From the Offices of Jeffrey A. Flaks and Jeffry Nestler, MD

The Seymour Street Journal is published every two weeks to communicate key messages pertinent to our hospital's physicians, and to promote alignment between the medical staff and administration. It will keep you informed on hospital news in a concise, convenient format. SSJ will be sent to your preferred email address every other Sunday at 6 p.m.

We'd like to hear from you. For any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Jeffry Nestler, medical staff president, at 860-836-7313, or jnestler@connecticutgi.org.

December 11, 2011 Edition

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HH Facts
1947: Hartford Hospital was the first non-university hospital in the country to recruit a director of medical education; it was Dr. John C. Leonard.


Top News

 

Results of Medical Staff Election Announced Dec. 1

Results of the elections for medical staff officers and executive committee members were announced on Dec. 1 at the annual meeting of the medical staff. Officers are:

New Medical Record Completion Policy Will Be Effective January 1

A new Medical Record Completion Policy, which applies to all members of the medical staff, will go into effect on Jan. 1. The counting of suspensions will be reset to zero for all medical staff members who complete all medical record deficiencies prior to Jan. 1, 2012. Any continuing deficiencies will be counted under this policy. According to the new policy:

  • Chart deficiencies must be completed within 14 days following date of assignment to physician.
  • Records are assigned for completion within 48 hours after discharge.
  • It is the physician's responsibility to check SRM for verification of deficiencies.
  • On the first Tuesday after physicians become delinquent, they will be notified by certified mail, email and phone call. If they do not complete the deficiencies by 1 p.m. that Friday, they will be subject to suspension on Monday morning, and all hospital privileges will be suspended.
  • An operative/procedural note must be written in the medical record immediately following the conclusion of the procedure and dictated immediately.
  • Physicians will be notified by phone on the day following the surgery/procedure if an operative note is not dictated, and 'Dictate' deficiency is entered into SRM system.
  • Failure to dictate the note by 72 hours after the surgery/procedure will result in suspension on that day at 1 p.m.
  • Suspensions for undictated operative/procedure notes will occur Monday through Friday.
  • The suspension stays in place until all delinquent records are completed.
  • If the suspended physician has a procedure scheduled, the case will be delayed until all delinquencies are completed.
  • The chiefs of service, president of Medical Staff and the VP of Medical Affairs will receive a list of suspensions Monday through Friday.
  • Any suspension lasting 30 days or longer will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank.
  • Physicians who incur 5 suspensions during any part of 24 consecutive months will be suspended for at least 10 days AND until all outstanding medical records have been completed; 6 to 10 suspensions will be suspended for at least 20 days AND until all outstanding medical records have been completed; and more than 10, the physician shall be suspended for at least 30 calendar days AND until all outstanding medical records have been completed, and it will be reported to the NPDB.
  • Additional disciplinary action may be instituted against any physician with repeated violations of this policy at the discretion of the president of the Medical Staff.

Advancing Medicine Dec. 1 Focused on Digestive Disorders

Drs. Joseph Cappa, David Chaletsky, Jeffry Nestler, Kiran Sachdevand Paul Shapiro, as well nursing leaders Cheryl Ficara and Kathleen Van Gelder, and many other GI team members answered calls and participated in online chats after the airing of the sixth episode of the Advancing Medicine series, called Digestive Disorders: Keeping Your GI Tract on Track on Dec. 1 on WFSB Channel 3. The episode was widely viewed in Connecticut and Western Mass., with about one in five households in the greater Hartford area tuning in. After the show, 171 calls came in to the studio and 236 people participated in a web chat with our doctors. It will be shown again on December 17 at 5:30 a.m. The next episode of Advancing Medicine, which will highlight Hartford Hospital’s Women’s Health Services, will air March 8, 2012.

