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

 

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In This Issue...

May 12, 2013 Edition

Wash In - Wash Out

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HH Facts:

1998-Urologic surgeon Dr. Steve Shichman was the national pioneer of a minimally invasive procedure, called Hand-Assisted Laparascopic Nephrectomy, to remove kidneys.


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Top News

Physician Leaders and Administrators Attend Leadership Retreat; Review Balanced Scorecard

Kumar

 

 

 

 

Physician leaders and members of Hartford Hospital administration met May 2 and 3 for the 2014 Leadership Retreat.

This year's focus was on execution and predicated on the assumption that in this fast-paced challenging environment, our success is ultimately tied to how well we hard-wire best practices and reduce variation in our organization.

Attendees reviewed this year's HHC Balanced Scorecard initiatives and focused on how we can better execute those initiatives already on the table.

There was significant discussion on the importance of leadership's role in reinforcing expected behaviors, developing solid reliable systems and processes, and in holding ourselves and others accountable for performance.

This year's areas of focus will include enhancing leadership rounding to support staff engagement and the patient experience, hand hygiene, and a quality improvement model focused on the prevention of venous thromboembolism.

There will be continued emphasis on managing length of stay during 2014 and in the development of the musculoskeletal institute.

Over the next few weeks, the 2014 Strategic Priorities will be finalized and shared.

 

Hartford Hospital To Work With Jackson Labs Scientists With Cancer Avatars

Gov. Dannel Malloy held a news conference at Hartford Hospital April 30 to announce a genomic medicine collaboration among Hartford Hospital, the Jackson Laboratory and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The collaboration will explore new, targeted methods of treating cancer in adults and children.

Gov. Malloy’s 2011 Bioscience Connecticut initiative brought Jackson Labs, based in Bar Harbor, Maine, to Connecticut to help position Connecticut as a leader in the emerging field of genomic medicine, which aims to develop individualized therapies for cancer and other diseases.

The collaboration will involve studying a patient’s tumor cells, the genomics of the tumors and their behavior in the lab, and then translating the findings into personalized treatments, essentially bringing cutting-edge science directly to patient care. We expect the study to establish a database correlating cancer treatment results with specific genomic variations observed in tumors. The Jackson Laboratory will make this information available to the global biomedical community.

This collaboration is another step in the further development of Hartford Hospital as a world-class academic medical and research center and in providing more effective care to cancer patients at a lower cost.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with the finest minds in the country to further research and win the war on cancer,”said Dr. Andrew Salner, director of Hartford Hospital’s Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center. “Together, we can take the patient’s own tumor cells, study them in the lab, and ultimately translate those findings into a personalized and effective treatment approach. It will be a giant leap forward in developing safe and effective cancer therapies.”

 

Food Service Implements Improved Process, Improved Patient Meals

On May 1, Food Services changed its method of food preparation, and will provide patient meals with improved flavor, aroma and temperature control.

At the same time, Food Service will also introduce:
• new, healthier food selections
• a printed menu for patients
• new trays and food heating system
• an internal brand with a catchy name and colorful design
• a menu symbol that indicates a food choice with reduced sodium, fat and calories
• enhanced coordinator service
• basic tray line in Donnelly to provide meals for 125 patients at the IOL

These actions were inspired by feedback from multiple sources, including staff H3W groups, physicians, patient satisfaction surveys and patient advisory groups.

KUDOS AND THANKS to Bimal Patel, vice president of Operations, and Janice Cannon, Clinical Nutrition Manager in Food & Nutrition Services, for making this happen.

 

Last Week Was National Nurses Week: But It's NOT too late to thank a nurse!!

Hartford Hospital celebrated national National Nurses’ Week May 6-10 with several activities to illustrate our respect for and gratitude to these vital members of our health care team.

Activities included the Blessing of the Hands for each shift, cakes for nurses on the floors, poster displays, and opening and closing ceremonies.

Hartford Hospital has more than 1,470 nurses, not counting our per diem staff.

During the Hartford Regional Nightingale Awards May 9, 15 of our nurses received the once-in-a-lifetime Nightingale Award for excellence in nursing.

 

Transitions in Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Staff

Dr. Joseph Radojevic will assume the position of interim director of Heart Failure and Transplant effective May 2. He will replace Dr. Detlef Wencker, who is leaving to become the director of Heart Failure and Transplant at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Wencker joined the Hartford Hospital staff in April 2007. In concert with Drs. James Dougherty and Jonathan Hammond, he helped increase cardiac transplant volumes. He also started the outpatient infusion center, helped initiate the ventricular assist device (VAD) program, and recruited Drs. Radojevic and Jason Gluck to the heart failure service.

Dr. Radojevic joined the Hartford Hospital staff in July 2008 after cardiology training at St Vincent’s Medical Center and subspecialty training in heart failure and cardiac transplantation at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Dr. Gluck joined the Hartford Hospital staff in 2010, also after training in heart failure and cardiac transplantation at Columbia. Dr. Gluck will assist Dr. Radojevic during the transition by becoming the medical director of Cardiac Mechanical Support service responsible for overseeing the medical aspects of the VAD program and the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) service.

 

Joint Commission Approves Our Comprehensive Stroke Center; First in New England

Hartford Hospital has been recognized by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association as meeting The Joint Commission’s standards for Disease-Specific Care Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification, which means it is part of an elite group of providers focused on complex stroke care. Complex Stroke Centers are recognized as industry leaders and are responsible for setting the national agenda in highly-specialized stroke care.

We are the first such program in all of New England, and 33rd in the United States.

“Hartford Hospital is thoroughly committed to providing our patients with the highest quality stroke care based on current scientific research to ensure continuous improvement in care,” said Dr. Isaac E. Silverman, the Stroke Center's co-medical director and vascular neurologist. “Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification has confirmed what we know: We offer exceptional, cutting edge stroke care to our patients, as we aim to improve care overall for our community.”

 

$343,693 Grant From Ryan Residency Training Foundation To Standardize Training in Family Planning

Hartford Hospital has been awarded a $343,693.00 grant from the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program in order to standardize and facilitate excellent resident training in all aspects of family planning services under the support of Dr. Joel Sorosky, Dr. Peter Beller and Dr. Amy Nelson.

The services will occur in the Women's Ambulatory Health Clinic.

 

Dr. Tim Machon Performs First Robotic Single Site Hysterectomy in New England

On May 2, Dr. Timothy Machon, Ob-Gyn, performed the first Robotic Single Site Hysterectomy in New England and New York, and one of the first in the country. The FDA approved this revolutionary platform for hysterectomies a few weeks ago in March.

This revolutionary approach to hysterectomy – the most common surgery in the United States – utilizes a single small incision at the naval through which the surgeons remove the uterus in less than 60 minutes. Previously, hysterectomies required one large incision for open surgery or multiple small incisions for traditional laparoscopic surgery.

The success and efficiency of this procedure is in part due to the tremendous dedicated OR team who spent time after hours learning the new instrumentation, culminating in a dry-run the night before surgery.

