regional and national stature while also demonstrating a mastery of clinical medicine and outstanding leadership skills.

Dr. Phillips Featured in Imaging Economics Magazine

Dr. Jinnah Philips, director of breast imaging and Jefferson Radiology was featured in the cover article in the March issue of Imaging Economics. The story recognized Jefferson Radiology’s implementation of the first Automated Breast Ultrasound Screening (ABUS) program in the state, and perhaps in the country. Connecticut legislation passed in October 2009 has led to a great demand for high quality screening ultrasound services. Many other states have subsequently introduced similar legislation. Being able to offer mammography in conjunction with ABUS will continue to advance our efforts in the area of early detection.

Dr. Stevens Participates in Autism Webchat

Dr. Michael Stevens, research director in the Autism Consultation Service at The Institute of Living, appeared on a Hartford Courant live webchat on April 11 discussing new developments in autism research and therapies. For a full transcript, go to:,0,803851.htmlstory

Academics and Research

URGENT: Applications Due for Summer Approval of Medical Staff Membership

Physicians, chiefs of service and practice managers who are planning to bring new associates into their practices this summer are reminded that applications for medical staff membership should be filed as soon as possible. The process takes approximately 90 days from receipt of application to final approval (60 days for adjunct staff). The application can by found at For more information, contact Linda Calli, manager of the medical staff office, at 860-545-6167.

HH Sponsors Fundraiser for the American Liver Foundation

Hartford Hospital sponsored the 10th annual Flavors of Connecticut event, held April 12 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. The sold-out event raised more than $200,000 to benefit the Connecticut Division of the American Liver Foundation. The event showcased 33 of Connecticut’s premier chefs, each of who prepared a signature five-course gourmet meal with wine pairings. More than 550 people attended. Special guests included SportsCenter anchor Chris Berman from ESPN, who spoke about his mother’s experience as a liver transplant recipient. The American Liver Foundation (ALF) provides community education programs on liver disease, referrals to health care providers, professional education for health care providers, support groups, and funding of vital research to prevent, treat and cure liver diseases.

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Walk to be Held May 14

Hartford Hospital and Connecticut GI are cosponsoring the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation walk on May 14 at 4 p.m. at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. Called “Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis,” it is the CCFA’s largest fundraising event. Walks are held in more than 120 communities. The local campaign goal is $125,000.

Innovative and Complex Care

New Prenatal Service Offered by Women’s Ambulatory Health Services

Women’s Ambulatory Health Services has begun offering a new prenatal service called Centering in Pregnancy. The group-centered care program was developed for inner-city young pregnant women who often do not get the prenatal care they need. Groups of women with similar due dates attend 10 sessions together, and each has private time with a midwife or obstetrician. This is a March of Dimes supported program.

National Renal and Prostate Robotic Symposium Planned for June 17

On June 17, the Urology Department is offering a one-day course focused on robotic renal sparing surgery and robotic prostatectomy. The course is designed for urologists interested in acquiring or expanding their skills in robotic renal and pelvic surgery, and for surgical assistants and OR staff seeking to improve their assisting technique and OR efficiency. It will include didactic presentations by a panel of leading experts, and four live surgical cases performed by highly experienced robotic surgeons from around the country. The course will be held in Gilman Auditorium from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and to register online, go to

Care Coordination

Zoning Board Approves Plans for Avon Urgent Care Facility

The Avon News reported on April 11 that the town’s planning and zoning commission approved plans on April 5 for an urgent care facility run by Hartford HealthCare on Main Street in Avon, in the building that formerly housed a Blockbuster.

Free Smoking Cessation Counseling Available for Cancer Patients

The Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center now offers free smoking cessation counseling for cancer patients, survivors, and their family members. This new NCI/NCCCP-funded program includes motivational counseling, telephone support and an opportunity to participate in a research study. To connect with a trained counselor call 860-545-LUNG (5864) or email Luisa Chmielecki at

SCM 5.5 Upgrade Scheduled for May 14

On Saturday, May 14, Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM) will be upgraded to version 5.5. Once the upgrade is complete, users will notice some important differences. Brief drop-in classes are scheduled for providers during the week of May 9, and post go-live support will be available for several days. A synopsis of the most important changes can be viewed here. More information and details can be found on the HH intranet by clicking on the link to the Sunrise Clinical Manager 5.5 Information Center.