Dr. Lenworth Jacobs Named 2011 HealthCare Hero

Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, director of emergency medicine, has been named the 2011 Health Care Hero in the physician category by the Hartford Business Journal. The award was presented at a luncheon on Dec. 6 at the Hartford Convention Center. Jacobs was one of nine award winners named. Others were in categories such as Corporate Achievement - Innovation, Community Service Advocacy/Policy, Nurses and Volunteers. Dr. Evan Fox from Psychiatry was also honored at the luncheon as a finalist for the honor, as was Hartford Hospital APRN Christine Waszynski. Hartford Hospital was a co-sponsor of the event, and Jeff Flaks, president/CEO, represented the hospital there.

"Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Designated Aetna Institute of Quality Cardiac Programs

Hartford Hospital’s cardiology and cardiac surgery programs have been designated Aetna Institute of Quality Cardiac Programs, the highest designation for cardiac programs available through Aetna. The designation is based on measures of clinical performance, access and efficiency for cardiac care. The Hartford Hospital Aetna Institute of Quality Program designations include excellence in cardiac medical intervention, rhythm disease diagnosis and treatment and cardiovascular surgery.

HHC Research Institute Achieves $15 Million in Research Funding

The Hartford HealthCare Research Institute has achieved its threshold goal of reaching $15 million in research funding.  The actual amount of external funding received was $15,179,000. Dr. Andy Salner, head of Hartford Hospital’s Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, received the most funding for an individual investigator with $2.7 million. Psychiatry was the top department receiver of external funding at $3.9 million.

Last Chance To Qualify 6% Credit on Malpractice Premium

All physicians insured by Connecticut Health Systems, Ltd (CHS)/CNA Insurance are eligible to receive a 6% credit off next year's premium for full completion of the 2011 Risk Management Educational Program by the Dec. 31 deadline. Requirements are:

1. Attend one Risk Management Rounds session.
The last sessions of this year are
 Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:30-9 a.m. in JB-118(leadership) and Thursday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the IOL Commons Room 2nd Floor (Psychiatry)
2. Watch two web-based modules, accessible at www.mrmportal.com.  
       “Patient Relations-Strategies to Mitigate Risk,” and
       “Standard of Care in the Hospital Setting” OR “Standard of Care in the Physician Group Setting.”  

 Medical Risk Management, LLC (MRM) is managing the education and monitoring compliance with these requirements. If you have any questions, please contact MRM at 860-920-5475, or the CHS Insurance Department at 860-696-6227.

Free Flu Shots Available At Your Convenience

The Hartford HealthCare Research Institute has achieved its threshold goal of reaching $15 million in research funding.  The actual amount of external funding received was $15,179,000. Dr. Andy Salner, head of Hartford Hospital’s Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, received the most funding for an individual investigator with $2.7 million. Psychiatry was the top department receiver of external funding at $3.9 million.

 

Excellence

 

Dr. Michael Drescher Reappointed ACEP Ambassador to Israel

Dr. Michael Drescher, associate chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine, has been reappointed as lead ambassador to Israel for 2011-2013 by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The purpose of this program is to provide ACEP leaders and staff with access to a special network of internationally-oriented member experts who can provide advice and information on issues pertaining to the progress and status of emergency medicine in their assigned countries, and to serve as official representatives of the College to those countries.

 

Care Coordination

 

Presentations by Drs. Thompson and Parker Encourage Support

The guests were “all ears” when Dr. Paul Thompson and Dr. Beth Parker teamed up for a combined presentation about fitness, exercise and cardiology on November 30. The gathering, which took place at the home of Bill and Kim Thomson, was co-hosted by the Thomsons and Eric and Jessica Zachs. Nearly 50 former and current athletes, including cyclists, marathoners and triathlon competitors, attended the event, which was sponsored by Hartford Hospital’s Major Gifts Committee. One guest competed in the Olympic marathon trials six times. Dr. Thompson spoke about his clinical and research work with athletes at the hospital, including how the body responds under stress. Dr. Parker focused on research relating to exercise, with emphasis on the effect of statins and blood clotting. The presentations, part of an effort to raise $150,000 to enhance our advanced exercise testing lab, have already encouraged three gifts to the hospital from among the attendees. The hospital presents 2-3 such gatherings a year highlighting a variety of topics and members of our medical staff.

