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

In This Issue...

June 30, 2013 Edition

Wash In - Wash Out

Wash

Keep Our Patients Safe - who is NOT going to wash their hands today?

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HH Facts:

1998-Dr. Jeffrey Cohen performed the state's first hand-assisted laparascopic colectomy.


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Top News

Epic Chosen As EHR Solution

Hartford HealthCare has chosen Epic as its integrated electronic health record (EHR) solution.

Final negotiations are underway, and we expect a final contract by the end of August.

Independent physicians who choose to remain with their current platforms can do so. The Epic product includes a health information exchange capable of connecting all HHC physicians - even those on non-Epic systems.

We are working with Epic to complete the details of a program that would allow us to offer the Epic solution to all practitioners in the communities we serve. This will make it possible for us to seamlessly and securely exchange patient information and deliver the best coordinated care in the region. This community outreach program is expected to include financial as well as operational support. It will assist you in implementing an electronic health record or in converting from your present system to Epic.

Again, if you choose to stay with your current system, we will provide the ability to exchange some information via our health information exchange.

During the next few months, we will keep you apprised of our progress with the Epic contracting process. After the contract has been signed, we will reach out to you individually to discuss your plans and how we can work together to become a paperless organization.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please call:

  • Dr. Jonathan Velez, HHC's chief medical informatics officer, at 860-263-4168 (office), 719-310-2748 (cell) or Jonathan.Velez@HHCHealth.org; or
  • Dr. Rocco Orlando, HHC's senior vice president and chief medical officer, at 860-263-4155 (office), 860-306-2198 (cell) or Rocco.Orlando@HHCHealth.org, or
  • Dr. Luis Taveras, HHC's senior vice president and chief information officer, at 860-263-4170 (office), 973-879-6032 (cell) or Luis.Taveras@HHCHealth.org.

 

All of Hartford HealthCare to Have One E-Mail System - Microsoft Outlook

Through August, Hartford HealthCare will be transitioning to a single e-mail platform – Microsoft Outlook – to enable our system to communicate more efficiently and effectively. All HHC partners will be phased in to Outlook by August.

Addresses specific to each HHC partner (e.g. jdoe@harthosp.org) will be replaced with the following format: firstname.lastname@hhchealth.org.

Although it is a good idea to begin preparing for this change, please be assured that e-mail sent to your current address will continue to be delivered after the transition. Your current e-mail address will still get mail for six months.

Over the next few weeks, we will attempt to provide you with as much information and training as possible to ensure a smooth transition. For more information now, please visit our website" A New Outlook" and use your desktop user name and password to log in.

Here is some important information to consider as you get ready:

• Everything in your GroupWise mailbox will be moved to Microsoft Outlook

There will be a 60-hour weekend GroupWise blackout to make the conversion, from Friday, Aug. 2 at 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 5. Arrange for alternative means of communication during transition weekend such as sharing phone numbers or creating phone trees

• Print your GroupWise calendar before 5 p.m. on Aug. 2

• Organize your GroupWise mailbox now by deleting unnecessary messages and filing important ones in folders that will be easy to find in Outlook

• Move contacts you wish to keep into your GroupWise personal address book. Frequent contacts will not move from GroupWise to Outlook

• Delete duplicate contacts

• To be safe, stop scheduling recurring appointments and end any recurrences by the end of July. Recurring appointments will be moved to your new Microsoft Outlook calendar. However, changes made to an appointment series in GroupWise may not transfer to Outlook

• Rules (such as vacation and auto-forward) will not move to Outlook, so be prepared to create new rules in the Outlook system.

• Employees of CLP will transition to Outlook but their e-mail addresses will maintain the unique e-mail identifier@clpct.com for competitive reasons.

Please look for more information as we get closer to the transition date. We pledge to keep you informed as these changes roll out and to seek your ideas and feedback as part of our H3W culture of continuous improvement.

 

SCM Orders Reconciliation Module to Go Live July 23; Training Required

On July 23, Hartford Hospital will go live with SCM Orders Reconciliation Module and Prescription Printing. Medication reconciliation is the responsibility of the provider.

Nursing will continue to enter Home Medications in Outpatient Medication Review. This NEW module will allow providers to view Home Medications & SCM Active Orders on one screen for reconciliation. The Discharge Reconciliation will replace the current process for the Discharge Medication List created in the SCM Discharge Instructions Notes.

The new ORM Orders Reconciliation Module will allow providers to complete an ELECTRONIC Medication Reconciliation upon admit and discharge.

Training is required to use this module. Classroom training (30 min.) will begin July 8 and continue for three weeks (0.5 CME). In addition, computer-based training will be available. The Classroom Training Schedule will be sent out to all offices, and no registration is required.

You may contact Cynthia Thompson at 860-250-7361 (clthomp@harthosp.org) to schedule training or additional classes.

 

Hand Hygiene - Buckle up for One and Up, and Make it a Habit!

Hand Hygiene has not yet become a habit (like the seatbelt) for all of our caregivers at Hartford Hospital, so we are taking our mission “One and Up!”

As of July 8, we will have a total of 100 hand hygiene accountability agents or observers to all inpatient units at Hartford Hospital.