Additionally, in the spirit of collaboration that is so prevalent and unique at Hartford Hospital, Dr. Darren Tishler, director of the Hartford Hospital Bariatric Surgery Program, participated in the case to share his experience in placement of the SingleSite port and cosmetic multilayer closure of the incision.

 

We Need Your Input To Choose An EHR Solution

In 2014, Hartford HealthCare will begin the implementation of an enterprise electronic health record at all our affiliates.

We need your input to help us choose the solution that best meets your needs.

Please join us for a VisionOne Electronic Health Record demonstration on May 22 and/or 23. There will be several demonstrations running concurrently over the two days in the ERC, and online webinars (instructions to follow.) Webinars will be recorded for later viewing as well.

Wednesday, May 22:

  • 8:30-10:30 a.m.: Overview of Epic and Continuum of Care demonstration
  • 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: EpicCare inpatient - physician focused
  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Stork OB
  • 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: ADT/Prelude registration
  • 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Technical Sessions
  • 12-12:45 p.m.: NICU
  • 12:45-2:45 p.m.: Cadence Enterprise Scheduling
  • 1-3 p.m.: Willow Inpatient pharmacy
  • 1:15-3 p.m.: ASAP Emergency Department
  • 3-5 p.m.: Resolute Professional Billing
  • 3:15-4:15 p.m.: Beacon Oncology
  • 3:15-5:15 p.m.: HomeHealth
  • 3:30-5:15 p.m.: EpicCare Inpatient - nursing focused
  • 430-530 p.m.: MyChart/patient portal
  • 5:30-7 p.m.: EpicCare ambulatory EMR

Thursday, May 23:

  • 8:30-10:30 a.m.: Overview of Epic and Continuum of Care demonstration
  • 8:30-10:45 a.m.: Beaker Clinical Lab
  • 8:30-10:45 a.m.: Resolute Hospital Billing
  • 10:15-11:30 a.m.: ICU
  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Beaker AP lab
  • 11 a.m.-1:45 p.m.: HIM
  • 12-1 p.m.: Cupid Cardiology
  • 12-4 p.m.: Long Term Care
  • 12:30-2:30 p.m.: OpTime Operating Room
  • 1:15-2:45 p.m.: Quality Reporting and analytics
  • 2-4 p.m.: Radiant Radiology
  • 3-4 p.m.: Anesthesia
  • 3-4:30 p.m.: Clinical Research

For a detailed schedule, click here.

Following the demonstrations, you will receive a link to a survey that will capture your feedback. ALL feedback will be read and reviewed.

Please RSVP by May 15 to Diane Akien with the sessions you will attend, and specify on-site or webinar. Diane.Akien@HHCHealth.org, 860-263-4185.

 

3rd Annual HHC Physician Leadership Development Institute Offered

We are pleased to announce our third annual Hartford HealthCare Physician Leadership Development Institute (PLDI). This is being offered in addition to our core training offered to all physicians across HHC at no charge to participants.

The PLDI is a nine-month program that will provide select physicians practicing in our system with management education and opportunities to develop advanced leadership skills. We will select a diverse group of physicians from group practice, hospitals, and other HHC organizations who can build relationships and learn from each other. Participants will have the opportunity to network with the HHC executive leadership team.

The PLDI is designed for physicians who have the desire to explore physician leadership as a career path or those already in physician leadership positions who would like to further develop their skills and relationships. It is focused on the future of health care and the skills you will need to be a successful physician leader going forward.

This session is limited to a maximum of 30 physicians who will participate in a cohort group from September 2013 to May 2014. The group will meet every month for a minimum of half a day. In addition, there will be reading assignments and project work between the monthly sessions. Finally, you will be required to attend other leadership training that is offered to the broader physician population.

For more details, including the sessions dates and an application, click here. If you are interested in applying, please submit an application to Dr. Stuart Markowitz at smarkow@harthosp.org by June 10.

 

Day-long Strategic Planning and Marketing Workshop for Physicians

There will be a Strategic Planning and Marketing workshop for physicians on Wednesday, June 5 from 8 a.m.-4:30 pm in Heublein Hall. Guest speaker is Eric Berkowitz, PhD., American College of Physician Executives.

This class is open to all physicians across the Hartford HealthCare System. Registration will be limited to the first 50 requests. Brought to you by Hartford HealthCare Leadership & Organizational Development.

Strategic Planning and Marketing will enable participants to understand key marketing concepts and strategies for use in health care organizations. Issues such as target markets, competitive advantage, differential advantage, marketing mix, relationship marketing, and branding will be addressed.

Eric Berkowitz is professor of Marketing at the School of Management, UMass-Amherst. He presently serves as associate dean of Professional Programs for the Isenberg School of Management. A frequent speaker for medical staff meetings and retreats,as well as meetings of the Medical Group Management Association, the American Hospital Association, and the Association of Community Cancer Centers, Dr. Berkowitz also serves as a core faculty member for the American College of Physician Executives.He has published extensively on both marketing and health care, and is a past editor of the Journal of Health Care Marketing.

To register for this class, please e-mail leadevinst@harthosp.org. You will receive an e-mail confirming your enrollment status.

 

Medical Data Base To Be Retired; Switch To Allscripts EPSi

Please note that the Medical Data Base, the data store of patient and utilization data, will be retired as of June 30. It has been replaced by Allscripts EPSi.

Allscripts EPSi is a best-practice decision support application. It is verified and balanced to the financials and to patient accounting by the Decision Support team, led by Deirdre McDonald. Besides containing all of the same patient, financial, and utilization data of Medical Data Base, Allscripts EPSi contains costing information.

If you are still using Medical Data Base, please contact the Decision Support team at dmcdona@harthosp.org to have your information needs reviewed.

 

American Liver Foundation Raises $242,000 At Twelfth Annual Flavors Of Connecticut

Hartford Courant, April 28

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) held its annual fundraising event, Flavors of Connecticut presented by Hartford Hospital on April 9 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville. It raised more than $242,000. This year's gala featured 34 of Connecticut's top chef's and restaurants.

 

KumarOBITUARY: Dr. Scott Bernstein

Scott Bernstein, M.D., age 60, of West Hartford, died on April 28 after a long illness.

Before his illness, he was a proud and devoted physician at Hartford Hospital, working with patients in his office, the hospital, and in the dialysis and transplant programs. He was loved by so many patients and families, and received thousands of letters upon his untimely retirement.

He was the beloved husband of Nancy Palmbaum Bernstein and beloved father of Dr. Megan Bernstein (husband Scott Katz) of Andover, MA and Julie Bernstein of New York. Special thanks to our many neighbors and friends who went the extra mile to help us get through this very challenging period in our lives, and especially Scott's caregivers.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to Hartford Hospital's Dialysis and Transplant Fund for the benefit of patients, families, and nursing education, or to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. For further information, directions or to sign the guest book for Dr. Bernstein, please visit online.