 

Research and Academics

 

Dr. Louise McCullough Comments on Swedish Study on Stroke Risk in Women

A study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, published online December 1 in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that women who eat an antioxidant-rich diet may significantly cut their stroke risk, particularly those without a history of cardiovascular disease. Approached for comment by Medscape Medical News, Dr. Louise D. McCullough, from the Stroke Center at Hartford Hospital, said the study's overall strengths were its size and the fact that the cohort was followed up for such a long time. "This is by far the biggest and most complete trial that's been done," she said. "People have known from retrospective trials and correlative studies that antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, etc, reduce stroke risk. This confirms it in a prospective trial." She pointed out that eating a healthy, antioxidant-rich diet is associated with other healthy behaviors. McCullough noted that the reduced risk among health women "wasn't a huge change in risk" in terms of absolute numbers, but she emphasized that reducing stroke risk by incorporating more antioxidant-rich foods in the diet is relatively easy to do.

Small Grant Funded Study Chosen as Best Oral Presentation at CCEP Annual Meeting

A study that had received Small Grant funding from the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff was chosen as Best Oral Presentation at the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians Annual Meeting held on Nov. 9 in Rocky Hill. Drs. Michael Drescherand David Pepper (with residents F. Russell and M. Pappas) authored the study, “Can emergency medicine nurse practitioners and physician assistants predict disposition of psychiatric patients?”

HH Research Team To Test Questionnaire in Predicting Future Need for MRI-conditional Pacemaker

Dr. Stephen Zweibel (director of the Department of Electrophysiology) and co-investigators at Hartford Hospital have recently been awarded new funding through Medtronic to evaluate a new questionnaire as a screening tool to predict future need of an MRI-conditional pacemaker in patients scheduled to receive a single- or dual-chamber pacemaker. The new study represents approximately $81,000 in new research funding and will involve co-investigators Dr. Michael O'Loughlin (Radiology) and Dr. David O'Sullivan (Research Program).

 

Operational Update

 

New Medical Record Completion Policy Will Be Effective January 1

A new Medical Record Completion Policy, which applies to all members of the medical staff, will go into effect on Jan. 1. The counting of suspensions will be reset to zero for all medical staff members who complete all medical record deficiencies prior to Jan. 1, 2012. Any continuing deficiencies will be counted under this policy. According to the new policy:

  • Chart deficiencies must be completed within 14 days following date of assignment to physician.
  • Records are assigned for completion within 48 hours after discharge.
  • It is the physician's responsibility to check SRM for verification of deficiencies.
  • On the first Tuesday after physicians become delinquent, they will be notified by certified mail, email and phone call. If they do not complete the deficiencies by 1 p.m. that Friday, they will be subject to suspension on Monday morning, and all hospital privileges will be suspended.
  • An operative/procedural note must be written in the medical record immediately following the conclusion of the procedure and dictated immediately.
  • Physicians will be notified by phone on the day following the surgery/procedure if an operative note is not dictated, and 'Dictate' deficiency is entered into SRM system.
  • Failure to dictate the note by 72 hours after the surgery/procedure will result in suspension on that day at 1 p.m.
  • Suspensions for undictated operative/procedure notes will occur Monday through Friday.
  • The suspension stays in place until all delinquent records are completed.
  • If the suspended physician has a procedure scheduled, the case will be delayed until all delinquencies are completed.
  • The chiefs of service, president of Medical Staff and the VP of Medical Affairs will receive a list of suspensions Monday through Friday.
  • Any suspension lasting 30 days or longer will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank.
  • Physicians who incur 5 suspensions during any part of 24 consecutive months will be suspended for at least 10 days AND until all outstanding medical records have been completed; 6 to 10 suspensions will be suspended for at least 20 days AND until all outstanding medical records have been completed; and more than 10, the physician shall be suspended for at least 30 calendar days AND until all outstanding medical records have been completed, and it will be reported to the NPDB.
  • Additional disciplinary action may be instituted against any physician with repeated violations of this policy at the discretion of the president of the Medical Staff.