• Every inpatient unit will be observed 2-3 times a day.

• Real time feedback will be given to the employee being observed.

• Failure to wash hands or use Purell per Hartford Hospital policy will result in a progressive disciplinary process that applies to all (Medical Staff included). The employee’s manager and the manager’s supervisor will be notified.

• Make it a habit! Help fellow employees, family members and visitors become part of our mission by reminding them to keep their hands clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: If I am using Purell as I leave a patient room and I go directly into the room next door do I have to Purell again?

Answer: NO if you have not touched anything on the way.

Question: What if I am carrying many items to a patient room; Do I have to put them down and Purell before I enter the room?

Answer: You may enter the room, put down your items and then Purell or wash your hands. ALL OBSERVERS WILL KNOW THIS!

Question: Do I have to use Purell or wash my hands before and after glove use?

Answer: Yes and yes. Hand hygiene must be performed every time before and after glove use.

Question: Is it OK to carry soiled linen to the laundry hamper, leave the room and cross the hall with my gloves on and dirty linen in my hands?

Answer: Yes, as soon as you deposit the linen in the laundry hamper, remove gloves and use Purell.

 

Hartford Consensus II to Convene July 11

On April 2, representatives from public safety organizations including law enforcement, fire/rescue, prehospital care, and trauma care and the military convened in Hartford to develop consensus regarding strategies to increase survivability in mass casualty shootings. They developed a document known as the Hartford Consensus, which insists that some form of basic "tactical" medical training is essential for all law enforcement officers, who should play a key role as a bridge between law enforcement and rescue response.

Central to the finding of the Hartford Consensus is the principle that the interval from wounding to effective hemorrhage control can be minimized by trained law enforcement officers, and that it provides an opportunity to improve survival outcomes for victims of mass shootings.

The consensus statement was authored by a group led by Dr. Lenworth Jacobs on behalf of the Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Mass Casualty Shooting Events.

A Hartford Consensus II meeting will be held here on July 11 to take the Hartford Consensus from concept to action.

There are four areas that need attention: policies and procedures, procurement of tourniquets and hemostatic dressings, education, and evaluation.

A document will be prepared at the meeting, and will be given to each participant and then shared with each constituent's organization.

 

Obituary: Dr. James Given, Anesthesiologist at HH for 37 years

Dr. James "Bart" Given III, 86, passed away on June 18 at Seabury Health Center in Bloomfield. We had worked at Hartford Hospital for 37 years before his retirement in 1990. He was a member of our honorary staff.

He received his medical degree at Cornell University Medical college in New York City in 1950. Following a surgical internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, Dr. Given served in the Korean War for the United States Army Medical Corps and was honorably discharged in 1953 as a first lieutenant.

He was a resident in anesthesiology at Hartford Hospital from 1953 to 1955 and served on the staff there until his retirement in 1990. He was a member of several anesthesiology societies and was president of the New England Society in 1968 and 1969.

Dr. Given was an avid golfer and also enjoyed sailing and hiking. He was a voracious reader and a friend to all dogs. Above all,he will be remembered by his friends and family, and by all who knew him, as a perfect gentleman.

He is survived by his wife Sarah, two sons, James B. Given IV of New Suffolk and Peter B. Given of Greenport; his stepsons, Dr. William G. Pinney of Alexandria, Va., and D. Rees Pinney of Hartford, six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Dr. Given was predeceased by his first wife, Shirley (Baxter) Given; his son Douglas Given; his daughter, Elisabeth Given; and his sister, Joan Kirsch.

Read the obituary here.

Excellence

Doctors From Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute Present at National AUA Conference

Several Hartford Hospital doctors from the the Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute made presentations at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting in San Diego May 4-8.

• Dr. Steven Shichman shared his expertise in the HALS technique for (Hand- Assisted Laparoscopy) for nephrectomies and partial nephrectomies, which he pioneered here at Hartford Hospital. This training course is the longest running postgraduate course sponsored by the American Urological Association. He was asked in June, along with Dr. Ryan Dorin, to provide similar training at Baylor University in Houston, Texas.

Drs. Steven Shichman and Joseph Wagner moderated a urologic surgery training session for 2,000 participants.

Drs. Joseph Wagner and Ryan Dorin presented on: " Intracorporeal Robotic Bladder Augmentation," " The results of a study on the impact of physician pathology lab ownership on utilization," and "Detection and Screening for Prostate Cancer."

• Drs. Anoop Meraney, Ryan Dorin and Steven Shichman presented on "A validated perceptual ability test to predict performance on the da Vinci Skills Simulator for Robotic Naïve Participants."

Drs. Anoop Meraney, Ryan Dorin, Stuart Kesler and Steven Shichman presented on predictors of growth rate for renal masses on active surveillance.

Dr. James Graydon presented a randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled study comparing the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to room air in post-prostatectomy men undergoing penile rehabilitation.

 

Doctors From Emergency Medicine Present At Annual Meeting of Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

The following emergency medicine physicians made presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine held in Atlanta, GA, in May.

Dr. Seth Lotterman participated, as a faculty discussant, in the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors Clinical Pathologic Case Conference competition.

