From the Offices of Elliot Joseph and Jeffry Nestler, MD
May 15, 2011 Edition

Note: Some stories may link to content on the hospital's Intranet.
If a login screen appears, simply enter your Novell username/password.

"Kind words are the music of the world." - F. W. Faber


Register Now for the Medical Staff Spring Event

The Medical Staff Spring Event is less than two weeks away, on May 25. It will be held in Heublein Hall from 6 to 9 p.m., and will include cocktails and a buffet. There will be a ceremony at 7 p.m. where awards will be given for the Young Practitioner, Physician in Philanthropy, John K. Springer Humanitarian, Distinguished Service, Quality and Safety. Tours will be offered of the new Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI). Registration is required, and you can do it right now:


HH Recognized by Joint Commission for High Performance in Three Core Measures

Hartford Hospital has been recognized by the Joint Commission as achieving significant improvement and/or consistently high performance in three CORE measures: Pneumococcal Vaccination; Adult Smoking Cessation Advice Counseling; and Influenza Vaccination. Based on this achievement, we have been invited to participate in a new online forum called the Core Measure Solution Exchange. This forum, hosted by The Joint Commission, provides accredited hospitals that have attained excellent performance on core measures with an opportunity to share their success stories with the larger community of accredited organizations.

HH, CMS Work to Enhance Liver Transplant Program

Hartford Hospital has been a pioneer and innovator in organ transplantation. Over the past 27 years, we have performed more than 400 liver transplants. Hospital leadership strongly supports this essential, life-saving service, which is why Hartford Hospital and CMS have agreed on a one-year plan of action to strengthen the liver transplant program.

As part of this plan, liver transplant surgery is on a short-term hiatus while we look to augment our surgical team. We are currently moving patients to transplant surgery programs at Lahey Clinic and Yale-New Haven Hospital. All other liver program services, including pre- and post-transplant patient care, remain available. This temporary suspension of the liver surgery program has no impact on our renowned heart and kidney transplant programs.

We are committed to achieving national excellence in our liver transplant program. Several programmatic enhancements already have been made and recruitment is underway. Indeed, the Liver Center is expanding, with clinical support for new breakthroughs in Hepatitis C management and the multidisciplinary approach to liver cancer in partnership with the Cancer Center, among other advancements. We will continue to make significant changes in order to achieve our goal and to build on the legacy of our liver program. We will keep you updated on our progress.

HH Ranks “Better Than National Rate” in Pneumonia Mortality in CMS Measures

Hartford Hospital has been ranked by CMS as “better than the national rate” in pneumonia mortality for 2007-2010, with a mortality rate that is one-sixth lower than the national average. The national mortality rate was 11.9%, while the rate at HH was only 9.9%. The mortality rate is calculated for all pneumonia discharges within 30 days of index admission, and is risk-adjusted. CMS will publicly post the information on Hospital Compare, a consumer-oriented website that provides information on a number of quality measures in hospitals ( As of 2014, hospital performance will be linked to Medicare reimbursement (Value Based Purchasing).

Knocking the Socks off Blood Stream Infections

Catheter-related bloodstream infections (BSIs) are a source of high morbidity and mortality in the intensive care unit. A multidisciplinary team of caregivers has been implementing best practices in BSI prevention, and we are seeing the results. Three years ago we saw an average of four to five infections every month, but over the past eight months, we have had four months with no infections in any ICU. This means that 50% of the time we are operating at best-in-class levels in preventing BSIs, where the top decile is 0.


This significant improvement is a result of hardwiring evidence-based practices and standardizing the placement, maintenance, and withdrawal of bloodstream catheters. Most notably, the implementation of team huddles convened immediately upon the recognition of an infection have increased awareness of all caregivers in the ICU regarding the root causes for these infections. Our congratulations go out to all involved in this effort that is saving additional lives at Hartford Hospital.

Generous Support of Digital Mobile Mammography Reflects High Regard for Dr. Salner and the Cancer Program

With high praise for Dr. Andrew Salner and his leadership of the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, the Harry E. Goldfarb Family Foundation has pledged $100,000 to support the upgrade of our mobile mammography program to digital technology. The upgrade will allow Hartford Hospital to reach twice as many women with this life-saving screening. In making the pledge, the Goldfarb family noted that the program “has certainly made a difference to the lives and futures of so many” and added that they were pleased to support the “continuation of this extraordinary service benefiting the welfare of the community.” The Goldfarb family has been remarkably generous over the years in their support of the Cancer Center, both in Hartford and Avon. The hospital is seeking to raise $1.2 million to make the upgrade to the digital technology possible. Additionally, the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary has committed the proceeds of its September 12 golf tournament to the project.