Excellence

Dr. Cunegundo Vergara To Receive Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

Dr. Cunegundo Vergara, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the UConn School of Medicine, is receiving the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the school at commencement.

The Gold Foundation sponsors the annual Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards for a graduating student and faculty member at 96 of the nation's medical schools. This award is presented to the student and faculty member who best demonstrate the Foundation's ideals of outstanding compassion in the delivery of care, respect for patients, their families, and healthcare colleagues, as well as demonstrated clinical excellence.

 

Dr. Srini Mandavilli Lectures in India

Dr. Srini Mandavilli presented a lecture title "Cytology in the Molecular Era" at an oncology conference organized by the Indo-American Cancer Center and Research Institute in Hyderabad, India on March 29. Other guest speakers were from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Cornell and other major cancer centers in India.

 

Oncology Associates Certified By Quality Oncology Practice Initiative

Oncology Associates PC (Drs. Peter Schauer, Stacy Nerenstone, Robert Siegel, Jeff Baker, Mark Dailey, Tim Hong, Jeff Kamradt, and Pragna Kapadia) has been certified by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Oncology Associates is one of four practices similarly certified in the state of Connecticut.

 

Young Leaders Raise Money For ED Purple Pod Expansion

The Hartford Hospital Young Leaders Advisory Council was at it again last Wednesday night – raising funds to support Hartford Hospital.

The group’s signature event, “Spring Into Action,” was held on May 8 at the City Steam Brewery Café in Hartford. The evening featured locally brewed beers, hearty foods, and networking to benefit the expansion of the Emergency Department for psychiatric care. Dr. Evan Fox addressed the crowd, saying how important this expansion project is to increase our bed capacity from 12 to 22, to treat the thousands who come to our ED for psychiatric reasons each year.

More than 70 attendees were at the event, raising more than $4,700 for this important expansion project.

Innovative and Complex Care

Cardiologists Present Poster About TAVR at Scientific Sessions

A group of Hartford Hospital cardiologists and cardiac surgeons presented a poster about TAVR at SCAI 2013, the Scientific Sessions of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions May 8-11 in Orlando.

Drs. Talhat Azemi, Francis Kiernan, Ronan Margey, Robert Hagberg, David Underhill, Immad Sadiq, Sanjayant Chamakura, Saadi Siddiqi, Murali Senapathi, and Shafeeq Ahmed authored the poster, entitled: The Impact of a Trans catheter Aortic Valve Replacement Program on the Volume of Surgical Aortic Valve Replacements (AVR) and Percutaneous Aortic Valvuloplasties (BAV) at a Single Tertiary Academic Center.

 

Women's Ambulatory Health Services Offer Centering Pregnancy

Hartford Hospital Women's Ambulatory Health Services started Centering Pregnancy appointments in April 2011, and are now offering the 21st group. Centering Pregnancy is a proven, nationally-recognized model of group prenatal care, shown to reduce rates of preterm labor and low birth weight.

Groups of 8-12 women with similar due dates meet for 10 2-hour sessions to have their standard prenatal appointments together, and in addition they have the opportunity for facilitated discussion and shared educational opportunities. The groups replace the traditional one-on-one prenatal appointments and have very high levels of both patient and provider satisfaction.

You can read more about Centering at the Centering Healthcare Institute website (https://www.centeringhealthcare.org/). The model has been expanded for use in chronic illness management, such as diabetes, and for pediatric care combined with parenting education.

Research and Academics

Dr. Rocco Orlando On ACS Expert Panel Discussing Surgical Quality Progress

The Wall Street Journal, April 26

The American College of Surgeons hosted the ACS Surgical Health Care Quality Forum Connecticut, in partnership with the ACS Connecticut Chapter and the Connecticut State Medical Society. The forum was the 13th in a series of events that bring together surgeons, hospitals, health plans, physicians, government, and other health care leaders to share best practices for improving patient care, achieving better outcomes and curbing rising health care costs.

The Connecticut Forum highlighted the efforts of the Connecticut Surgical Quality Collaborative (CtSQC), a statewide group of 20 hospitals that meets regularly to share quality outcomes including successes and best practices for the benefit of all patients in the state. The CtSQC announced that six additional hospitals are joining this effort, including: Hartford Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Windham Hospital, MidState Medical Center, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, and John Dempsey Hospital at the UConn Health Center.

Many of the CtSQC hospitals also use the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP(R) ) to focus on improving outcomes in key areas of surgical care and providing the utmost value--health outcomes achieved per dollar spent--to patients, hospitals, and health plans.

The Connecticut forum featured a diverse set of perspectives that offered insight into what is currently being done to ensure high quality health care at their organizations, and some of the challenges state providers and health plans are facing in the wake of health reform, including: Rocco Orlando III, MD, FACS, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Hartford HealthCare. "The foundation of sustainable quality improvement for any health care organization is culture and high reliability," he said. "Our leaders drive our culture by linking our values to our performance. Across our health system, we set goals collectively and collaboratively--building dashboards and objective metrics to assess our progress."

Since launching its Inspiring Quality initiative in 2011, ACS has hosted 13 community forums with health care leaders across the nation in an effort to foster discussions about surgical quality programs that advance patient care and measurably improve outcomes. To view the archived Connecticut forum video and follow additional updates, please visit InspiringQuality.facs.org or the College's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/AmCollegeofSurgeons .

 

Dr. Harold Schwartz Panelist on Congressional Field Hearing on Gun Violence Prevention

Dr. Harold Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief at the IOL, was a panelist at the Field Hearing of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force with Congressman Mike Thompson on May 10 at the Law & Government Academy in Hartford.

 

Dr. Marc Eisen To Lecture on Dizziness

Dr. Marc Eisen, medical director of the Hartford Hospital Center for Hearing and Balance Center, will be the speaker at a free educational seminar open to the public on the common causes and treatment of vestibular and balance disorders (dizziness) on Thursday, May 23 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Hartford Hospital Wellness Center at Blue Back Square.His presentation is entitled Vertigo: What Sets Your World Spinning? To register, contact the Health Referral Service at 860-545-1888.

Chief's Corner

Welcome To SSJ's New Feature Entitled "Chief's Corner"

As an outcome of our recent Hamilton Retreat and discussions amongst representatives of our Medical Staff and Hospital Leadership, we recognize the need for sharing information about activities throughout the hospital more widely with our Medical Staff.

Here debuts our new column to bring to 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

 

KumarDr. Joel Sorosky:
Gynecologic Oncology Group

Hartford Hospital’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology in collaboration with the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center and the Research Department became a Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) Phase I site in 2013. The GOG is a multidisciplinary, multi institutional, cooperative organization funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to do research in gynecologic malignancies.

While Hartford Hospital has been a primary member for years performing Phase II and Phase III studies, Phase I participation is limited to a small and elite number of institutions across the country. Women with ovarian, endometrial, cervical, vulvar, and trophoblastic cancers, have access to a variety of clinical trials previously available only in larger metropolitan areas or tertiary care centers.