Dr. Kenneth Robinson, medical director and program director of Lifestar, presented a lecture titled, “Emergency Department Operations, an Evidenced Based Review.” He was also the course director for the two-day Senior Leadership Faculty Forum offered there.

Drs. Kenneth Robinson and Oli Francis presented an abstract titled, “Correlation of Emergency Department Operational Factors with the Percent of Patients Who Leave the Emergency Department without Being Seen and Average Length of Stray of Admitted Patients.”

Drs. Jeremy Fried and Veronica Tucker presented a case during the Visual Diagnosis session.

Dr. Joao Delgado presented the following abstract: " Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes of an Accelerated Diagnostic Protocol Versus 23-Hour Observation for Chest Pain. " Gupta A, Smally AJ, Gowd BMP, Delgado JD, Lundbye JB.

 

IOL Awards Ceremony Held June 11

The Institute of Living held its annual Awards and Recognition Day Ceremony on June 11 in the Commons Building. Awards presented were:

Arne Welhaven Memorial Award - Irene Wawrzyniak, APRN, Consultation Liaison Psychiatry

Linda J. Stacy Service Excellence Awards: Claribel Diaz-Burgos, Admin Associate II, Geriatric Outpatient; Faye Jenkins, Unit Leader, Geriatrics - Institute Psychiatric Group; Migdalia Matos, Admin Associate II, Geriatric Psychiatry; AnnMarie T. Martin, Admin Associate II, Memory Disorder Center

Psychiatrist-in-Chief’s Award: Joseph M. Nesta, M.D., IOL Medical Services Unit/Hartford Medical Group

Ned Graffagnino, M.D. Honorary Award: Nelis Bido-Jimenez, BA, Case Worker, Child & Adolescent

Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing: Raymond Lilburn, RN, Donnelly 3-North

Dedicated to Caring Awards:

  • Semonea Virgo, PCA, Donnelly 2-North;
  • Rowena Mullings, PAA, Donnelly 2-South;
  • Ida Fisher, PT, Donnelly 3-South
  • Linda Richards/June Long Award:
  • Greg Cukrowski, RN, Donnelly 3-North;
  • Elmedina Efendic, RN, Donnelly 3- North;
  • Susan Olander, RN, Donnelly 1-North;
  • Laurie Lombardo, RN, Donnelly 3-South

Doris Armstrong Award: Ellen W. Blair, APRN, NEA, BC, Director of Nursing, IOL/Hartford Hospital

Connecticut Association of Private Special Education Facilities Golden Apple Award:

  • Catherine Amodio, M.Ed., Master Teacher, Special Education Grace S. Webb School, Hartford;
  • Dawn Benson, LCSW, School Clinician, Grace S. Webb School, Hartford;
  • Jill DeVane, M.Ed., Education Coordinator, Grace S. Webb School, Hartford;
  • Claudia Stetson, MSW, Instructional Assistant, Grace S. Webb School, Hartford;
  • Kelsey Hale, BA, Instructional Assistant, Webb School, Cheshire;
  • Kelly Loffredo, BA, Instructional Assistant, Webb School, Cheshire

Annie Goodrich Distinguished Nurse Leadership Award: Barbara Wolfe, Ph.D., APRN, CS, FAAN, Associate Dean for Research and professor at Boston College, William F. Connell School of Nursing

 

Department of Surgery Awards To Be Presented Sept. 18

The Department of Surgery and Surgical Collaborative Management Team will be hosting their annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 18, 2-4 p.m., in Hartford Hospital's Special Dining Room.

The event was rescheduled from May 30, following the death of Dr. Mark Sebastian, director of the Trauma Service, on May 28.

The event recognizes faculty and staff for outstanding professional achievements and activities that improve the quality and safety of patient care. For more information, contact Erika Perricone, ext. 5-4670.

Innovative and Complex Care

Dr. Joel Sorosky Presents at American College of Ob-Gyn Annual Meeting in New Orleans

Dr. Joel Sorosky made three presentations at the Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in New Orleans, Louisiana, May 4-8. Dr. Sorosky spoke on "Management of Endometrial Hyperplasia," "Management of Abnormal Cervical Cytology," and "Techniques in Abdominal Wound Closure, an Interactive Video Session."

Research and Academics

Four Ob-Gyns Receive Teaching Excellence Awards at UConn

Four of the six teaching awards at the graduation ceremony of the UConn Residency Program in Obstetrics and Gynecology on June 20 were bestowed upon Hartford Hospital physicians.

Drs. Peter Beller, director of Women's Ambulatory Health Services; Neville Graham, site director of Ob-Gyn resident education; Odin Kuiper, and Aaron Shafer were recognized for their excellence in resident education.

 

Dr. Meghan Herbst Receives National Faculty Teaching Award from ACEP

Dr. Meghan Herbst has been selected as one of seven recipients of a National Faculty Teaching Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians. She will receive the award at ACEP's Scientific Assembly in Seattle in October.

 

Dr. Alise Frallicciardi Recognized For Outstanding Elective "Preparing For Internship"

Dr. Alise Frallicciardi was recently recognized for the outstanding elective that she developed and presented to the fourth year medical students titled, “Preparing for Internship”.