New PCP Clinical Summary Screen Added To Sunrise

In response to your suggestions to consolidate pertinent patient information in Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM), we have created a new PCP Clinical Summary screen. Based on recommendations from our physicians, this clinical summary is designed to alleviate the need to search through multiple screens to find documentation regarding your patients' hospitalizations. For your convenience, attached is a quick reference guide on how to access the PCP Clinical Summary. We hope you'll find this a more efficient way to locate patient information and we look to you for additional suggestions and feedback. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to any of the following individuals:

New Physicians

Hospital Wins Knox Award for City Beautification Efforts

Hartford Hospital has been awarded the prestigious “Hartford Blooms Award,” recognizing our efforts to create outstanding green spaces and landscaping to beautify the city of Hartford. Presented by Knox Parks Foundation and the law firm McCarter & English, the award honors Betty Knox, a Hartford philanthropist and member of the Court of Common Council. Knox left the bulk of her estate to improve the City of Hartford through beautification efforts, and the Knox Foundation was established in 1966 to carry out her vision. Hartford Hospital was selected as one of those organizations that displayed a special effort to make the city of Hartford a better place. Recognition was given for leadership provided by Kerry Kerr, director of engineering; David Coutu, manager of grounds in engineering; and the entire grounds crew for their efforts. The award was presented by David Panagore, the chief operating officer of the city of Hartford, at an awards program on November 16. “Hartford Hospital is the largest employer in the city of Hartford, with 157 years of history and a great physical presence,” said Jeffery Flaks, president and CEO of Hartford Hospital. “This award exemplifies who we are as an organization. We are proud of our rich legacy, and we continue to build on that legacy to improve the future of health care and the city of Hartford.

 

HH In the News

 

Hartford Hospital Parent Eyes Downtown Offices
Hartford Business Journal, Dec. 5

Hartford Healthcare, which has been aggressively expanding its footprint by adding hospitals and doctor's practices to its burgeoning care network, is on the verge of planting its first flag in downtown Hartford, people familiar with the situation told HBJ Today. The parent of Hartford Hospital is close to signing a lease for about 25,000 square feet in the One State St. office tower located in the heart of the central business district.

 

In The System

 

Last Installment of 'Walk With A Doc' Program Is Dec. 10
Hartford Courant, Dec. 6

Getting up from the sofa, flipping off the TV and heading outside for a walk is such a good idea that it can become habit-forming, says Dr. Robert Waskowitz. “It’s a beginning, and it’s really not that hard,” Waskowitz, an orthopedic surgeon, said. To prove it, he's inviting interested people from central Connecticut to accompany him on a half-hour walk through the city's historic Walnut Hill Park on Dec. 10. Along the way, Waskowitz will share health tips and answer questions about anything from bursitis and shoulder pain to diets and exercise programs. Waskowitz is part of the innovative "Walk with a Doc" program run by the Hospital of Central Connecticut. Each month, a different physician leads a free health walk through a public park. Participants are invited to ask questions within the doctor's area of expertise, and also can pick up some general tips about building a healthier lifestyle. The Hospital of Central Connecticut is the first in New England to coordinate a Walk with a Doc series.

 

Regional Healthcare News

 

Simsbury's $40M Dorset Crossing Dawns
Hartford Business Journal, Nov. 29

Retired United Technologies Corp. executive turned realty developer Karl J. Krapek and partner plan to break ground Wednesday in Simsbury on the first phase of their estimated $40 million mixed-use development Dorset Crossing whose first tenant will be St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. St. Francis will occupy about 10,000 square feet as the building's lead tenant for its seventh Hartford area urgent-care clinic and physicians' offices. Occupancy is set for next September.

Middlesex Hospital Names New Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer
MiddletownPatch, Nov. 29:

Jacquelyn G. Calamari has been appointed vice president of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer at Middlesex Hospital. Calamari has been a nurse manager at Middlesex Hospital since 1978. She has served as interim chief nursing officer since August of this year. Previously, she was director of emergency and inpatient services and director of the hospital's Emergency Department.