Care Coordination

Central Scheduling Improving Service to Patients in Partnership with Practices

Two months after its launch, the Central Scheduling Call Center is improving service for Hartford Hospital customers and patients. Some areas – particularly non-invasive cardiology – have achieved scheduling efficiencies resulting in faster appointments for patients, more customers served and an increase in procedure volumes. The system eliminates multiple calls for practice managers, streamlining the scheduling and pre-registration process with just one call or fax. The Central Scheduling Team is available to work with providers to train staff or answer questions. For the latest information about the system, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Central Scheduling, go to:

Please Use New SCM Order Set for Cardiac Catheterizations

A new cardiac catheterization order set is available in SCM. Please use this order set whenever ordering a cardiac cath on your patient. The order and the information it contains will help improve throughput and regulatory compliance. As always, after 5 p.m. and on weekends, please call 860-545-2975.

Research & Academics

IOL Investigators Shine at Society of Biological Psychiatry Annual Meeting

Multiple investigators from the IOL’s Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center presented a total of 12 posters and/or talks at the Society of Biological Psychiatry annual meeting May 11-13 in San Francisco. The work was presented by Dr. Godfrey Pearlson, Olin director, laboratory directors Dr. David Glahn and Dr. Michael Stevens, and staff from their laboratories. Dr. Beth Anderson received a top poster award for “Effects of memantine and alcoholism family history status on a monetary incentive delay task.” There were three notable late breaking/hot topic posters: Dr. Balaji Narayanan, "Effects of memantine on resting state EEG in subjects with and without family histories of alcoholism;" Dr. Sharna Jamadar, "Effects of NMDA receptor antagonism and response inhibition in individuals with and without a family history of alcoholism;" and Krishna Pancholi, “Reward-punishment outcome in cocaine dependence a modified monetary incentive delay task study.”

Dr. Anderson Receives Grant from NIDA

Dr. Beth Anderson has received a $255,084 grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse for "Effects of marijuana on simulated driving: an fMRI study."

Operational Update

SCM 5.5 Upgrade Successful

The upgrade of Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM) to version 5.5 was successfully completed at 5 a.m. today, according to Luis Taveras, Ph.D., interim vice president and chief information officer at Hartford Hospital. The upgrade required the SCM system to be down for eight hours, from 9 p.m. last night until early this morning.

Medical Staff Semi-Annual Meeting June 2

The medical staff semi-annual meeting will be held on Thursday, June 2 at 7 a.m. in Gilman Auditorium. During the meeting, President Elliot Joseph and COO Jeffrey Flaks will conduct a town hall discussion with physicians.

Act Now to Avoid Medicare’s ePrescribing Program’s Penalties to Begin Next Year

You have until June 30 to report the eRx G-code at least 10 times on Medicare claim forms to earn an incentive and avoid a penalty in 2012 through Medicare’s five-year program to promote ePrescribing (eRx). To read more go to:

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. The date/time for the final session is:

Specialty Date Time Location
Medicine May 19 6-7:30 p.m. HH, Gilman Auditorium

In The News

UConn, Area Hospitals Make Breakthroughs Together
Hartford Courant, May 9

A cooperative spirit was seen last week when researchers from Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children's Medical Center and the UConn Health Center took part in Collaborative Research Day at UConn's Cell and Genome Sciences Building. The day focused on pediatric mental health, with researchers speaking about autism and ADD, among other topics.,0,2326960.story

Coming Events

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.

May 24:
Multidisciplinary Care of Genitourinary Cancers

Dinner program presented by the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center. 6-8:30 p.m. at the Cancer Center in Avon. Multidisciplinary panel of clinicians including specialists in radiology, pathology, urology, surgery, medical oncology, and radiation oncology. To register, go to, or call 860-545-6000.

May 27:
First Annual Residents’ Research Day- University of Connecticut School of Medicine Department of Surgery

The First Annual Resident Research Day for the University of Connecticut School of Medicine General Surgery Residency Program will take place on Friday May 27th in the Keller Auditorium at UConn from. The program's residents will present their research projects in10 minute blocks. A continental breakfast will be available at 8:00 am and the presentations will begin at 8:15am, ending by 12:00 noon. For more information, call the Department of Surgery, 860-545-2840.

June 15-17:
June Jubilee

The Hartford Hospital June Jubilee is an outdoor festival of food, games and fun meant to show appreciation to our staff for the terrific work you do every day.
June 15: Newington Campus, Noon-2 p.m.
June 16: IOL Campus, 2-4 p.m.
June 17: Hartford Hospital Campus, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.-Midnight

Click here for more events

Hot Topics in Healthcare

The IPAB: How Will It Change Medicare?

Kaiser Health News, May 8
The controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board, which was created by the 2010 health care law, is at the heart of a highly changed battle over Medicare. Obama says it is critical to controlling Medicare costs, while Republicans denounce it, saying its unelected bureaucrats will end up rationing care.

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.