This two-week course involved didactics, simulation sessions and time in the procedure lab. Dr. Frallicciardi’s elective received excellent evaluations from all of the students.

 

Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor Has Abstract Accepted for Presentation at National Toxicology Conference

Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor had an abstract titled "Complications of intentional denture cleanser tablet ingestion" accepted for presentation at the upcoming meeting of the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology to be held in Atlanta, GA in September.

Chief's Corner

Welcome To "Chief's Corner"

We recognize the need for sharing information about activities throughout the hospital more widely with our Medical Staff.

Chief's Corner will bring you highlights of activities of interest, which will be authored by our Department Chiefs under my direction. Should you have any comments or suggestions along the way, please share them with us.

- Dr. Stuart Markowitz, Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

 

The Physician Role in Raising HCAHPS

FoxmanDr. Stuart Markowitz, Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), the standardized survey tool used to measure the patient’s perception of the service they receive during hospitalization, has moved to become a key pay for performance criteria. It is reflected in several high profile public reported forums such as Consumer Reports.

CMS’s value-based purchasing program depends in part on performance measures that are part of the HCAHPS surveys. All too often we argue that the questions asked are not true measures of the quality of our services. While they indeed reflect the patient’s impressions about the service they received during their admission, they also reflect the patient’s perception of quality.

Many of those questions link directly to quality, including for example the patient’s understanding of discharge instructions and medications. Others like indirectly to quality and safety such as how well we communicate. We need to focus on those areas where we have opportunity for improvement.

Physicians benefit from increasing HCAHPS scores and patient satisfaction in many ways. It improves their reputation in their specialty and amongst other providers and potential patients. This could lead to increased referrals.

When patients experience better communication with the health care team, there will be better understanding of their care plan and greater commitment to their post acute management program. This greater clarity will lead to better patient outcomes and fewer patient to physician contacts to clarify their concerns. Courtesy, respect, availability and clear communication are what our patients are seeking from their medical team in order to report high satisfaction scores on follow up surveys.

So how can we as physicians help in our goal to provide consistent outstanding service to our patients?

Quint Studor , the keynote speaker at our Hamilton Retreat this past year is an expert in this area and has the following recommendations:

  • Upon admission: Manage patient expectations. Be sure to tell the patient you expect them to receive excellent care and discuss any expectations you have for them during their stay. Be sure to let them know what to do if they perceive things are not going well: speak with the nursing and medical staff to address any and all issues as soon as they become apparent.
  • Appropriate dress with your ID badge is important at all times.
  • During individual encounters: Be sure you communicate with the nursing team every time you round on the patient and that you discuss changes in the care plan, changes in expectations for discharge, and ask about any patient concerns that have been mentioned.
  • Show respect by knocking before entering and acknowledge everyone in the room when you enter.
  • If there are visitors in the room, confirm with the patient if they want them present during your visit.
  • Be sure to answer the patient’s questions and ask if they have any additional questions or concerns before you leave. Speak in a way that conveys to the patient that you have understood what they have asked.
  • Always say thank you and ask if there is anything else you can do before you leave.
  • At discharge: Thank patients for choosing Hartford Hospital for their care. Be sure they understand any post-acute care plans and are free of any barriers to carrying through.

These all sound so simplistic as to lead one to doubt the effect they can have. But these are the very simple steps we can all take to impact not only the quality of care we provide but the patient’s perception of that quality as well.

As physicians and advanced practitioners we are in the unique position to improve quality, align perception with our actual performance, and demonstrate just how good we are by raising our HCAHPS scores.

Enhancing The Patient Experience

Voices of Our Patients: Kudos To Joint Center Staff

I had a total hip replacement at Hartford Hospital and I’m happy to say that from the time I entered the hospital until my discharge, the care I was given was totally professional and all that I could ask for. 

I want the staff in the Joint Center to know how much I appreciated all the help that they provided to me.

Anonymous

Operational Update

New Transfer Center Phone Number

The new phone number for the Hartford Hospital Patient Transfer Center is 860-972-1233.

Their motto: "One call solves it all."

The Transfer Center facilitates the transfer of trauma patients and other individuals with emergency medical conditions 24 hours a day. Non-emergency transfers are managed on a case-by-case basis.

 

New Issue of Clinical Integration Newsletter, Connected Care, Available Here First

In the new July 1 issue of Connected Care, the Clinical Integration newsletter for Hartford HealthCare, Dr. James Cardon, CEO of Integrated Care Partners and HHC chief integration officer, writes about how clinically integrate organizations around the country are proving successful. He mentions "older" integrated organizations including the very successful Cleveland and Mayo Clinics and Kaiser Permanente.

"Standardizing care, developing a health information exchange and improving and measuring quality are among the goals of Integrated Care Partners, which we are determined will lead the way in our market in clinical integration and in this new age of health care delivery," Dr. Cardon writes.

 

State Mandated CME Renewal Available Free To HH Doctors on Jubilant Learning Portal

State mandated CME for physician license renewal is available free on the Hartford Hospital Jubilant Learning Platform. You will need your Novell sign on information to access the portal. If you have forgotten your sign on, please call the HELP desk 55699 (outside: 860-545-5699).

