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

Oct. 28, 2012 Edition


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HH Facts:

1984 - Dr. Rocco Orlando pioneered the use of mixed venous oximetry in New England.

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.

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.

 
In This Issue...
Top News

Weather Advisory In Effect Beginning Today

Safety is one of our core values. With that in mind, hospital leadership continues to carefully monitor the track of Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to make landfall in the Northeast late Monday or early Tuesday. Even if our region is not in the direct path of the storm, we could experience high winds, flooding, power outages and other severe storm effects. We want to make sure that we are prepared to keep our patients and staff safe no matter what we might face.

Clinical and non-clinical leaders from throughout the hospital have been meeting regularly and already have made a number of preparations. We also will activate our staff emergency hotline (860) 545-0100 in the next 24 hours.

A Weather Advisory has been declared and went into effect this afternoon. A Weather Advisory allows hospital managers to balance the hospital’s clinical and non-clinical staffing needs relative to the impact of the weather.

Some staff members may require overnight accommodations on campus. Further information about reserving accommodations will be available soon.

We will provide regular communications updates via hospital email to keep you informed. We ask you to stay in touch with the hospital via email and phone updates when they become available.

We know that the incredible spirit of our staff and strength of our values will allow us to endure any storm. Your health and security is vitally important and it is the key to keeping our patients safe and to continuing to provide excellent care under difficult conditions. Thank you for your constant devotion to the people who depend on us.

 

Contract Agreement Reached With United HealthCare Saturday

After several months of intense negotiations, Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut have reached a contract agreement with UnitedHealthCare. We have worked diligently to reach an agreement that supports Hartford HealthCare's Solid Foundation strategy. This strategy ensures the organization has a solid financial foundation that upholds our ability to better serve our patients, recruit and retain the best doctors and nurses, provide programs that meet the community’s needs, and invest in facilities and needed technology and equipment.
This is especially good news for our patients and their families who depend on us, as our patients will continue to have uninterrupted access to Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut and the state-of-the-art services we offer.

For more than 150 years, our hospitals have served the Greater Hartford and New Britain communities. Our negotiations with UnitedHealthCare were extremely important because they directly affect our ability to provide the type of high-quality care that our community members depend on.

We'd like to thank all of you who have been preparing our hospital to work with patients in the event we did not reach an agreement, and for your support and patience.

 

Medical Staff Annual Meeting Scheduled for Nov. 15

The Medical Staff Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 a.m. in Gilman Auditorium. Free flu shots will be available at the meeting.

 

Nominations Sought For Medical Executive Committee

The Medical Executive Committee Elections will be held the first week of November. There are three positions available this year, for a term of two years each. We are seeking nominations at this time. If you know someone you would like to nominate, please let us know. Self nominations are accepted. We appreciate your assistance in identifying future leaders of the medical staff. Please respond ASAP to Martha Santilli in the Medical Staff Office.

 

Israeli Paramedics Complete Fellowship Training with LIFE STAR and CESI

IsraeliTwo paramedics with Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service, came to Hartford Hospital October 14-20 to train with our LIFE STAR team and Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation. This will become an annual event with future collaborative exchanges. To recognize the beginning of this partnership, we held a celebratory event Oct. 18 at Heublein Hall. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Gil Lainer, consul for public affairs from the Consulate General of Israel in New York, were among the dignitaries to attend. Our partnership with Israel is a continuation of our going beyond our borders to bring to others state-of-the-art technology and the outstanding expertise of our staff.

We have been steadily building the reputation of our fine institution both nationally and internationally. For more than 20 years, Hartford Hospital has had a strong relationship with QiLu Hospital in China. More than 40 scholars have come from QiLu to study at Hartford Hospital and have made great contributions in cardiac surgery, interventional radiology, orthopedics, nephrology and other areas. Hartford Hospital staff also have visited QiLu and made contributions there. We also recently were visited by Chinese physicians representing several large academic centers in China who came here as part of their study of "Centers of Blood Management Excellence." On Nov. 5 and 6, officials from Estonia will visit to view our CESI to use it as a model for developing their own sim center.

Hospital representatives and state officials held a celebration on Oct. 9 marking the state's $15 million award to Hartford Hospital for the 30,000 square foot expansion of CESI. The expansion should be completed by 2014. After a celebratory reception, we conducted a “vision session” to explore ideas for CESI’s future endeavors and development.

 

Flu Shot Clinics Available in Multiple Locations Including Grand Rounds

All HHC staff members are required to get a flu shot by Dec. 1. You can get a free flu shot at several times and locations throughout the hospital.