Amy Brown, MD, the division director in conjunction with Stacy Nerenstone, MD in medical oncology are the program leaders.

All women with newly diagnosed gynecologic cancers and those with recurrent or persistent disease are presented at the multidiscliplinary weekly tumor board attended by radiologists, pathologists, nurses, genetic counselors, advanced practice practitioners, and gynecologic oncologists. A report is generated and sent to the referring physician.

Any member of the Hartford Hospital staff can request to have a patient presented at tumor board by contacting any of the collaborating physicians.

In putting together the application to participate in Phase I studies, the commitment by the Andrew Salner, MD and Donna Handley, RN of the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center and Lenworth Jacobs, MD, Chief Academic Officer at Hartford Hospital was instrumental in achieving this designation.

The Division of Gynecologic Oncologic Oncology, Drs. Amy Brown, Heather Einstein, Aaron Shafer, and Joel Sorosky realized that it truly takes a village to put together a program of this nature and Hartford Hospital came together as this village. Patient accrual and treatment has already commenced.

For further information, contact the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at 860-545-4341.

Enhancing The Patient Experience

Fichandler The CXO Report: 7 Simple Steps to Improving Provider Communication

By "Chief Experience Officer" David Fichandler, Director of Patient Experience

Our patients tell us daily that their communication with the medical team is one of the singular most important moments in their day. Patients also tell us that when they do not have clear communication, it negatively affects the entire patient experience.

Currently, 82% of patients score Hartford Hospital providers as “always communicates effectively”. That puts us in the 61st percentile nationally.

Here are a few easy ways to improve patient perceptions of provider communication…

1. Allow patients to express their concerns fully without interruption. Research shows that physicians allow patients to speak for only 17-23 seconds on average before interrupting.

2. Ask for the patients’ perspective on the illness, such as what they think caused the condition, its impact on their daily activities, what they struggle with, and what they are worried about.

3. Sit down next to patients. Patients perceive that physicians are paying attention and listening when they are at eye level. To patients, two minutes with you sitting at the bedside is perceived to be better than ten minutes standing in the doorway.

4. Provide patient- specific instructions before test and treatments, including: the nature and timing of symptoms and their relief, and if you will visit the patient before and after the treatment to address any questions they may have. These acts allow you ample opportunities to tailor the message and information to patients and to address patient needs in proximity to events that can increase discomfort.

5. Avoid medical jargon whenever possible. Explain what things mean. Don’t simply ask patients or family members if they understand. Many patients will automatically say they understand without giving much thought or out of embarrassment for not knowing. Brief explanations to ensure understanding can help.

6. Ensure that those representing you are on the same page. One of the easiest ways to win at the communication strategy is to ensure that the provider, advanced practitioners, residents, medical students and interns are all saying the same things to the patient.

7. End patient encounters with “Do you have any questions? Is there anything that I can clarify for you?”

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please reach out to David Fichandler, director of Patient Experience, at dfichandler@harthosp.org.

 

Food Service Implements Improved Process, Improved Patient Meals

On May 1, Food Services changed its method of food preparation, and will provide improved flavor, aroma and temperature control for patient meals.

At the same time, Food Service will also introduce:
• new, healthier food selections
• a printed menu for patients
• new trays and food heating system
• an internal brand with a catchy name and colorful design
• a menu symbol that indicates a food choice with reduced sodium, fat and calories
• enhanced coordinator service
• basic tray line in Donnelly to provide meals for 125 patients at the IOL

These actions were inspired by feedback from multiple sources, including staff H3W groups, physicians, patient satisfaction surveys and patient advisory groups.

KUDOS AND THANKS to Bimal Patel, vice president of Operations, and Janice Cannon, Clinical Nutrition Manager in Food & Nutrition Services.

 

Voices of Our Patients: Kudos To Drs. Witold Waberski, John Tiernan, and William Duggan

Dear Dr. Waberski:

I wanted to compliment and thank you for having such an outstanding anesthesia department. Not that I did not know that already, having worked for you many times.

I appreciate Dr. Tiernan doing my anesthesia for a procedure on April 5. I was pretty scared and I knew there was a lot of instrumentation that had to be used to inject my vocal cord, which had been paralyzed in the accident. I cannot say enough about Dr. Tiernan's outstanding talent as an anesthesiologist. He did a great job and I am truly grateful.

Also, Dr. Duggan and Cindy Figiela helped me by coordinating everything so Dr. Tiernan could do my anesthesia. I appreciate all that Dr. Duggan and Cindy did.

My heartfelt thank you to everybody. You truly do have that Best of the Best Anesthesia Department.

I miss you all and am grateful to have worked for such a talented group. Everyone has taught me so much over the years I worked there and I· take those words of wisdom with me everyday I do anesthesia. Thank you all very much.

Sincerely,
Sherry Lowman, CRNA

Operational Update

Welcome New Physicians

Dr. Fadi A. Al-Khayer, Endocrinology, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group
Dr. Carla E. Bystricky, Pediatrics, Unionville Pediatrics
Dr. James R. Doran, Family Medicine, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group
Dr. Sheila J. Gately, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Hartford Hospital
Dr. Ryan M. Heffelfinger, Family Medicine, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group
Dr. A.E. Hertzler Knox, Pediatrics, Simsbury Pediatrics
Dr. Rosemary I. Maduka, Family Medicine, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group
Dr. Mrinal Mali, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC
Dr. Lois Sakorafas, Surgical Critical Care, Hartford Hospital
Dr. Shilpa D. Thakur, Internal Medicine, ProHealth Physicians, PC
Dr. Cheryl A. Walters, Internal Medicine, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group

 

Hartford Hospital Medical Staff Makes Contribution To Stop Bills That Will Strip Away Protections for CT Physicians;
Urge Your Representatives To Vote NO

The Medical Staff has made a $15,000 contribution to the campaign to defeat two bills that, if passed, will strip away the few remaining protections for Connecticut physicians.

Two bills (HB 6687 Certificate of Merit, and SB 1154 Accidental Failure of Suit) that are being considered by the General Assembly could have a significant impact on the practice of medicine. If passed, they will strip away the few remaining protections for Connecticut physicians, worsening an already difficult liability environment. These bills are expected to come to a vote in mid-May.

Download information here about HB 6687 and SB 1154.

Here’s a quick recap of the bills:

(1) Certificate of Merit (COM) effectively protects physicians against frivolous lawsuits. Under current law, a physician’s care must be reviewed by a similar physician to determine whether standards of care have been met. If the reviewer does not issue a COM, the plaintiff cannot proceed with a lawsuit. HB 6687 would allow COM determinations to be made by a “qualified” physician, who could be trained in any specialty, rather than by a similar physician. How are a patient's best interests served when a cardiologist's care is reviewed by an ophthalmologist, rather than another cardiologist?

