From the Offices of Stuart Markowitz, MD and Stacy Nerenstone, MD

 

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In This Issue...

March 2, 2014 Edition

HAND HYGIENE
Wash In - Wash Out

Wash

Hartford Hospital has held relatively steady with hand-hygiene compliance, achieving an 82 percent compliance rate last month. This is almost at the level of best practice.

This is strong progress, but it is not, and should not, be good enough for Hartford Hospital.

We have plateaued and are increasing our efforts to improve. Although our goal for this year is 90 percent, we will not be satisfied until we reach 100 percent compliance, so we still have work to do.

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HH Facts and Firsts:

2003 - The first 2-incision “mini” total hip replacement in New England was performed at Hartford Hospital.


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Chief's Corner

GreeneWelcome 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. Should you have any comments or suggestions along the way, please share them with us.

- Dr. Jack Greene, Hartford HealthCare regional vice president of Medical Affairs for the Hartford Region and Hartford Hospital

 

Preventing Errors: Becoming a High Reliability Organization

Hartford Hospital is on a high reliability journey. We need to do a better job of keeping our patients safe. The number of preventable deaths that occur in health care facilities is the equivalent of a 747 jet filled with passengers crashing everyday with no survivors. Our patients know these statistics and above all expect that we keep them safe during their hospital stay.

Humans are inherently fallible and make errors. We must work on putting in place systems and processes to help prevent errors from reaching our patients. Other complex industries such as aviation and nuclear energy have done this well. There is a science behind mitigation of human errors. There are simple techniques which we can adopt. This is behind the training which we are rolling out to all staff members and will be offering to the medical staff. We want to become a High Reliability Organization.

It works! Hospitals which are further along in the journey have seen harm rates reduced by as much as 80%. In fact, last year, 13 hospitals which had espoused High Reliability Training had ZERO harm events. WE can get there and owe this commitment to our patients. We all proudly took the oath to “above all, do no harm”. We must deliver on this promise.

There will soon be a schedule of training sessions specifically geared to physicians. Please get involved and participate. Our patients will benefit!

Top News

Please Watch The Video About Contact Precautions

During a recent DPH inspection, a medical staff member did not properly wash his stethoscope upon exiting a contact isolation room.

It is essential that all equipment including your stethoscope be sanitized when leaving a contact isolation room.

Please watch the video linked here, which will illustrate the proper sequence to follow for gowning and gloving when entering and exiting a Contact Isolation room.

It will also show you how to properly disinfect any equipment including your stethoscope after you leave the room. This step is required to prevent the transmission of infection on our units, and to protect the safety of the next patient that you see. The use of a glove over the bell of the stethoscope by some practitioners is not adequate by itself.

Video link: http://media.harthosp.org:80/ermweb/player?id=i560TWO9

 

Revisions To The Restraint Policy

The Joint Commission and CMS require that physicians, clinical psychologists, and other licensed independent practitioners authorized to order restraint or seclusion have a working knowledge of the hospital policy regarding the use of restraint and seclusion. Click here to see the revisions to the Restraint Policy.

• New language – restraints for violent self-destructive behavior (formerly behavioral restraints) and restraints for non-violent, non-self-destructive behavior (formerly medical restraints)

• Orders – will now require documentation of the specific type of device, such as padded mitt, and the number of limbs to be restrained, if appropriate

 

Want To Refer or Transfer A Patient to Hartford Hospital? One Call Does It All

Physicians are reminded that the best way to call in a patient to Hartford Hospital is to call the Patient Transfer Center. This is the best way to make sure the message goes to any of the many providers that may see the patient. For ED patients, the information you provide is "parked" electronically and merged with the chart when the patient arrives.

Emergency and non-emergency transfers are just one call away: 1-866-993-BEDS (2337).

The Patient Transfer Center operates 24/7 and is staffed by RNs.

How it Works: A physician calls the Transfer Center expressing interest in transferring a patient to Hartford Hospital. The nurse at the Transfer Center locates the appropriate Hartford Hospital attending physician on call and facilitates a recorded conference call among the referring doctor, accepting doctor and a Transfer Center nurse to establish a clinical picture. A final decision on acceptance is based on overall capacity, census, OR cases, trauma and other pending transfers.