They will be available at four Grand Rounds presentations:
• Thursday, Nov. 1 from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at OB/GYN Grand Rounds in the Special Dining Room
• Thursday, Nov. 8 from 8-9 a.m. at Medicine Grand Rounds in Gilman Auditorium
• Friday, Nov. 9 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Surgery Grand Rounds in ERC 221
• Friday, Nov. 16 from 7-7:45 a.m. at Surgery Grand Rounds in CB 139-140

Other dates and locations for flu shots are:
• Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 2:30-4 p.m. in Heublein Hall
• Thursday, Nov. 1: IOL: Donnelly Conference Room 2 from 7-9 a.m. and 2:30-4 p.m.; Terry Building Conference Room 1 from 9:30-11 a.m.; and Commons Building Cafeteria from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 8-9 a.m. in Women's Ambulatory Health Services on Park Street
• Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 7-9 a.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. at Jefferson House
• Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Curtis Building
• Tuesday, Nov. 13 from 2-4 p.m. at CLP, CORE Building
• Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 6-8 a.m. at CLP, CORE Building
• Thursday, Nov. 15 from 2-4:30 p.m. at Jefferson House

There will be "roving" flu clinics on the inpatient nursing units on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, 6, 8, 13 and 15 at different times. There will also be off-site flu clinics at Hartford Specialists, Sleep Lab, and multiple ERN locations. All the times and locations for flu shots will be listed on the Flu Prevention internet site. For more information, please email fluguru@harthosp.org.

 

New DocFinder App Introduced By Hartford HealthCare

Hartford HealthCare is unveiling a new app called DocFinder. It is meant to help patients connect with a primary care physician within the Hartford HealthCare system. Users can search by physician name, specialty, location or by hospital affiliation to find a doctor. The app is available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) or Android devices. Search for "DocFinderNE" on the AppStore or on Google play.

 

New Physician Reception Welcomes 36 To Active Staff

The third annual new physician reception was held Oct. 24 at The Hartford Club. Seventy-two people registered for this event, including 36 new physicians who received a framed certificate welcoming them to the active staff and a copy of the book The Healing Triangle. This event was coordinated by Physician Relations. Speakers included President & CEO Jeffrey Flaks, Dr. Jeffry Nestler, president of the Medical Staff, and Dr. Stuart Markowitz, chief medical officer.

 

Gain Sharing Program Implemented for HH Employees

Hartford Hospital has instituted an Employee Gain Sharing Program for FY13. If at the end of the fiscal year, HH achieves an operating margin of 5.1%, all eligible full-time employees will receive an incentive payment of $350. If the operating margin reaches 5.3% and HH achieves a score of 80% on HCAHPS "Likely to recommend the hospital," the incentive payment will be $650.

 

State of the System Meeting Held Friday

More than 400 people attended the annual State of the System event at the Hartford Hilton on Oct. 26. Hartford HealthCare president and CEO Elliot Joseph discussed the system accomplishments for FY 2012 and the challenges we face gong forward. The guest speaker was John J. Nance, author and ABC news commentator, who discussed high-reliability and high-risk organizations.

 

Dean Frank Torti Discusses "Our Future Together"

TortiDr. Frank Torti, executive vice president for health affairs at the UConn Health Center and dean of the UConn School of Medicine, spoke at Hartford Hospital on Oct. 18. His presentation was called "Our Future Together." He recognized the outstanding work done at Hartford Hospital in the areas of clinical care, education, research and innovation. He described a new beginning for the relationship between Hartford Hospital and the University and the enormous opportunities that exist for collaboration.

Dr. Torti said he appreciates the vital role that Hartford Hospital and its Medical Staff have played in the education of students, residents and fellows and spoke to the changing demands on educators, and the changing regulations from the accrediting organizations. But he is secure in our commitment to the programs we are currently engaged in and open to talking about expansion into areas where we have additional expertise. He invited our leadership to participate in the strategic planning soon to be undertaken by the University Health Center and he committed to ongoing dialogue with us building on the discussions from that visit. We look forward beginning on that journey.

 

New Employee Health & Wellness Center Open in MOB

There was a big crowd for a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on Oct. 23 at the first Hartford HealthCare Employee Health & Wellness Center, located in the Medical Office Building at 85 Seymour Street in the former Bank of America location. The primary care practice will be operated by Hartford Medical Group and staffed by a full-time physician, as well as a nurse and other clinical professionals. Staggered hours of operation are designed to accommodate several shifts. Walk-in service and same-day appointments are available for treatment of minor injuries or illnesses. Care is available to any Hartford HealthCare employee regardless of insurance coverage, and to adult family members who are covered under an HHC plan.

Excellence

President Flaks Honored With Conference of Churches Catalyst Award

Jeffrey Flaks, president and CEO, was honored with a "Catalyst Award" from the Conference of Churches at their community transformation evening called "From Water to Wine," on Oct. 25.