(2) The current Accidental Failure of Suit (AFS) statute allows plaintiffs to re-file a claim dismissal if the dismissal was due to inadvertent or excusable neglect on the part of the plaintiff’s attorney. SB 1154 would significantly expand the current AFS statute, allowing any dismissed medical claim an opportunity to refile – even if the cause for dismissal was a denial of Certificate of Merit. This bill would allow a “do-over” for potentially meritless claims, clogging the court for cases of merit and driving up costs. For physicians, this could mean another 12-18 months in legal limbo, waiting for a case to be determined for a second time. Essentially, this is another bite at the apple for the plaintiff.

Add Your Voice: A strong, coordinated physician response is critical to defeating this legislation.

Reaching out to your state representatives and senators is a key way to educate them about your concerns related to these bills and the impact they may have on patient care in the future. Here's what you can do:

Contact your state representative and senator.
Urge them to vote NO on HB 6687 and SB 1154. Tell them about the negative impact these bills will have on your practice and on your patients.

* If you haven’t contacted legislators yet, now is the time. Click here for Four Tips to Effective Calls
* If you’ve done this already, help keep up the pressure and contact them again.
* Urge your colleagues to call and email legislators.

Donate to the Physicians' Liability Campaign. The trial bar has deep pockets to fund their spin. We need to offer a strong response, and share the truth with legislators and the public.

Use social media.
Are you on Facebook or Twitter? Use these platforms to share your message with friends and colleagues. You can also re-post and re-Tweet CSMS messages.

Send a letter to the editor. Whether online or print, these are well-read by subscribers. Check your local paper to find the letter guidelines. Some will accept email attachments or actual letters; other papers provide an online form. Most papers will have a word limit – be sure to follow it.

 

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

In the newest 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 the purpose, plans and progress of Integrated Care Partners.

"Development of the management structure for ICP is under way as well," Dr. Cardon writes. "ICP board and staff members are meeting with physicians in communities to describe the organization and its benefits for both physicians and patients."

There will be a 15-member board, which will include nine practicing physicians. Seven initial board members were seated Feb. 8, 2013: Dr. Cardon, Dr. Rocco Orlando, HHC chief medical officer; Dr. Ken Dardick, Windham Hospital independent physician; Dr. Stacy Nerenstone, Hartford Hospital independent physician; and Dr. Kent Stahl, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group president; Dr. Gary Dee, MidState Medical Center independent physician; and Dr. Mike Loiacono, Hospital of Central Connecticut independent physician.

Board members will be added over the coming months by the Nominating and Governance Committee of the currently seated board.

 

Physician License Renewal CME is Available on Jubilant Learning Portal

State mandated CME for physician license renewal is available on the Hartford Hospital Jubilant Learning Platform. You will need your Novell sign on information to access the portal.

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 intranet (inside H.H.), click on the Academic Affairs page, then Medical Education or Medical Staff Office page. Click on the Learning Portal for Medical Education and Training 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

 

State Budget Update

The Connecticut General Assembly’s two budget committees have voted down state spending and tax proposals, but the final budget deal will be developed with Gov. Dannel Malloy over the next few weeks.

We hope the negotiations will reduce the governor’s proposed $550 million in cuts over two years to the state’s hospitals, which include more than $60 million in cuts to Hartford Hospital and $138 million in total cuts to Hartford HealthCare (HHC). The governor and lawmakers must reach a deal by the June 5 General Assembly adjournment deadline.

The majority of lawmakers are reluctant to raise taxes to help close the state’s budget deficit, which makes reducing cuts to hospitals difficult. HHC has been conducting an employee grassroots campaign, urging staff members to contact their state representatives and senators concerning the budget cuts.

 

Medical Staff Annual Spring Event and Awards Meeting Scheduled for May 22

The Board of Directors and Medical Staff Spring Event and Awards is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22 from 6-8 p.m. in Heublein Hall.

Congratulations to the seven physicians who will receive awards there:

Young Practitioner Award: Dr. Colin Swales, gastroenterology, transplant hepatology director
Physician in Philanthropy Award: Dr. Andy Salner, director, Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center
John K. Springer Humanitarian Award: Dr. Peru Venkatesh, associate director, Department of Medicine
Distinguished Service Awards: Drs. John Welch and Joe Klimek, vice president of physician relations
Quality and Safety Awards: Drs. Eric Shore, director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit, and Jack Ross, infectious diseases, director of HIV Program

Please plan to attend the Medical Staff Annual Spring Event and Awards Ceremony on May 22 and congratulate these award- winning physicians.

To register, e-mail Melissa Tranberg at mtranbe@harthosp.org or click here to REGISTER NOW!

 

It's Easy To Change PCP in SCM

To provide better inpatient to outpatient communication, we need the correct PCP listed in the clinical system (SCM) and the registration system (SMS). If you are aware that an inpatient does not have the right PCP listed, you can change it easily by putting in a PCP Change Order. This will bring you to a list that you can pick from and it is changed

If you do not have order writing privileges (i.e. office PCPs), and notice that your patient has the wrong PCP assigned, just email a change request to scmpcpchange@harthosp.org and it will be changed.

For more information, contact Cynthia Thompson at 860-250-7361.

 

Second Annual �Chef to Farm� Dinner Set for July 12

Please save the date for the 2nd Annual Hartford Hospital Medical Staff �Chef to Farm� Dinner from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 12 at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury. More details will follow.

You will be able to join the officers of the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff in celebrating the beauty and abundant bounty of our local farms � as a unique opportunity to socialize and enjoy the company of your colleagues. You�ll be treated to the freshest foods and produce in the sublime beauty of Our Farms, the true treasures of the state.

 

Summer Volunteers Available

High school and college students will be available as volunteers for Hartford Hospital this summer. If your department could use volunteer assistance please contact Eileen Pelletier, director of Volunteer Services, by May 31 at eepellet@harthosp.org or 860-545-2448.

 

Articles on Health Care Costs and Spending Available Through Library

The May/June issue of Health Affairs magazine, entitled Tackling The Cost Conundrum, focuses on health care costs and spending. The Table of Contents is available online at: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/vol32/issue5/index.dtl Please Note: Links will only work if accessed while on campus.

Additional content available at: Health Affairs

Copyright Compliance: No more than two articles, either electronically or photocopied, may be shared with colleagues.  Share the link rather than a copy of the articles.

Health Affairs is available to Hartford Hospital employees and physicians through a subscription purchased by the Health Science Libraries. Please call the Robinson Library 860-545-2230 for questions or assistance.

HH In the News

Medicare Pulls Back Curtain on Hospital Bills

npr, May 8

When it comes to health care, the biggest of the big data are all about Medicare. So, it's kind of a BIG deal when the government releases what individual hospitals charge Medicare — and what they actually get paid — for the most common diagnoses and treatments.

Now, it must be said, that what a hospital charges Medicare isn't what the government pays. Medicare and private health insurers get discounts and don't pay anything near the hospital. But the Medicare data that were just released includes the amount of money the government actually forked over.