 

Emergency Department Phone Extensions Have Changed

The phone numbers in the Emergency Department have changed from 545 to 972 exchanges. The correct extensions for the ED and its pods are:

  • ED Main Number: 2-0000
  • Blue Pod: 2-2515
  • Green Pod: 2-2529
  • Orange Pod East: 2-7530
  • Orange Pod West: 2-7550
  • Red Pod (Critical Care): 2-3897
  • Gold Pod (Urgent Care): 2-2561
  • Purple Pod main number: 2-9120
  • Purple Pod Behavioral Suite: 2-4154
  • Purple Pod West: 2-8015

 

Hartford Hospital Doctors Become the First in the Region to Implant New Defibrillator

On Feb. 26, Dr. Edmond Cronin, electrophysiologist at at Hartford Hospital, became the first in the region to implant a subcutaneous implantable defibrillator, (S-ICD)® for the treatment of patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The S-ICD System is designed to provide the same protection from SCA as traditional transvenous ICDs, but sits just below the skin without the need for leads to be placed into the heart itself.

The S-ICD System has two main components: (1) the pulse generator, which powers the system, monitors heart activity, and delivers a shock if needed, and (2) the electrode, which enables the device to sense the cardiac rhythm and serves as a pathway for shock delivery when necessary. Both components are implanted just under the skin—the generator at the side of the chest, and the electrode beside the breastbone. Implantation with the S-ICD System is straightforward and can be done using only anatomical landmarks which removes the need for fluoroscopy.

 

Hartford HealthCare Opens Family Health Center in Farmington  

Hartford HealthCare is bringing greater access to health care to the Farmington community with the opening of its newest Family Health Center.  The center, at 406 Farmington Avenue, is conveniently located near Hartford HealthCare’s specialty care services across the road.

The new 12,500-square-foot building will provide urgent care for adults and children, primary care for adults and children ages 5 and older and geriatric care.  Hartford Hospital Rehabilitation Network will begin providing services at the location within the next month.

The center will be open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This marks the tenth Hartford HealthCare Family Health Center in Connecticut.  Additional family health centers are located in Avon, Bristol, Cheshire, Enfield, Meriden, South Windsor, Storrs, Wallingford and Windham.

 

Stop the Stigma of Mental Illness

We are asking all HHC staff to take a pledge and sign their name to the following:

  • I pledge: To teach by sharing my own experiences with mental illness and encouraging others to share their stories with me; I will learn in order to change.
  • I pledge: To show compassion by reaching out to those in need of help; I will not let anyone suffer in silence.
  • I pledge: To have the courage to speak up and challenge stereotypes and attitudes; I will not tolerate or perpetuate stigma.
  • I pledge: To demand a change in how we view and address mental illness; I will help lead the way.

The goal is to obtain 10,000 individual pledges, spreading the message that changing attitudes can begin to change minds. So far, nearly 7,000 have taken the pledge Ask everyone — fellow employees, volunteers, patients, the community — to “take a pledge.” It is online now at www.StopTheStigmaCT.org.

 

Auxiliary Invites Requests For Funding Special Projects

The Hartford Hospital Auxiliary Board of Directors invites requests for funding of special projects for the Auxiliary's spring 2014 round of Special Projects funding. Requests are due by March 21. Applications received after March 21 will be deferred to the fall FY2015 funding round.

If you would like to seek funding, contact Mickey Orkin (Mickey.Orkin@hhchealth.org).

You may find it useful to see the following list of some previous beneficiaries of Special Projects funds:

  • Bliss 6 – Hemorrhage cart and blanket warmer
  • Cardiology/Transplant – Istat machine
  • CESI - minimally invasive training boxes
  • Dental Clinic – 2 oral surgery chairs
  • Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center - tool to pre-screen patients for clinical trials
  • Institute of Living / child & adolescent unit - instruments for the music program
  • North 8 - Dinamap machine
  • Stroke Center – Imaging workstation
  • Women’s Ambulatory Health Services – Ob/Gyn exam tables

 

January Finances: Thumbs Up

Inpatient volumes based on discharges for the month of January were 1.7% above budget. The comparison to the prior year shows January, 2014 discharges approximately (0.7%) below the prior year. Outpatient revenues exceeded budget by approximately 5.5% for the month. The favorable outpatient revenue variance was driven by Perioperative services, the Emergency Department and Laboratory services.