 

Dr. Lenworth Jacobs Presents Prestigious Wade Lecture at Weill Cornell

Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, Jr., chief academic officer, vice president of Academic Affairs and director of the Trauma Program, presented the 39th Annual Preston A. Wade Visiting Professor Lectureship on May 7 at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. The lecture was entitled “Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM): Innovative Strategies for Trauma Surgical Education.” Dr. Jacobs has made important contributions to the surgery of trauma, and is the founder of the Advanced Trauma Operative Management Course (ATOM), an innovative method of training surgeons in the management and repair of penetrating injuries. ATOM is available at 39 sites nationally and internationally, and more than 300 surgeons have been fully trained as ATOM instructors.

Dr. Preston Wade was a leading trauma surgeon and pioneer in accident prevention. He treated many of the burn victims of the Hindenberg disaster, designed the emergency room at New York Hospital, and was instrumental in convincing Congress to pass a law requiring the mandatory installment of seatbelts in cars. He died in 1982.

 

Dr. Jacobs’ Presentation Provides Glimpse into Future of Medical Education

More than 50 members of Hartford Hospital’s honorary and retired medical staff were given a glimpse into the future of medical education in a thought-provoking presentation by Dr. Lenworth Jacobs on Oct. 19. Dr. Jacobs’ talk focused on our vision to create an Academic Zone on the hospital’s north campus, anchored by our Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI), which has grown rapidly over the past two years. CESI is vital to our desire to elevate Academics and Research to national prominence and become a destination center for training and education, attracting the best and brightest from around the world. The vision also calls for establishing partnerships with medical, educational and research industries.

Earlier, Dr. Stacy Nerenstone, hematologist/oncologist and vice president of the medical staff, provided the gathering with an update on the Medical Staff, including new additions. President and CEO Jeff Flaks then brought the guests up to date on happenings at Hartford Hospital as well as recent achievements. These annual luncheons, hosted by Fund Development, provide our former physicians with an opportunity to stay in touch with each other and learn more about innovative medical advances taking place in many areas at Hartford Hospital.

 

Dr. Patricia Sheiner's Presentation Highlights "Focus on Health" Luncheon

Thanks to an engaging and lively presentation by Dr. Patricia Sheiner, director of Transplantation, on Oct. 16, nearly 50 donors and other friends of Hartford Hospital learned about the ongoing transformation of the hospital’s Transplant Program. Dr. Sheiner traced the history of the program and provided guests with a detailed description of several recent transplants that featured a multidisciplinary approach by the Medical Staff. Her presentation generated a host of questions among the guests related to the excellence of the program and its future direction. In addition, President and CEO Jeff Flaks provided the gathering with an update of happenings at Hartford Hospital as well as recent achievements.

These "Focus on Health" luncheons, sponsored by the Fund Development Department, provide an opportunity to showcase members of our medical staff and the innovative medical advances taking place in many areas at Hartford Hospital.

 

Dr. Lincoln Abbott Presents At NorthEast Cerebrovascular Consortium

Dr. Lincoln Abbott, co-medical director of the Stroke Center, presented a lecture entitled “Impact of traditions of care on acute ischemic stroke” at the 2012 NorthEast Cerebrovascular Consortium in October.

 

Dr. Susan Dufel Receives ABEM Award

Dr. Susan Dufel, emergency medicine, received an award at the American Board of Emergency Medicine meeting in Chicago on Friday (Oct. 26), recognizing her for 25 years as an examiner.

 

Dr. Alan Solinsky Featured in National Ophthalmic Journal

Dr. Alan Solinsky, medical director of Solinsky EyeCare in West Hartford, was featured in a story in the journal Administrative Eyecare (from the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators), called "Focus on a Practice: Mitzvah Medicine."

Operational Update

Medical Executive Committee Approves Policy Updates

The Medical Executive Committee has approved three policy updates and one new policy. They are posted on the Medical Staff Office website. The following policies were updated:
1.) PICC Policy (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) and Midline Policy
2.) Integration of Services and Communication Between Outpatient Ambulatory
3.) Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) and Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome (HHS) Protocol
4.) Conscientious Practice in Medical Futility Disputes (NEW POLICY)

 

HIM Audit Improvements Continue

We continue to audit and show significant improvement in our use of abbreviations, dating and timing of notes, H&P reassessments and Brief Op Note completion. Abbreviation rate compliance is at 74% with a target of 90% and Brief Op Note completion rate was 88% in September. We need your continued attention to these areas and in particular to the dating and timing of Progress Notes. Manish Tandon is working on an electronic Brief Op Note that will facilitate compliance in the coming months. We are beginning to add focused reviews in addition to our global audits so that we can return more specific data to the Chiefs and to individual physicians to allow us to better guide our educational initiatives. Thank you for your continued focus.