Take, Hartford, Conn., for instance, health insurance capital of the U.S. Hartford Hospital, the biggest one in town, charges a tad over $15,000 to treat a Medicare patient diagnosed with chest pain and receives $4,975 for the service. Little Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, in nearby Torrington, charges Medicare about $7,000 and receives $3,713.

Medicare pays teaching hospitals a little more to compensate them for that work. And hospitals in places with higher costs get more, too.

 

Wasted: Eating Disorders are Worse Than Ever

Hartford Magazine, May 2013

According to research by the National Eating Disorders Association, nearly 30 million people in the United States suffer from eating disorders.

“These are not rare conditions,” says Margo Maine, a clinical psychologist who started the eating disorders program at Newington Children's Hospital in the early 1980s, ran the eating disorders program at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living (IOL) for eight years and is now in private practice in West Hartford. “But despite the fact that eating disorders have grown in numbers and have started to affect people we thought were immune,we still don’t pay much attention to them. That, to me, is the mystery: How we have decided to accept that eating disorders just are, instead of realizing that they are a major public health problem.”

And eating disorders are less often a single diagnosis. “It used to be clean,”with kids diagnosed with just anorexia or just bulimia, says Paula Holmes, clinical program director at IOL. Now, she says, as much as 60 to 70 percent of people who are admitted to the program with an eating disorder also have a substance abuse issue, which makes them even more difficult to treat.

 

Hartford City Council To Hold Session On Health Care, Economic Development May 7th

Advancement @ Capital, April 29

The Chairpersons of the Hartford Common Council’s Committees on Health and Human Services and Planning and Economic Development will lead a third special meeting on Hartford as “a center for patient care, public health research and employment” on May 7th from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the College’s Degnan Lecture Hall.  Representatives of health-care institutions, health and research companies and educators are expected to participate.

The health professions and nursing are a prominent part of Capital Community College’s academic offerings. The RN associate degree program is the fourth largest of its kind in the nation and the paramedic program is the largest in CT.

These programs are linked to the region’s health care institutions as clinical sites, including Hartford Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center and the Hospital of Central Connecticut.

 

Fear Factor: You CAN overcome phobias

TimesUnion.com, May 2

Coming face to face with the fear has proven through the years to help many people come to grips with their phobias. “The name of the game is exposure. People have to come into contact gradually with the thing they are afraid of,” says David Tolin, clinical psychologist and author of the 2012 book, Face Your Fears: A Proven Plan to Beat Anxiety, Panic, Phobias and Obsessions. He also is a featured expert on the A&E cable television series Hoarders and director of Anxiety Disorders Center Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital. “We retrain the brain not to have an alarm reaction and to keep pushing what the person can do and face,” he says.

For example, one of his clients had been afraid of snakes since she was a little girl. She now was in her 50s and still struggling. She was getting to the point of avoiding going outside or letting her grandkids go outside to play when she watched them. “We started her out with looking at pictures of snakes, then bringing in a snake into the same room with her, and then having her touch the snake.” By the time her sessions with Tolin were through, she was able to have a snake crawl across her arms without having panic attacks or any other exasperating feelings. “They weren’t doing anything bad to her so her fear subsided,” he says. “She found she was no longer impaired. She can go anywhere now and walk across grass or take a hike in the woods.”

At his center and with many anxiety centers, virtual reality programs can be used to give someone the feeling, for instance, of being at the top of a tall building, or giving a speech to a large group of people. “You can simulate something and let them practice over and over again like speaking in front of a group that wouldn’t be practical in real life,” he says. “But there is no substitute for reality and facing the fear.”

 

Broader Coalition Formed to Raise Awareness About Gun Violence Prevention

wired/prnews.com, April 12

In an effort to step up awareness about gun violence prevention in the Capitol City region, the area’s three major hospitals, law enforcement officials and community supporters have formed the Capitol Region Gun BuyBack coalition. A smaller portion of the group has held an annual buyback for the last several years, but the recent spate of incidents involving gun violence has prompted it to expand and to take more action in the form of greater awareness of gun safety and sponsor more gun buybacks.

The group includes Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. They have worked with the City of Hartford, Hartford Police Department, the Hartford State’s Attorney’s Office and the Community Renewal Team of Greater Hartford.

“We want our community to be safe,’ said Lenworth Jacobs, MD, former Director of Trauma and Emergency Medicine, Hartford Hospital. “We want to make sure our children can play safely outside without fear of hearing gunshots or being accidentally hit by a stray bullet,” he added.

 

State Sees Shortage of Beds As More Children Sent For Psychiatric Care

The CT Day, May 4

Since the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook tragedy, more parents and teachers in Connecticut are sending their children to hospitals for psychiatric care, mental health professionals said Friday during a meeting of the governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission. The problem is there are often not enough hospital beds for the children, they said.

"The situation basically is that there are a fair number of days during any month where more than half of the CCMC ED (Connecticut Children's Medical Center's Emergency Department) is occupied by behavioral health patients, some of whom can be there for days on end because there may be no psychiatric bed available in the state of Connecticut," said Harold I. Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief for Hartford Hospital's Institute of Living and member of the advisory commission.

Last Saturday there were nine youngsters, ages 13 to 17, held overnight for psychiatric care, said Lisa Namerow, attending child psychiatrist at The Institute of Living and director of consultation services at the Children's Medical Center. Of those nine, three were admitted to inpatient psychiatric hospitals, one was admitted to pediatrics, one was discharged and four were kept in the emergency department while they waited for psychiatric beds to become available. Another four adolescents arrived in the evening on Saturday, she said. One was able to go to the medical center's crisis unit while the others were kept in the emergency department, she said. On Sunday, another five children had to be evaluated for psychiatric care, she said.

Stephen W. Larcen, president and CEO of Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield and vice president of behavioral health for Hartford HealthCare, said mental health services have actually improved since 2005, when new regulations were put in place. There are many more beds at group homes, and providers are given financial incentives to not delay moving a child or adolescent out of the emergency department and into inpatient or outpatient care, he said.

 

Hartford Hospital's Life Star Off Critical List — For Now

Hartford Business Journal, May 7

A year after its own life-and-death struggle, the helicopter program at the Hartford Hospital is busy saving lives and making friends. However, like the patients it rushes from crash scenes and trauma sites, Life Star is never far from death’s door.

The Life Star Helicopter program took flight in 1985, an idea developed by Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, who headed up the trauma center at Hartford Hospital 24 years ago and still works and teaches there.

Life Star is the state’s only critical care medical transport service; it operates two American Eurocopter BK-117 twin-engine helicopters stationed at Hartford Hospital and Backus Hospital in Norwich. Hospital officials added the second copter in 1999 and recently swapped out one of its leased aircrafts for a new one that it now owns.

Now the program would like to add a third rescue helicopter, a tribute to both the expanding need for service and to stabilized funding sources. “We’re continuously assessing our equipment and updating our services as needed,” said Dr. Kenneth Robinson, director of Hartford Hospital’s emergency department.