To access Jubilant from the web, go to the Hartford Hospital page and click on the gold tab “Medical Professionals.” Click on “Learning Portal” from the drop down menu, and then click on the green tab “Learning Portal Login.”

From the home page of the intranet (inside HH), click on the Learning Portal for Medical Education and Training link. Once you’ve clicked on the link, use your Novell sign in, and the CME is under Physician License renewal CME.

Once you have passed the post-test, you will be awarded a printable CME certificate. Your CME will also be maintained and easily self-service accessed on the Learning Portal site, should you need a copy in the future.

Please note that your Risk Management required activities through MRM will provide your Risk Management CME.

Questions? Contact Maryanne Pappas at mpappas@harthosp.org

 

Dr. Courtland Lewis Presents at Legacy Society Luncheon

On June 20, Dr. Courtland Lewis, physician-in chief of the Musculoskeletal Institute and chief of Orthopedics, was the featured medical staff speaker at the annual luncheon of the 1854 Society, which recognizes those who have included Hartford Hospital in their estate plans.

Dr. Lewis spoke on how the institute will transform musculoskeletal care. Hospital president and CEO Jeff Flaks also gave an update on the hospital. This annual luncheon is important as it allows the hospital to keep this group of loyal supporters informed.

 

ColemanSave the Date: Dr. Eric Coleman to Talk About Safe Patient Handoffs

Dr. Eric A. Coleman, the nationally recognized director of the Care Transitions Program of the University of Colorado, will provide a special Department of Medicine Grand Rounds on Wednesday, July 24 at 8 a.m. in Gilman Auditorium. He will discuss what it takes to ensure high quality transitional care, with a goal of improving quality and safety during times of care “handoffs.”

This session should be attended by physicians, nurses, care coordinators, social workers, and all involved in safety and quality of care and patient care transitions.

Dr. Coleman is professor of Medicine and head of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Colorado at Denver. He is also the executive director of the Practice Change Fellows Program, designed to build leadership capacity among health care professionals who are responsible for geriatric programs and service lines.

Please hold the date and make every effort to attend. Breakfast will be provided. Further information regarding the specifics of the talk and break out sessions will be provided in the near future.

 

You Are Invited To The Second Annual ‘Chef to Farm’ Dinner July 12

You and your guest are invited to join the officers and other members of the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff for the 2nd Annual Hartford Hospital Medical Staff Max Restaurant Group “Chef to Farm” Dinner from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 12 at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury.

You’ll enjoy the freshest foods and produce in the sublime beauty of Rosedale Farms, one of the true treasures of the state. The evening will begin with a wine tasting reception with a guest winemaker; then we’ll head out for a tour of the farm; to see the fields and learn about the farm’s history, operations and products. The tour concludes in a tented area where tables dressed in white linen and candlelight offer a view of the al fresco kitchen.

Each dinner is cooked from scratch and showcases that day’s best produce. The ingredients are sourced daily from local farmers, ranchers and fishermen. The menu will vary depending on the day’s harvest and the inspiration of the chef. Prepare yourself for an incredible dining experience with the most local, fresh and flavorful foods available!

Cost is $115 per person. A suggested voluntary contribution of $10 will be collected at the event for Food Share.

To reserve your space: mail your check to the Medical Staff Office, Attn: Chef to Farm; or call 860.545.6167 to pay by credit card; or register online.

Click here for directions.

Space is limited. Please register early. There will be no assigned seating for this event. Attire: casual (we are on a farm!)

HH In the News

Rash of Data Breaches Strikes California Healthcare Companies

The Wall Street Journal, June 12

California healthcare companies have reported a rash of data breaches, exposing information that included the medical conditions and treatments of patients. The state’s hospitals, medical vendors and health insurers have reported at least eight breaches of customer data since the start of the year, according to records maintained by the state’s attorney general. It’s not known if that number is rising, as the state only began tracking data breaches last year. But many of the cases showed providers failed to take basic precautions to protect patient data, like encrypting health information stored on hardware. For example, in several cases patient records were stolen when healthcare workers left unencrypted laptops, containing patient data, in cars.

Luis Taveras, CIO of Hartford HealthCare in Hartford, Conn., says ensuring that devices are encrypted will reduce the the breaches. Mr. Taveras says numerous computers, potentially containing patient data, have been stolen from his organization. “But the key is that they have been non events because every one of those machines are encrypted,” making the data within unreadable, Mr. Taveras said.

Mr. Taveras says the healthcare industry is still going through a “maturity process” in establishing norms around IT security. “The silver lining in these cases is they make us more aware,” Mr. Taveras said. “And we have to be. The patients demand it and it’s our responsibility.”

 

Doctor Klimek Explains How To Protect Yourself From West Nile Virus

Fox CT

A Sacramento County man recently died from the West Nile Virus.

Dr. Joe Klimek, who specializes in infectious diseases at Hartford Hospital, talks about how to protect yourself from mosquitoes that can carry the virus.

Dr. Joseph J. Klimek is vice president of Physician Relations at Hartford Hospital. He also holds the position of professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Connecticut. He was instrumental in integrating the internal medicine residency at Hartford Hospital with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Among his many achievements, he developed the Integrative Medicine Program at Hartford Hospital, initiated Hartford Hospital’s formal Hospitalist Program to provide more coordinated inpatient care, initiated the hospital’s 24-hour patient transfer center, and began the Physician Relations Program for both the hospital and Hartford HealthCare.