 

Welcome Dr. Heather King, Breast Surgeon

KingHartford Specialists and Hartford Hospital are happy to welcome Dr. Heather King, breast surgeon. Dr. King comes to us from the Women and Infants Hospital/Brown University in Providence, RI, where she completed a fellowship in breast surgery. She completed internships in general surgery at Saint Raphael's Hospital in New Haven, CT, and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. She did her residency in general surgery at Geisinger Medical Center where she was the Chief Resident of the Year in 2011.

 

Innovative and Complex Care

7th Annual Interdisciplinary Transplant Symposium

Nov. 1

Heublein Hall

The 7th Annual Hartford Hospital Interdisciplinary Transplant Symposium will be held Thursday, Nov. 1, from 7:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Heublein Hall. The event provides an opportunity for experts in the fields of kidney, liver and heart transplantation to present cutting-edge information to individuals working with transplant recipients and living donors. It also provides an opportunity for individuals interested in transplantation to learn more about this dynamic field.

Dr. Patricia Sheiner, director of the transplant program, will deliver the welcome and opening remarks. Making presentations will be: Dr. Jeffrey Walden, Clinical Cardiology; Dr. Pavlos Papasavas, director of Surgical Research; Dr. Michael Einstein, hepatologist; Dr. Jack Ross, director of Infectious Diseases; and Dr. Anne Lally, surgical director of Kidney Transplant.

Fees: HHC employees: $25; Non-HHC employees: $50; Students: $15. Registration is required; go to www.harthosp.org/TransplantSymposium. For more information, contact Janet Linden at 860-972-9953 or Jlinden@harthosp.org.

 

Diversity Fair Held To Improved Care for Our Most Vulnerable Patients

There was a diversity fair at the IOL on Oct. 2, titled: “Compassionate Care for Our Most Vulnerable Patients.” Agencies represented the frail elderly (the patient with Alzheimer’s Disease), LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), homeless, destitute returning veterans, culturally unique, financially disadvantaged, deaf and patients with bariatric needs.

President Jeff Flaks and Mayor Pedro E. Segarra began the day with welcoming remarks at a breakfast for agencies leaders, clinical leaders and administrators. During the breakfast, Dr. Harold Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief at the IOL, facilitated a dialogue to help identify ways the vulnerable patient’s experience could be improved. Then agency representatives met with staff to replace misconceptions with a heighten awareness and sensitivity to the challenges faced by patients in these special populations.

More than 100 staff members attended the fair representing psychiatry, cardiology, woman’s health, medicine, orthopedics, and pastoral care along with student nurses and psychiatric residents. A video titled “Compassion Fatigue Prevention & Resiliency: Fitness for the Frontline” was also shown and very well attended by staff.

 

Research and Academics

Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center Hosts Pancreatic Cancer Symposium

Nov. 1

Farmington Marriott

The Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center is presenting Hartford Hospital's Pancreatic Cancer Symposium on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Featured speakers are: Dr. Michael Golioto, gastroenterology; Dr. Michael Karasik, gastroenterology; Dr. Saverio Ligato, pathology; Dr. Michael O’Loughlin, radiology; Dr. Ramon Jimenez, surgical oncology; and Dr. Timothy Hong, hematology/oncology.

This event will be held at the Farmington Marriott and is open to all health care providers to earn CME/CEU credits. To register for this event, go to harthosp.org/event/796.

 

Acclaimed Neuro-oncologist Presents Grand Rounds and Symposium for Brain Tumor Patients

Nov. 2

Heublein Hall

Dr. Susan Pannullo, internationally acclaimed neuro-oncologist from New York Presbyterian Hospital, will present updates on new therapies at the 6th Annual Fred Cohen Symposium for brain tumor patients and their families, "Living with a Brain Tumor, Keeping Hope Alive," on Friday, Nov. 2, in Heublein Hall. Members of the Hartford Hospital staff will discuss nutrition, coping, communication, and fitness strategies. Patients and family members are encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided. Registration is required. Please call the Health Referral Services at 860-545-1888 or go to hartfordhospital.org, and click on News/Events/Classes.

Dr. Pannullo will also present Medical Grand Rounds that morning at 7 a.m. in the Taylor Conference Room, on the topic of “Challenges in the Treatment of Brain Cancer." 