Practice Central: 10 e-Prescriptions Required by June 30 to Avoid Penalties in 2012

Beginning in 2009, to further promote adoption of e-Prescribing system, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) established a five-year program of incentive payments of eligible professionals when they e-Prescribe for Medicare patients seen in their offices. Physicians who are eligible for the incentive payments but fail to adopt e-Prescribing will face penalties beginning in 2012. To avoid penalties in 2012 (-1%) and 2013 (-1.5%), an eligible physician must report the e-Prescribing G-code, G8853, at least 25 times for Medicare office visits and other applicable services on your Medicare claim forms (for applicable CPT codes included in the CMS e-Prescribing measure specifications).

  • To avoid penalties in 2012, at least 10 of your e-prescriptions must occur and must be reported on your Medicare claim forms during the January 2, 2011 through June 30, 2011 reporting period. All claims for services furnished between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011 must be received and processed by no later than one month after the reporting period.
  • To avoid penalties in 2013, an additional 15 e-prescriptions must occur and be reported on your Medicare claim forms during calendar year 2011.

Allscripts provides a free and a $20 per month on-line e-Prescribing system that will meet the above requirements. You can get more information and register for these products at the following websites:

In the News

Data Security Breach at MidState

On April 4, MidState Medical Center announced that an employee who wanted to work at home improperly transferred information on 93,500 patients to a personal hard drive. The information transferred outside the hospital's secure computer system included patients' names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and medical record numbers.,0,3359315.story

CMS Releases Data on Adverse Events

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued information about “hospital acquired conditions” at more than 4,700 hospitals nationwide on its Hospital Compare website. In a press release dated April 6, the CMS said the data shows the number of times an HAC occurred for Medicare patients between October 2008 and June 2010, and states that 13.5 percent of the elderly and disabled Medicare patients hospitalized annually experience an adverse event. This is the first hospital-specific patient safety data to be released nationally by Medicare. The actual figures are listed by hospital in a document called “Hospital Acquired Condition Rates,” available for download at

Operational Update

Financial Update: March Discharges up 11%; Outpatient Revenues Exceed Budget

March was the strongest month in this fiscal year with respect to inpatient volumes. Discharges for the month were even with our plan, exceeding our monthly average for this fiscal year by approximately 11%. Outpatient revenues were also greater than plan for the month of March by approximately 12%. Outpatient services provided in the Eye Center, Radiology, Laboratory and Radiation Oncology contributed to this favorable variance.

Valet Parking Service Expands to Weekends

In response to patient and staff requests, Hartford Hospital is expanding the valet parking program at the front entrance to include weekend service. Thanks to the cooperation of many hospital departments, the valet service will now operate from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays at the main entrance only. This is in addition to the regular hours, which are Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the main entrance, and 5:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Cancer Center entrance. The expanded valet service hours reflect the hospital’s ongoing commitment to service excellence.

Spivack Resigns as VP of Patient Care Services; Ficara To Assume the Role

Linda Berger Spivack, RN, MSN, who has served as vice president of patient care services for the past three years, will be leaving Hartford Hospital effective June 1. Cheryl Ficara, RN, MS, CNAA, BC, director of Perioperative Service, will assume the role. She has worked at Hartford Hospital for more than 20 years. Read Linda's letter announcing the change here.

Required Risk Management Grand Rounds For HH-Employed Providers

There is one more Risk Management Grand Rounds session scheduled for Hartford Hospital-employed providers (MDs, DOs, APRNs and PAs), who must attend one session to fulfill the Risk Management requirement: Thursday, April 21, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Hartford Hospital Dining Room A and B (ED specialty).