 

The cost of having a baby; Advanced medical care delivers higher costs, but safer birthing options

Journal Inquirer, June 18

Birth rates in the United States may be falling - but the cost of having them certainly isn’t.

A woman who gave birth at Hartford Hospital in 1955 shows a charge of $163.30 on the patient bill issued by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Itemized charges were five days in the hospital at $17 per day, a $30 delivery room charge, $15 for anesthesia, $6.80 in laboratory fees, $4 for a service labeled “Rt. Spec Serv,” and $22.50 for the nursery. In today’s dollars, that would be $1,417.

The bill for a standard delivery today at Hartford Hospital would total $12,300 - in two major charges: the mother ($9,498) and the child ($2,802). Itemized charges include anesthesia, $144.35 (billed separately); labor and delivery, $1,728; ultrasound, $360; pharmacy, $12.20; medical supplies, $13.26; and obstetric accommodations, $1,842.

 

Hartford HealthCare Looks For Economic Hedges

Institutional Investor, July

The $800 million Hartford HealthCare endowment is looking to add to its economic hedges portfolio, with roughly $50 million allocations each to illiquid real estate and liquid natural resources.

The additions will be made over the next six months, with funds coming from rebalancing. The searches would be run on behalf of the over $2 billion HHC portfolio, which includes the endowment.

 

Improving Survival From Active Shooter Events: The Hartford Consensus

The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, June

An article on "Improving Survival From Active Shooter Events: The Hartford Consensus" was the top cover story in the June issue of The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. (www.jtrauma.com)

The consensus statement was authored by a group led by Dr. Lenworth Jacobs on behalf of the Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Mass Casualty Shooting Events.

A day-long conference on April l2 in Hartford obtained input from medical, law enforcement, fire/rescue, EMS first responders, and civilian experiences. Known as the Hartford Consensus Conference, the meeting produced a concept paper entitled "Improving Survival From Active Shooter Events." The document is designed to promote local, state, and national policies to improve survival in these horrific events. Its top recommendation was to promote early hemorrhage control as part of the law enforcement response.

 

Inside Sandy Hook: Learning To Heal

The Hartford Courant, June 28

On those nights when Amy DeLoughy's children can't sleep, haunted by memories of the massacre at their elementary school, or on those mornings when they can't face the daily routine, she calls in the ducks. Doctor ducks, military ducks, postal worker ducks, princess ducks, police ducks and, of course, white ducks with green ribbons — the symbol of solidarity and healing for Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The perfect size for fitting in an elementary school student's hand, a rubber duck is a goofy, colorful and unexpectedly comforting talisman for the hundreds of Sandy Hook students who lived through one of the worst elementary school massacres in U.S. history. Some students now have dozens. The ducks are a healthy distraction, a mascot and a metaphor for healing and new life, psychologists and child trauma experts say.

"It serves as a transitional object, something to help distract you from painful thoughts and memories," said Dr. Laura Saunders, a child psychologist at Hartford Hospital's Institute of Living. "And, at the same time, it gives you inspiration that there's something beyond what's going on right in front of you."

Although any Connecticut school would be wary of a distraction like the ducks, it's a needed diversion for people in Newtown, said Saunders, the child psychologist. "I really love the fact that this has become such a community-wide thing, that it gives people a sense of connection as well. It's a shared feeling of connection: We are not alone. That people are able to latch onto that symbolism of growth and change is really healthy and adaptive," Saunders said.

In the HHC System

Esty to Participate in Mental Health Forum Sponsored by Rushford

Cheshire Patch, June 19

Cheshire state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) will be among the panelists presenting at a public forum July 1 on mental health sponsored by the Meriden Healthy Youth Coalition and Rushford, a Hartford HealthCare partner.

This forum is part of the commitment of Hartford HealthCare affiliates to improve public understanding of mental health issues by holding open discussions on the topic throughout the region.

Psychiatrist Dr. J. Craig Allen, chief medical officer for Rushford, will be a panelist.

 

MidState Medical Center: What to Expect if You Need Stitches

WTNH, June 24

Dr. Walt Kupson of MidState Medical Center ( www.midstatemedical.org), was in the studio talking about what you can expect if you need stitches. Watch the video here.

MidState Medical Center consistently rates among the top hospitals in Connecticut and the nation. Services include general surgery, emergency medicine, Weight Management Program, MidState Medical Group Walk-in Center, MediQuick for urgent care needs, and state-of-the-art care dedicated to cancer treatment, wound and hyperbaric care, family birthing, maternal fetal medicine, sleep care, digestive health, pain management, neurosciences and cardiac care.

MidState Medical Center is a member of Hartford HealthCare, a large, diversified health care system throughout Connecticut.

 

Cardinal Health Foundation Awards $1 Million in Grants to Improve Health Care Efficiency, Quality

PR Newswire

The Cardinal Health Foundation today announced that, for the third consecutive year, it has awarded more than $1 million in grant funding to help U.S. hospitals, health systems and community health clinics improve the efficiency and quality of care.

Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield, an HHC partner, was one of the organizations that received 2010 E3 Grant Program funding for medication management projects, NetSmart Infoscriber Initiative for Community-Based Program EMR.

Forty organizations in 25 states have been awarded grants ranging from $7,500 up to $37,500 as part of the 2010 Cardinal Health Foundation E3 Grant Program, which was launched in 2008 to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and excellence of health care, nationwide. The 2010 E3 Grant Program encouraged applicants to submit funding requests for projects that will either improve medication management or improve efficiency and safety within the operating room.

 

9 Ways Humor Heals Features Advice From Natchaug Hospital

PBS, This Emotional Life

Of all the tools to combat depression and negativity, humor is by far the most fun. G. K. Chesterton once wrote: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” And Proverbs 17:22 says that “a happy heart is good medicine.” Human beings can heal (at least partially!) from a host of different illnesses if they learn how to laugh. Here are just a few ways our bodies, minds, and spirits begin to mend with a dose of humor.

“Humor rooms,” which encourage people to use humor in their recovery from any kind of illness, are now available in some hospitals. And science backs these efforts. In a study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, humor very definitely seemed to diminish pain.

Says Dave Traynor, M.Ed, director of health education at Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield Center, Connecticut in “American Fitness”: “After surgery, patients were told one-liners prior to administration of potentially painful medication. The patients exposed to humor perceived less pun as compared to patients who didn’t receive humor stimuli.”

Health Care News In the Region

ECHN nearing merger deal with for-profit hospital network

Hartford Business Journal, June 24

Eastern Connecticut Health Network is nearing a deal to sell itself to a for-profit hospital operator in what will be the latest merger in the state's rapidly consolidating health care industry.

The move, which has been in the works for 18 months, could be announced in the next week or so, officials say.

ECHN has been talking to as many as six interested buyers, but is now in final negotiations with two for-profit hospital operators, said ECHN President and CEO Peter J. Karl. Karl declined to identify ECHN's suitors, but several other Connecticut hospitals are in merger negotiations with Nashville's Vanguard Health Systems Inc., which owns and operates 28 acute-care and specialty hospitals across the country.

Any deal would require ECHN to convert from a nonprofit to a for-profit entity. It's a transition that is suddenly becoming commonplace in Connecticut, which has historically been resistant to for-profit hospitals.

But cash-strapped community hospitals say they are running out of options to remain independent and rushing into the arms of larger networks to gain much needed scale and capital.

Hot Topics in Health Care

For Docs, Change Shouldn't Be a Dirty Word Anymore

The New York Times, June 8

If doctors really want to transform health care, they're going to need to leave the past behind, bust through silos and find ways to collaborate with the rest of the health care industry.

It's a simple message, one many hospital leaders have heard plenty, but it sounded all-the-more impactful coming from the new AMA president. Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D., an infectious disease physician out of Lexington, Ky., gave a rousing speech Tuesday night, during her inauguration as 168th president of the American Medical Association.

She challenged fellow doctors who gripe about change, and urged them to put aside politics and embrace their roles in shaping history.

 

Hospital jobs turning into a doctors’ market

American Medical News, June 24

Physicians are in demand by many hospitals and health systems, and recruiters say that gives doctors more leverage than ever to get the positions they want.

Nearly 84% of health care facility administrators and managers said their hospitals and health systems have physician openings. Sixty percent are experiencing a shortage of primary care physicians and 42% have a shortage of specialists. The survey interviewed about 400 managers and administrators.

Sixteen percent reported that their facilities are fully staffed with doctors.

 

Reducing Barriers to Care by Improving Cultural Competency

Hospitals and Health Networks, June 24

Health care leaders talk about providing culturally competent care, but one Brooklyn hospital is taking things a step further .Lutheran Medical Center has a "Sabbath elevator" that stops at all six floors without pressing a button, targeted at Orthodox Jews who were taking the stairs instead because Jewish forbids those observing the Sabbath from using electrical switches.

Caregivers offer longer "modesty gowns" for Muslim women who can't show any skin. And the 468-bed acute-care hospital even has a wing devoted to its Chinese patients, with everyone from doctors down to orderlies, who speak the language and know the culture.

"Patient-centered care is the mantra now," says Virginia Tong, vice president of cultural competence at Lutheran HealthCare, the medical center's parent system. "Well, the patient comes with all kinds of things, and a lot of it is their culture and their family. It's not just about language, but what are their belief systems? Who are the decision makers? What kinds of alternative medicine do they use?"

Coming Events

July 8 (Friday)

Hospital Incident Command System Training

ERC 123, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

There will be a training class in the Hospital Incident Command System on Monday, July 8 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon in ERC 123. It is being offered by the Center for Emergency Medical Preparedness (CEMP) at Hartford Hospital. The target audience is any individual who may be involved in the response to an emergency incident that may have an active role in the Hospital Command Center where the use of the HICS will be utilized.

The class will cover IS-100HC: Introduction to the Incident Command System; IS-200HC: Incident Command System for Healthcare; and NIMS-700: National Incident Management System (NIMS): An Introduction.

To register, send an email to cemp@harthosp.org with subject “Class Registration: July 8”. For more information, contact Rich Leach at the Center for Emergency Medical Preparedness at 860-545-1082 or cemp@harthosp.org.