 

Four Emergency Physicians Present at National Scientific Assembly

At the Scientific Assembly of the American College of Emergency Physicians in Denver Oct. 8-11, Dr. Michael Drescher, associate chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Frances Russell (resident), Dr. David Pepper, director of Emergency Psychiatric Services, and APRN Maryanne Pappas presented an abstract entitled: Can emergency medicine nurse practitioners and physician assistants predict disposition of psychiatric patients based on a brief medical evaluation? The study was funded by a Hartford Hospital Medical Staff Small Grant.

Also at that meeting, emergency medicine physicians Dr. Seth Lotterman and Dr. Jeremy Fried presented lectures at the New Speakers Forum.

Care Coordination

Update on Cancer Center Institute Model for Coordinated Care

Guided by input from physician focus groups late last year, we have been actively developing an institute model for care in the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center. The guiding principles of this model are coordinated care, patient and provider satisfaction, growth and cost effective care. A Cancer Institute Operations Committee was formed and meets monthly to continue to move the Cancer Institute towards its vision of becoming the premier New England provider of innovative and complex cancer care. There have been several accomplishments to date, including:

• Creation of nine multidisciplinary physician-led program councils that meet monthly and focus on quality metrics
• Disease specific cancer conferences that provide multidisciplinary treatment planning and communicate with the referring/primary physician
• Improved navigation, with five nurse navigators who contact newly diagnosed patients
• Formation of a quality of life team that integrates patient support services and assessment
• Implementation of tools to improve coordination of care issues caused by separate IT systems, including patient and reference guides, wellness assessments and a trigger tool to asses patients’ need for support services

During the next year, the Cancer Institute will continue to refine this model, and the Transplant Institute and the Tallwood Institute for Kidney and Urology will be implemented.

 

Life After Breast Cancer: Challenge and Transformation

October 30

Pond House Cafe, West Hartford

The Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center is presenting a free educational program called Life After Breast Cancer: Challenge and Transformation, on Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Pond House Café at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. Guest speaker will be Hester Hill Schnipper, chief of Oncology Social Work at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an experienced social worker and breast cancer survivor, and author of After Breast Cancer: A Common-Sense Guide to Life After Treatment. Registration is required: call our Health Referral Service at 860-545-1888. For more information, contact Karen Weingrod at 860-545-1018.

 

Healthy Living With Diabetes Symposium

November 3

Heublein Hall

Diabetes LifeCare invites you to celebrate National Diabetes Month at its annual free symposium on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in Heublein Hall. Guest speaker is Dr. Edward Salerno. Chef Chris Prosperi from Prosperi of Metro Bis will create savory autumn foods. Registration is required; go to www.harthosp.org (click news/events) or call Beth Caffrey at 860-545-1941.

 

6th Annual IBD Symposium

November 3

CCMC

The 6th Annual IBD Symposium on Saturday, Nov. 3 is to educate children with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and their families about these disorders and their treatments. It will be held from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Conference Rooms C&D. The symposium is free, but registration is required. To register, contact Petra Amrein at 860-545-8056 or pamrein@connecticutchildrens.org.

 

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: The Changing Landscape

November 5

Aziago's Restaurant, Southington

The Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are presenting this free patient education program on Monday, Nov. 5, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Aziago’s Restaurant, 166 Queen Street, Southington. Presented by Dr. Jeffrey Kamradt from Oncology Associates. Complimentary dinner will be served. Please contact Jennifer McGarry at 203-427-2046 to register for this free program. Pre-registration is required by Friday, Nov. 2. Space is limited.

 

Symposium on Improving Care for Hospitalized Older Adults

November 9

Heublein Hall

There will be a symposium on Improving Care for Hospitalized Older Adults on Friday, Nov. 9 from 7:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m. in Heublein Hall. This is open to nurses, physicians, administrators, and other health care professionals who design, implement, or oversee the care of older adults. Fee is $40. It is presented by the Acute Care Geriatric Nursing Collaborative. Registration is required by Nov. 2. Contact Carolann Schwartz at CSCHWAR@HARTHOSP.ORG or call 860-545-7043.

 

Seminar on Arthritis of the Hip and Knee

December 11

Suffield Senior Center

Hartford Hospital is presenting a free educational seminar called "How to Effectively Treat Arthritis of the Hip and Knee" on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. at the Suffield Senior Center. Speaker will be Dr. Durgesh Nagarkatti, a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in hip and knee joint replacement surgery. For more information or to register, contact Margaret Julian at 860-545-0034, or email mjulian@harthosp.org.