The state’s budget crisis threatened to ground Life Star last year when Gov. M. Jodi Rell recommended slashing the program’s $1.4 million subsidy funding. If the funding cut had gone through as proposed, Life Star would have lost roughly 20 percent of its budget, put one of its two helicopters out of commission and served 40 percent fewer patients this year.

“The state was very gracious to realize we are a valuable resource with the helicopter service and the community outreach programs we offer,” said Robinson. “They saw how difficult it is for us to break even and agreed to help us.”

Without the state’s subsidy, there would be no Life Star unless Connecticut officials provided it, according to hospital officials.

 

Up In The Air With The Life Star Crew

Boston Globe, April 28

Fifteen hundred feet above the Connecticut River valley, neighborhoods look like they've been stolen from a game board, the ‘‘T'’ on the Trinity College athletic field plucked from a classroom alphabet, the Travelers Tower in the distance built of toy bricks. Those on the ground probably notice the helicopter. Maybe they wonder where we’re headed or why we’re out; maybe they say a little prayer.

The emblems on either side are a give-away. We’re aboard Life Star. Twenty years ago, Hartford Hospital’s air medical transport program became the sixth member of my immediate family when my father, Edward Phillips, accepted a position as a pilot seven years into the program’s existence.

 

2 More Big Urban Health Systems Seek To Partner With ECHN

Journal Inquirer, May 7

The corporate parents of Hartford Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital, along with two privately held buyout firms, are among those responding to Eastern Connecticut Health Network’s bid for a bigger business partner, ECHN employees and other hospital sources say.

The Journal Inquirer last week reported that St. Francis Care Inc., the owner of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, was one of the six potential “partners” ECHN has said answered to its request for proposals. But while the president at St. Francis has written physicians about its ECHN bid — volunteering that it “would not have been possible” without the participation of its own merger partner from Missouri, Ascension Health Network — officials at the Hartford Hospital and Yale-New Haven systems are nowhere near as forthcoming.

In the HHC System

Windham Hospital To Host Open House

Hartford Courant, May 4

To mark the opening of the new Center for Women's Health in Hebron, Windham Hospital will host an open house at the facility at 21 Liberty Drive on Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will include tours of the center, free health screenings, entertainment, light refreshments and prizes.

On April 1, the Windham Hospital Center for Women's Health in Hebron opened its doors providing OB/GYN, imaging and lab services in downtown Hebron. The center, located nine miles from Windham Hospital, houses four exam rooms, bone density, ultrasound and mammography imaging technology, and Clinical Lab Partners (CLP) lab services. Yvette Martas, MD; Rob Gildersleeve, MD; and Kathleen Zacherl, MD, of Mansfield OB/GYN are seeing patients there four days a week.

 

HOCC's Breast Program Named Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence

Hartford Courant, May 4

The Hospital of Central Connecticut's comprehensive breast program recently became the first such program in Connecticut to be recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence in the National Quality Measures for Breast CentersTM (NQMBC) Program.

This distinction signifies the hospital's commitment to providing the highest level of quality health care to patients in its community. "Today the management of breast cancer is quite complex. This award recognizes outstanding performance and coordination of our breast cancer team," says Barbara Fallon, M.D., FACP, medical director of the hospital's comprehensive breast program.

 

Race in the Park Raises Money For Breast Cancer at HOCC

wtnh News 8, May 8

The pink ribbons are up in the City of New Britain, getting ready for the 2013 Connecticut Race in the Park this Saturday. Some of the money raised funds programs which 'directly' benefit breast cancer patients.

Women like Angela Tarnuzzer and Desri Bowsky know all too well how the fundraiser benefits them. Both came to rely on Nurse Navigators like Bethany Carr. The navigation program was launched at The Hospital of Central Connecticut in part with money donated by the Breast Health Initiative.

Health Care News In the Region

Connecticut and Other States Seek “Best Practices” to Implement Health Care Reform

Hartford Guardian, April 26

As the deadline to fully implement the Affordable Care Act nears, health care professionals gathered in Hartford on Monday to unpack mountains of data wrapped in regulations attached to the first major overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since 1965.

This Act, also known as “Obamacare,” became a reality when President Barack Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010. If implemented thoroughly, the Act would expand healthcare access and increase health coverage, key components to mitigate health disparities, experts say.

To implement this sweeping act, it will be necessary to engage communities at the grassroots level, said U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-1st), who with Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Nancy Wyman gave opening remarks at the daylong conference.

Connecticut is one of several states that have already opted in and have begun to expand Medicaid. Malloy said that the legislature has just started deliberating over this ”monumental task” of expanding access by setting up health care marketplace to sell insurance to about 242,000 uninsured people in Connecticut.

Hot Topics in Health Care

Hospital Billing Varies Wildly, Government Data Shows

The New York Times, May 8

A hospital in Livingston, N.J., charged $70,712 on average to implant a pacemaker, while a hospital in nearby Rahway, N.J., charged $101,945.

Data being released for the first time by the government on Wednesday shows that hospitals charge Medicare wildly differing amounts — sometimes 10 to 20 times what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure, raising questions about how hospitals determine prices and why they differ so widely.

The data for 3,300 hospitals, released by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, shows wide variations not only regionally but among hospitals in the same area or city.

Government officials said that some of the variation might reflect the fact that some patients were sicker or required longer hospitalization. Nonetheless, the data is likely to intensify a long debate over the methods that hospitals use to determine their charges.

 

Slowdown in Health Care Spending Growth Could Save Americans $770 Billion

Medical News Today, May 8

A slowdown in the growth of U.S. health care costs could mean that Americans could save as much as $770 billion on Medicare spending over the next decade, Harvard economists say.

In a paper published in Health Affairs, David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, and co-author Nikhil Sahni, a senior researcher in Harvard's Economics Department, point to several factors, including a decline in the development of new drugs and technologies and increased efficiency in the health care system, to explain the recent slowdown.

If those trends continue over the next decade, they say, estimates of health care spending produced by the Congressional Budget Office and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary could be off by hundreds of billions.

 

Hospitals Lose $8.3 Billion Using Old Technology

USA Today,May 8

U.S. physicians and hospitals are in the digital dark ages when it comes to using the latest mobile devices and Internet services to deliver patient care.
As a result, U.S. hospitals are absorbing an estimated $8.3 billion annual hit in lost productivity and increased patient discharge times, according to a Ponemon Institute survey of 577 health care professionals, released Tuesday to CyberTruth.

Hospitals continue to struggle with security and privacy concerns arising from the mainstreaming of social media at a time when federal rules carry the threat of steep fines for violating patient privacy.

The study, sponsored by tech security firm Imprivata, shows that clinicians waste an average of 46 minutes per day waiting for patient information. The main reasons: reliance on inefficient pagers, no Wi-Fi access, deficient e-mail and bans on use of personally owned devices.

That adds up to a productivity loss of $900,000 per year for the typical hospital — or more than $5.1 billion annually across the health care industry.