Aetna and ProHealth Physicians Provider Collaboration Model Leads to Fewer Hospitalizations for Certain Patients:
The Wall Street Journal MarketWatch, Dec. 6:

As groups throughout the health care system work to develop Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Aetna today announced results of a collaborative relationship with ProHealth Physicians, a physician-driven primary care organization based in central Connecticut. Since 2007, Aetna and ProHealth have worked together to accomplish two of the main goals of ACOs through the Aetna Medicare Provider Collaboration program -- improving quality of care and lowering health care costs.

 

Coming Events

 

December 14 (Wednesday):
Risk Management Rounds - The last sessions of this year

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:30-9 a.m. in JB-118 (leadership)

December 15 (Thursday):
Risk Management Rounds - The last sessions of this year

Thursday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the IOL Commons Room 2nd Floor (Psychiatry)

December 15 (Thursday):
Department of Traumatology and Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds: The Emergent Treatment of ICH

Dr. Inam Kureshi, Hartford Hospital Head Injury Program, vascular neurosurgeon. 12 noon in Gilman Auditorium.

More events

 

Hot Topics in Healthcare

 

Both Patients And Physicians Can Suffer When Test Results Aren't Reported
Kaiser Health News, Nov. 29

Sometimes, the ball gets dropped somewhere between the lab or the radiology department and the clinician who ordered the test and the patient. There are also financial consequences for providers when tests aren't promptly reported: A recent study found that annual medical malpractice payouts for communication breakdowns, including failing to share test results, more than quadrupled nationally between 1991 and 2010, to $91 million. For patients, the missteps and mistakes can be life-altering. Patient advocates and policy experts say the push for better coordination of patient care, including the adoption of electronic medical records, should help improve the delivery of test results to patients from doctors and to doctors from those who perform the tests.

HHS Extends A Meaningful-use Deadline
Modern HealthCare.com, Nov. 30

HHS has extended until 2014 the compliance date for Stage 2 meaningful use for those hospitals and physicians that qualify as Stage 1 meaningful users in 2011. Under the current rules for the Medicare electronic health-record system incentive program created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, hospitals and doctors who qualified for incentive payments as Stage 1 meaningful users in 2011 - the program's first year - would have to meet new and expectedly more stringent Stage 2 standards in 2013. But if those providers had delayed participation until 2012, "they could wait to meet these new (Stage 2) standards until 2014 and still be eligible for the same incentive payment." The fast pace of changing stages and the assumed-to-be escalating meaningful-use criteria still being developed for Stage 2 have been deemed as disincentives for early program participation.

EHR Adoption For Office Docs At 57%
ModernHealthcare.com, Dec. 1

Rates of electronic health-record system adoption among office-based physicians grew significantly in 2011. In a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 56.9% of physician respondents said their practice uses electronic health records in some capacity other than for billing. That's up from the 50.7% in 2010. In addition, 52% of respondents this year said their practice was planning to apply for federal EHR incentive payments, up from 41% who said the same in 2010.

 

Voices Of Our Patients

 

Grateful Patient Thanks Heart Specialists

Nine years ago my wife collapsed in the driveway of a neighbor while returning from her daily one-hour walk. Another neighbor driving by found her and called 911 and me. The Old Saybrook response was there before I arrived just around the corner. She was taken to the Shoreline Clinic in Essex. It was determined that her heart was damaged, and she then was transferred to Hartford Hospital. It was determined that the aortic valve was clogged and shut off blood flow.

A heart specialist informed us that the valve needed to be replaced. This procedure was completely unknown to us and sounded extremely risky. With complete assurance and confidence from hospital personnel, the operation was scheduled and performed in three days. After recuperation, my wife has been more active than for years prior to her collapse nine years ago.

There is no doubt in any of our family that the expertise and quick response preserved her life. My wife, Viola, just celebrated her 83rd birthday on Sept 20.

Earl Maxfield
Old Saybrook

 


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.