 
HH In the News

More HIV-Positive Patients Receive Organ Transplants

The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 11

Hospitals are increasingly willing to transplant vital and scarce organs into people who have HIV, a once-unthinkable step now made possible with drug regimens that are helping such patients live longer. Hartford Hospital in Connecticut rewrote its protocols earlier this year to enable the first heart transplant there on an HIV-positive patient. Previously, HIV infection was listed as a bar to a heart transplant along with active substance abuse, severe psychiatric disease and other conditions. Under the new protocol, someone with HIV must show they have taken their anti-retrovirals for at least a year and have virtually undetectable viral loads. "There is a scarcity of donor hearts, and we want to make sure every patient will survive," says Detlef Wencker, director of heart-failure services and cardiac transplantation. Hartford has done one such heart transplant so far.

 

Connecticut Expert Joins “My Shopping Addiction” on Oxygen Network

New Haven Register, Oct. 13

There’s a new Oxygen cable channel show “My Shopping Addiction,” premiering Monday with a Connecticut expert featured prominently. Dr. David Tolin said while everyone must buy things and it can be pleasurable, compulsive shoppers exhibit bad judgment and an inability to defer gratification. These are “people who get so addicted to the high of shopping, the thrill of purchasing something, that they kind of lose sight of their long-term goals ... and what’s good and bad for them,” he said in a conference call last week. Tolin, a clinical psychologist, director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at The Institute of Living in Hartford and an adjunct professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, said a “wake-up call” is the first thing on the agenda. An expert on anxiety and compulsive disorders, Tolin said compulsive shopping is underrepresented at his Hartford clinic, since it’s a little insidious. “Compulsive shoppers ... get into a level of denial that makes them much less likely to acknowledge that they have a problem and say, ‘I really gotta go get help for this.’”

 

Hartford Hospital Facing Drug Shortage

New Haven Register, Oct. 15

At least one Connecticut hospital is having to scramble to fill some of its pharmaceutical needs after a Mass.-based compounding pharmacy agreed to a voluntary, temporary shutdown that resulted from an ongoing scandal involving fungal meningitis cases contracted from steroid shots. Hartford Hospital is dealing with a shortage of certain drugs and medical solutions after Ameridose LLC agreed to temporarily suspend operations because of its ties to the New England Compounding Center. Mike Rubino, director of pharmacy for Hartford Hospital, said he has been assured Ameridose expects to reopen within a week or two. Hartford Hospital gets certain types of pharmaceuticals and surgical solutions from Ameridose. Specifically, the hospital is scrambling to get solutions used in kidney treatments, as well as those used for cardiac patients because of the high volume of procedures done in those areas. “It’s a little challenging right now, but as long as they’re not closed for more than a week or two, we should be OK,” Rubino said. “If it’s going to be longer than that, we may have to make some different arrangements.” In the short term, Rubino said the hospital can use its own staff to produce some of the drugs and solutions.

 

Parents, doctors tell Healthcare Advocate: Coverage denied for children needing mental health care

CT Mirror, Oct. 18

Parents and psychiatrists talked about the shortage of mental health hospital beds for children because of high demand. They also complained about the lack of a treatment facility in Connecticut for people with eating disorders. Dr. Mirela Loftus, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Institute of Living in Hartford, described a divorced mother struggling to get treatment for her 16-year-old daughter who has schizo-affective disorder. The teenager began having hallucinations and delusional thoughts and was hospitalized three times.

 

Specialized Technology Key to Improving Efficiency, Reducing Costs, Accommodating Rising OR case loads

Virtual Strategy Magazine, Oct. 16

Surgical Information Systems ('SIS'), a leader in perioperative information systems, today released the results of a nationwide survey of anesthesiologists. The survey shows that moving to an electronic anesthesia record supports the goal of delivering high quality care at lower costs. "As OR caseloads continue to rise, technology will become even more essential to our ability to manage throughput and reduce costs," says Marc Paradis, MD, Department of Anesthesiology. "Anesthesia-specific information solutions provide clinicians with the mobility and analytical tools needed to streamline the documentation process and improve workflow, allowing us to focus our attention on providing better patient care."

 

Physicians' group protests Hartford Hospital's use of live pigs in trauma training

The Register Citizen (Litchfield County), Oct. 24

A national non-profit physician’s group, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine are protesting outside of Hartford Hospital on Oct. 24 to decry the use of live pigs in the hospital’s trauma training course. A spokeswoman for the hospital, who “for safety reasons,” didn't want an individual from the hospital quoted in the story, wrote in a press release, “We recognize that there are strong opinions on both sides of this issue, but the fact is that the scientific and medical knowledge developed though biomedical research and training has saved countless lives, has alleviated great pain and suffering, and has improved both animal and human health. Researchers at Hartford Hospital have always and will always insist on the humane and ethical treatment of all animals...” According to a press release from the protest group, protestors are carrying signs reading, “End Deadly Pig Labs,” “Using Pigs to Teach Human Medicine?” and “Hartford Hospital: Animal Cruelty Doesn’t Save Lives,” directing Hartford residents to the website HartfordDeservesBetter.org.