 

As Midterms Loom, Democrats Worry About Health Law

The New York Times, May 8

As the administration struggles to put in place the final, complex piece of President Obama’s signature health care law, an endeavor on a scale not seen since Medicare’s creation nearly a half-century ago, Democrats are worried that major snags will be exploited by Republicans in next year’s midterm elections.

Many Democrats also want to see a more aggressive and visible president to push the law across the country. This week Mr. Obama is returning to the fray to an extent unseen since he signed the law in 2010, including a White House event on Friday to promote the law’s benefits for women, the first in a series of appearances for health care this year.

Coming Events

May 15 (Wednesday)

24th Annual Mary Mulready Sullivan Oncology Symposium:
Advances in Melanoma: Strategies for Screening, Local and Systemic Management

ERC, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Hartford Hospital Faculty includes: Dr. Lisa Kugelman, division chief, Dermatology, Hartford Hospital; Dr. Zendee Elaba,director of Dermatopathology at Hartford Hospital; Dr. Robert Piorkowski, division chief, Surgical Oncology at Hartford Hospital.

Visiting Faculty includes: Dr. Ryan Sullivan, medical oncologist, Melanoma Program, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston; Dr. Michael Davies, director, Department of Melanoma, Medical Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Dr. Frank Stephen Hodi, co-director of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Melanoma Program, Boston; Virginia Seery, nurse practitioner, Biologics and Cutaneous Oncology Programs, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.

Program objectives include: strategy for screening and treatment; coordinate care with multidisciplinary team; utilize information about new targeted therapies and articulate the staging system for melanoma and how it is utilized to guide patient care.

Fee is $50 for physicians and $20 for non-physicians; Students and residents - no charge. Registration deadline is May 6. For more information or to register by phone with credit card, contact Sandi Beggs at 860-545-2390 or sbeggs@harthosp.org.

 

May 16 (Thursday)

Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds

Gilman Auditorium, 12 p.m.

Topic: Mass Casualty Incident: Tabletop Exercise

Presenter: Dr. Stanley Chartoff, UConn School of Medicine, chair of the Emergency Department Disaster Preparedness Committee

 

May 16 (Thursday)

Department of Medicine Grand Rounds

Gilman Auditorium, 8 a.m.

Topic: Stress Management

Presenter: Dr. Kiran Dintyala

 

May 17 (Friday)

12th Annual Henry Low Heart Center Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium

ERC, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

This symposium is designed to educate Hartford Hospital nurses on a variety of cardiovascular topics. Speakers will be Dr. Eileen Herman, Dr. Jeffrey Klugar, Dr. John Granquist, April Mann, Jami Tyska, and Angel Rentas.

 

May 18 (Saturday)

NAMI Walk (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Bushnell Park, 10 a.m.

Come join the IOL team and support the 10th annual NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Walk on Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m. at Bushnell Park. the largest and most successful mental illness awareness event in America. Support NAMI's mission of education, support, and advocacy for those with mental illness.

To join the team and/or donate please go to http://namiwalks.nami.org/IOL2013. For more information, call the IOL Family Resource Center at ext. 5-7665.

 

May 22-23 (Wednesday-Thursday)

VisionOne Electronic Health Record Demonstration

ERC, 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

For a detailed schedule, click here. RSVP required: Diane.Akien@HHCHealth.org, 860-263-4185. .

 

May 22 (Wednesday)

Schwartz Center Rounds: If I Walk in Your Shoes, Do I have to Wear Your Socks? How Does Empathy Impact Patient Care?

Gilman Auditorium, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Join us for Schwartz Center Rounds, a forum where staff get together to discuss a common theme in health care.

We'll talk about what it feels like to walk in another person's shoes. Is it possible to have empathy towards everyone? Where are the boundaries between understanding someone's pain and actually feeling it?

Schwartz Center Rounds have always been a safe place to share the joys and challenges in patient care. All staff/volunteers/physicians are encouraged to share their experience.

No need to RSVP, and lunch is provided. See you there.

 

May 22 (Wednesday)

Medical Staff Annual Spring Event and Awards Meeting

Heublein Hall, ERC, 6-8 p.m.

Medical Staff Annual Spring Event and Awards Meeting, May 22.

 

May 23 (Thursday)

Med-Path CPC (12)

Gilman Auditorium, 8 a.m.

Dr. Demytra Mitsis

 

May 30 (Thursday)

Department of Surgery SCMT Awards Ceremony

Special Dining Room, 2-4 p.m.

The Department of Surgery Awards recognize faculty and staff for outstanding professional achievements and activities that improve the quality and safety of patient care.

 

May 30 (Thursday)

Medicine Grand Rounds

Gilman Auditorium, 8 a.m.

Topic: Transplant - Current Issues

Presenter: Dr. Caroline Rochon

 

May 30 (Thursday)

Psychiatric Grand Rounds

IOL Commons Building, 12 noon

Topic: Functional Outcome in Schizophrenia: Where is the progress?

Presenter: Dr. Matthew Kurtz, Wesleyan University

 

June 1 (Saturday)

Susan G. Komen CT Race for the Cure

Bushnell Park, 7 a.m.

This annual event to raise funds for breast cancer awareness will be held Saturday, June 1, at 7 a.m. in Bushnell Park.

Participants can register online or on the day of the event. Fees are: Youth - $10 ($15 day of race); Regular - $30 ($35 day of race); In The Pink - $75.

Please join the Hartford Hospital Team Hartford HealthCare! Register online at www.komenct.org (click on "Join Existing Team - Hartford HealthCare").

For more information, contact Linda Skiff at 860-545-5387 or lskiff@harthosp.org.

 

June 6 (Thursday)

Psychiatric Grand Rounds

IOL Commons Building, 12 noon

Topic: Understanding Dissociative Symptoms in Children and Adolescents Exposed To Developmental Trauma

Presenter: Dr. Joyanna Silberg, Sheppard Pratt Health System, Maryland

 

June 7 (Friday)

Safe Opioid Prescribing Academy

Gilman Auditorium, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Presented by The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT). Recent changes in the world of prescription opioids. Come interact with experts in medical toxicology, emergency medicine, addiction medicine, and pain medicine as we address issues requiring your attention in this changing area of medical practice. This day-long symposium will combine didactic presentations with break-out sessions and panel discussions to provide an informative, interactive experience.

 

June 7 (Friday)

Surgery Grand Rounds

Gilman Auditorium, 6:45 a.m.

Topic: The Evolution of Surgical Quality

Presenter: Scott Ellner, DO, vice chairman, Department of Surgery; director, Surgical Quality, St. Francis Hospital Medical Center, assistant professor of Surgery, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

 

June 13 (Thursday)

Semi-Annual Medical Staff Meeting

Gilman Auditorium, 6:45-8 a.m.

 

 

July 12 (Friday)

2nd Annual Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner

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

Please save the date for the 2nd Annual Hartford Hospital Medical Staff “Chef to Farm” Dinner from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 12, 2013 at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury. More details will follow.

 

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 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.

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

 

 

 

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.