Risk Management Programs for Private Staff; 6% Premium Credit Available

Members of the private medical staff who are CHS insurance policyholders can take advantage of a risk management educational program CHS is offering, and be eligible for a credit of 6% on your malpractice premium. You must complete two one-hour web-based modules a year with post tests, and attend one live session of risk management rounds. If you have questions, contact Medical Risk Management at 860-493-5790; for questions about your premium, call the CHS office at 860-696-6265. For dates and times of upcoming sessions, please click here.

Specialty Date Time Location
Medicine April 20 6-7:30 p.m. HH, Gilman Auditorium
Anesthesiology April 27 6-7:30 p.m. HH, Dining Room A/B/C
Surgery April 27 6-7:30 p.m. HH, Gilman Auditorium
ENT/Ophthalmology May 4 6-7:30 p.m. HH, Gilman Auditorium
Surgery May 6 7:30-9 a.m. MidState Medical Center, Conf Rm 2/3
Surgery May 10 6-7:30 p.m. HH, Gilman Auditorium
Radiology May 12 6-7:30 p.m. 399 Farmington Ave., Farmington
Medicine May 19 6-7:30 p.m. HH, Gilman Auditorium


Dr. Thomas Donovan, Founded Cardiac Surgery Program at Hartford Hospital

Dr. Thomas Donovan, 88, an early researcher in the field of cardiac surgery who established the cardiac surgery program at Hartford Hospital, died April 6 in Bloomfield. Dr. Donovan established a clinical practice and research program at Hartford Hospital in 1956, and pioneered the design and development of a cardiopulmonary bypass system. He performed the first open heart surgery at Hartford Hospital, the repair of an atrial septal defect, in 1959, and the first mitral valve replacement here in 1962. Over a 30-year practice he continued to innovate and study novel surgical techniques, procedures and materials as well as the inflammatory and immunological responses to biological and non-biological vascular conduits.

Coming Events

April 28
The Hepburn-Spillane Memorial Lecture: “Guidelines for the management of ureteral calculi.”

Guest speaker will be Dr. Glenn M. Preminger from the Division of Urologic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. 4 p.m., Gilman Auditorium.

April 29:
Northeast Regional Symposium on Gynecologic Robotic Surgery

The course is designed for gynecologists and gynecologic subspecialists interested in acquiring or expanding their skills in robotic gynecologic surgery, and for surgical assistants and OR staff, seeking to improve their assisting technique and OR efficiency. Designated for a maximum of 8 hours AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)™. 6:45 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information and to register online visit

May 5:
Collaborative Research Day

“A better understanding of ADHD, autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders via neuroscience, genomics and stem cells.” 1:30-5 p.m., Cell and Genome Sciences Building, University of Connecticut Health Center, 400 Farmington Avenue, Farmington. Light refreshments will be served. Free parking. Co-sponsored by Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, and the University of Connecticut Health Center.

May 19:
Surgery Recognition Awards

The Department of Surgery and Surgical Collaborative Management Team will host their semi-annual recognition award ceremony from 2 to 4 p.m. in the special dining room.

Board of Directors and Medical Staff Spring Event

6-9 p.m., Heublein Hall, Education Resource Center

Click here for more events

Hot Topics in Healthcare

Big Medical Groups Begin Patient Data-Sharing Project
New York Times, April 6

Five leading medical groups — pioneers in the use of electronic health records —have announced a project intended to exchange patient information as an elite forerunner of the national health information network, spanning several states and millions of patients. The five are Geisinger Health System, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare and Group Health Cooperative. They are calling their project the Care Connectivity Consortium.

Re-engineering of Medicare to Raise Tough Questions
New York Times, April 12

President Obama has deep disagreements with House Republicans about how to address Medicare’s long-term problems, but in wading into the fight over entitlements, he is signaling that he too believes Medicare must change to avert a potentially crippling fiscal crunch. So the real issue now is not so much whether to re-engineer Medicare to deal with an aging population and rising medical costs, but how. There are several fundamental questions to be answered, and several proposals to slow the growth of Medicare.

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.