 

Where to Get a Breast Examination in Avon

Avon Patch, Oct. 16

Studies have shown that early detection of breast cancer improves the chances of a cure. That in itself is the most important reason to make an appointment today for a breast exam or mammogram. Here's where you can go for mammograms and breast exams in Avon:
• Hartford Hospital Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center, 80 Fisher Dr

Jefferson Radiology, 100 Simsbury Rd.

In the HHC System

Hospital of Central Connecticut Breaks Ground For New Cancer Center

Hartford Courant, Oct. 23

The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain broke ground Wednesday on the construction of a new cancer center, which will consolidate the hospital's diagnostic and treatment services. Construction of the $40 million facility should take about one year. The center will unite and consolidate all cancer services under one roof. As it is now, cancer services are scattered throughout the hospital.

 

Walk With a Doc to focus on cold, flu prevention

New Britain Herald, Oct. 16

Hartford HealthCare’s next Walk with a Doc will be held Saturday at YMCA Camp Sloper in Southington. It will include a 30-minute walk and health tips from W. Richard McQueen Jr., M.D., internist, who will discuss prevention and treatment of colds and flu. The event host is Doctors of Central Connecticut. Doctors of Central Connecticut will also host a Dec. 15 walk at Walnut Hill Park in New Britain. There, Lorraine Binns-Grear, M.D., internist, will talk about smart eating during the holidays and beyond. In 2010, The Hospital of Central Connecticut was the first hospital in New England to join Just Walk: a program that hosts free community walks in area parks; these are walks led by doctors, who stress the benefits of exercise while providing health tips. Starting this year, Walk with a Doc is a Hartford HealthCare system-wide program.

 

Video Game Violence Worse Than Ever

News 8, wtnh.com, Oct. 18

The violence in video games these days are said to be more graphic and more dangerous than they used to be. "There's some data that shows kids who play violent games are more likely to act out violently. They're more likely to be in a physical fight," said Dr. Paul Weigle, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Natchaug Hospital. News 8 caught up with the Natchaug Hospital psychiatrist after his presentation at the Institute of Living in Hartford. From 1999 to 2009 surveys how video game and computer use among teens has jumped from 53 minutes a day to 162 minutes a day. He says use of video games alone is now five times what it was. "This has really changed the landscape or childhood and adolescence," Dr. Weigle said. He is equally concerned about social networking sites. He says teenagers post things on Facebook they wouldn't normally say in person and that has gotten them in trouble and has also damaged their self esteem.

Health Care News In the Region

Merger of Waterbury Hospitals Called Off

Hartford Courant, Oct. 13

Waterbury Hospital officials have abandoned their quest to merge with St. Mary's Hospital, concluding after more than a year of negotiations that it would be impossible to comply with the Catholic hospital's directives on birth control. "We confronted numerous challenges and obstacles that made it difficult for both of the hospitals in Waterbury to remain true to their respective missions," Darlene Stromstad, president and CEO of Waterbury Hospital, said in a statement. "The objectives that needed to be satisfied in order to proceed — particularly as they relate to our efforts to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church — were too many and too insurmountable to allow us to realize our goal. We've come to the conclusion it simply isn't going to work."

 

St. Francis, NE Urgent Care Open Simsbury Care Center

Hartford Business Journal, Oct. 16

St. Francis Hospital and New England Urgent Care are teaming up to open a new urgent care center in the Dorset Crossing development in Simsbury. The 10,000 square-foot site houses an urgent care center, medical offices, laboratory services, integrative medicine and behavioral health programs, and a community meeting room. This is Saint Francis' seventh access center complex; others are located in Avon, Bloomfield, East Hartford, Ellington, Enfield and Glastonbury. New England Urgent Care currently operates medical offices in West Hartford and Enfield where patients can receive treatment for all non-life threatening emergencies and urgencies, including x-rays and castings for fractures, medical and gynecologic problems, as well as routine medical needs, including physicals and vaccinations.

 

New Era Begins at the UConn Health Center with Demolition of Buildings

UConn Today, Oct. 16

They were supposed to be only temporary. But after surviving for more than four decades, the time is finally up for the tan metal buildings that have occupied the UConn Health Center’s lower research campus. They will soon be demolished to make way for the next era in the Health Center’s history when the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine inhabits the space. The Jackson Laboratory plans to break ground on the site in January with the completion of the project by the end of 2014. The 250,000 square foot research facility is expected to help Connecticut assume a position of global leadership in developing new medical treatments tailored to each patient’s unique genetic makeup.