 

July 12 (Friday)

2nd Annual Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner

Rosedale Farms, Simsbury, 6-9 p.m.

2nd Annual Hartford Hospital Medical Staff “Chef to Farm” Dinner from 6-9 p.m. at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury.

 

July 13 (Saturday)

ERRACE

Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, Avon

Save The Date And Start Training! The ERRACE (Everyone Ride/Run Against Cancer Everyday) organizational team is asking for your help in our fight against cancer. Our goal is not only to raise funds to support cancer care and research, but also to inspire good health, fitness, self awareness and to challenge you to try something new.

Like last year, our event will be held at the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center in Avon and will include a supported 25, 50, or 100-mile road bike ride, a 20-mile technical mountain bike ride and a 5 km run/walk. In addition, we plan to have a return of the exotic car corral/parade, wellness tent, raffle, giveaways, and fabulous food.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of our co-executive director, Allyson Caputo, who passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was the driving force in the founding and running of ERRACE, an inspiration to all who knew her. Her life was not defined by its length, but by its glory. We continue on in her example of perseverance and challenge all of you to do the same.

We are excited to inform you that ERRACE was the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s top grassroots fundraiser for 2012. We raised over $185,000, thanks in part to our top fundraising team "miles4mary" and all the cyclists and runners who participated in 2012 to ERRACE cancer. This award has lead to our partnership with the LIVESTRONG foundation, and we are now a partnered event. Funds from ERRACE will still be split between the LIVESTRONG foundation and the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center.

To find out more please go to www.errace.org. Please save the date and start training. We will inform you when registration is open.

 

July 15-16 (Monday-Tuesday)

Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery

CESI

The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is offering its FLS (Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery) New Proctor Workshop on July 15-16 at the Center for Education and Simulation in Innovation (CESI) at Hartford Hospital.

SAGES and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) recommend that all surgeons practicing laparoscopic surgery be certified through FLS, the only validated, objective measure of a surgeon’s fundamental knowledge and skills related to laparoscopic surgical procedures.

This workshop will focus on training each participant to properly proctor the FLS exam and become an official FLS Proctor. It is only for staff members from currently designated FLS Test Centers interested in learning to proctor the FLS exam.

More information is available at: http://www.flsprogram.org/testing-information/becoming-an-fls-test-center.

 

July 21 (Sunday)

16th Annual Michael Rosano Golf Tournament In Memory of Dr. David Hull

Blue Fox Run, Avon, 11 a.m.

Fee is $150/golfer or $550/foursome, which includes: greens fee, cart, prizes, BBQ lunch, and buffet dinner. Proceeds will benefit LifeChoice Donor Services in memory of Dr. David Hull.

To register, go to http://www.golfdigestplanner.com/22268-Lifechoice/, or call 860-286-3120.

 

July 24 (Wednesday)

Department of Medicine Grand Rounds - Dr. Eric Coleman to Talk About Safe Patient Handoffs

Gilman Auditorium, 8 a.m.

Dr. Eric A. Coleman, the nationally recognized director of the Care Transitions Program of the University of Colorado, will provide a special Department of Medicine Grand Rounds on Wednesday, July 24 at 8 a.m. in Gilman Auditorium. He will discuss what it takes to ensure high quality transitional care, with a goal of improving quality and safety during times of care “handoffs.”

Dr. Coleman is professor of Medicine and head of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at the University of Colorado at Denver. He is also the executive director of the Practice Change Fellows Program, designed to build leadership capacity among health care professionals who are responsible for geriatric programs and service lines. Breakfast will be provided.

 

SAVE THE DATE: Oct. 2 (Wednesday)

29th Annual Cardiovascular Symposium

Connecticut Convention Center, 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Speakers:

Jan Basile, MD, Professor of Medicine, Seinsheimer Cardiovascular Health Program, Medical University of South Carolina

Larry B. Goldstein, MD, Professor of Medicine (Neurology); Director, Duke Stroke Center, Duke University Medical Center

Martin S. Maron, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine; Director, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center; Tufts Medical Center

Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, Professor, Harvard Medical School; Executive Medical Director, Shapiro Cardiovascular Center; Director, Clinical Cardiology, Brigham & Women’s

Gosta Pettersson, MD, Vice Chairman, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Surgical Director of Lung Transplantation; Cleveland Clinic

Daniel J. Rader, MD, Edward S. Cooper, MD/Norman Roosevelt and Elizabeth Meriwether McLure Professor; Chief, Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics; Associate Director, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics; Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Program, Penn Heart and Vascular Center

William S. Weintraub, MD, Christiana Care; John H. Ammon Chair of Cardiology, Center for Heart and Vascular Health; Director of the Christiana Care Center for Outcomes

To register visit www.harthosp.org/CVsymposium

 

 

For more coming events, click here.

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. If you would like to be added to the Seymour Street Journal email list, or to receive it at a different email address, please opt-in at www.harthosp.org/SSJ. This ensures that you will receive the newsletter at your preferred email address. Back issues can be viewed here. For any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr. Jeffry Nestler, Medical Staff President, at (860) 836-7313.