 

Danbury Hospital sells in-house pharmacy to Walgreens

Hartford Business Journal, Oct. 16

Danbury Hospital said it has sold its on-site pharmacy to national retailer Walgreens as the hospital looks to cut ownership ties with a financial liability. The hospital, which is part of the Western Connecticut Health Network, said its Danbury Pharmacy unit has been financially challenged for some time, "lacking the volume and purchasing power of major national chains," according to a document filed with the state's Office of Healthcare Access. The hospital also said changes in payment plans, particularly with Medicaid and Hartford health insurer Aetna, have also had a negative impact on the pharmacy's financial viability.

Coming Events

Thursday, Nov. 1

7th Annual Hartford Hospital Interdisciplinary Transplant Symposium

7:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Heublein Hall

The event provides an opportunity for experts in the fields of kidney, liver and heart transplantation to present cutting-edge information to individuals working with transplant recipients and living donors. It also provides an opportunity for individuals interested in transplantation to learn more about this dynamic field. HHC Employees: $25; Non-HHC Employees: $50; Students: $15. Registration is required; go to www.harthosp.org/TransplantSymposium. For more information, contact Janet Linden at 860-972-9953 or Jlinden@harthosp.org.

 

Thursday, Nov. 1

Hartford Hospital Pancreatic Cancer Symposium

8 a.m.-2 p.m., Farmington Marriott

The Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center is presenting Hartford Hospital's Pancreatic Cancer Symposium on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. This event will be held at the Farmington Marriott and is open to all health care providers to earn CME/CEU credits. 

 

Friday, Nov. 2

6th Annual Fred Cohen Symposium for Brain Tumor Patients and Their Families

Heublein Hall

Dr. Susan Pannullo, internationally acclaimed neuro-oncologist from New York Presbyterian Hospital, will present updates on new therapies at the 6th Annual Fred Cohen Symposium for brain tumor patients and their families, "Living with a Brain Tumor, Keeping Hope Alive," on Friday, Nov. 2, in Heublein Hall. Dr. Pannullo will also present Medical Grand Rounds that morning at 7 a.m. in the Taylor Conference Room, on the topic of “Challenges in the Treatment of Brain Cancer." 

 

Thursday, Nov. 15

Medical Staff Annual Meeting

7 a.m. in Gilman Auditorium.

 

 

For more coming events, click here.

Hot Topics in Healthcare

Nurse-to-Physician Communications: Connecting for Safety

Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare (PSQH), Sept./Oct.

Health system reform has placed a significant focus on improved care coordination, which requires effective communication among health care providers. Unfortunately, ineffective communication between providers is commonplace. A Toronto study of healthcare professionals in the OR found that 30 percent of “procedurally relevant exchanges” involved communication failures such as the absence of a key team member during the exchange or transfer of inaccurate information. Disconnects in communication between health care providers have been clearly linked to adverse patient outcomes. A classic study of 13 ICUs across the country found that patients cared for by less collaborative nurses and physicians had a significantly higher mortality rate than those with providers who were more collaborative.

 

Hospitals Seeking to Hire Doctors who “Play Well With Others”

American Medical News, Oct. 23

Most hospital systems that have or are developing accountable care organizations say the new structure is affecting the way they hire physicians. Seventy-eight percent of 105 hiring executives said they wanted doctors who were team-oriented, 68% were looking for physicians who were motivated by quality incentives, and 65% sought doctors who were technologically savvy, according to a report released Oct. 2 by the Medicus Firm, a physician recruiter. They’re asking for the skills in part because hospitals don’t believe all their physicians have them: 58% said between zero and half their physician staff were a good fit for ACOs.

Voices Of Our Patients

Kudos to Dr. Aized Imtiaz, Hospitalist

I recently had to bring my Uncle, Father George Burnett in as we learned later was suffering delirium from a pain medication. I could not have been more pleased with all of the staff we had contact with, from the security guard, to the intake coordinator to the nurses and doctors in the Emergency Room. I was too distraught to remember their names, but I thank them from the bottom of my heart. 

Also, the new dress code in the Emergency Department is wonderful...they look like a million bucks!

Once on CB5, we found the staff once again to be wonderful. The nurses that I met, Lanetta, Victor and Maggie were caring and attentive...always available to answer my questions. Sharon in Discharge was also very helpful. 

I was especially impressed with Dr. Imtiaz.  He was down to earth and seemed genuinely interested in my Uncle's well being. 

I have written individual notes to the various departments and individuals, but wanted to make sure that you also were aware of our experience.

I wouldn't consider going anywhere else but Hartford Hospital.

Gratefully,
Mary Ann Vanderjagt

 

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.