Through the first four months of fiscal year 2014, inpatient discharges exceeded budget by 0.4% and were 0.5% greater than the prior fiscal year. Outpatient revenues were 7.6% above budget for the four months ending January 2014. Year to date, the favorable outpatient revenue variances were in Perioperative services, Radiology, Cardiology, Emergency services and Laboratory services.

Excellence

Dr. Michael Conway Receives American Lung Association Award

Dr. Michael Conway has been named honoree by the Connecticut Pulmonary Section (CPS) of the American Lung Association. The CPS Award is presented for dedication and service to the field of pulmonary medicine.

Dr. Conway is a board certified pulmonologist practicing in the same group in Connecticut for the last 36 years.He was the operational partner of the pulmonary division of Connecticut Multispecialty Group for over 30 years, the director of patient care systems in the Hartford Hospital Department of Information Systems from 1990 to 1996, chief of the Hartford Hospital pulmonary division from 1985 to 2009 and the president of the Hartford Hospital medical staff from 2005 to 2007.

 

Drs. Mandavilli and Ricci Present at Pathology Institute in India

Dr. Srini Mandavilli and Dr. Andrew Ricci, Jr. were faculty at an International CME in Pathology at Post-Graduate Institute for Medical Education & Research in Chandigarh, India on Feb 6-8.

They presented podium presentations and slide seminars on breast pathology, soft tissue tumors and IHC stains in tumors.

 

Dr. Stacy Nerenstone Speaks at Beth El Temple on Ethics for Oncology

Dr. Stacy Nerenstone spoke to 75 congregants at Beth El Temple on Feb. 15 on the topic of Medical Ethics and Decision Making for a Medical Oncologist. it was part of the Temple's series on medical ethics.

 

Dr. Matthew Parker To Speak at American College of Cardiology's Scientific Sessions

Dr. Matthew W. Parker has been invited to sit on a panel session titled "Clinical Focus: Management of Resistant Hypertension" at the American College of Cardiology's 2014 Scientific Sessions in Washington, DC, in March.

 

Dr. Judi Pepe Becomes First Triple Boarded Intensivist at HH

Dr. Judi Pepe has passed the neurocritical care boards. She is the first and only triple boarded intensivist (surgery, surgical critical care, neurocritical care) in the Division of Surgical Critical Care.

 

Dr. Hank Schwartz To Join Panel on Mental Illness at CT Forum

Dr. Hank Schwartz, psychiatrist in chief at the Institute of Living, will be a panelist at an event in the Connecticut Forum series called "An Honest Look at Mental Illness," on Friday, March 7 at 8 p.m. at the Bushnell. Other panelists will be Royce White, NBA draft pick; and authors Andrew Solomon and Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison. The panel will be moderated by John Dankosky, host of WNPR's "Where we live."

Because Hartford HealthCare's Behavioral Health Network is hosting the event, HHC employees can receive a $6 discount on tickets.

For more information or tickets, call 860-509-0909 or go to: http://www.ctforum.org/forum/honest-look-mental-illness

 

Dr. Paul Thompson Appointed to European Atherosclerosis Society Panel

Dr. Paul D. Thompson, chief of Cardiology, has been appointed to serve on the European Atherosclerosis Society’s expert panel on Diagnosing and Managing Possible Statin Associated Muscle Problems.

 

Dr. Peppie Wagner Meets With Governor and Legislators at the Capitol

Dr. Joseph "Peppie" Wagner joined colleagues, lobbyists, and CSMS staff for Physicians Day at the Capitol on February 14. He had the opportunity to meet with Governor Malloy and several legislators to discuss initiatives to improve healthcare delivery in our state.

 

Dr. Steven Zweibel To Deliver Global Grand Rounds on MINERVA Trial

Dr. Steven Zweibel, the director of Electrophysiology, will be delivering Global Grand Rounds in Minneapolis, MN for Medtronic on the results of the MINERVA trial. This important research trial has demonstrated that certain therapies available in pacemakers can delay the progression to atrial fibrillation in patients receiving pacemakers for sinus node dysfunction.

 

 

 

 

Our Physicians Are Great Sources For Local Media

Dr. Andrew Salner was interviewed by the Hartford Courant on Feb. 12 and on the Ray Dunaway show Feb. 25 about medical marijuana dosing.

Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor was interviewed by the Hartford Courant on Feb. 13 about medical marijuana dosing; and with the Hartford Courant and Fox CT on Feb. 25 about heroin tainted with fentanyl in Hartford.

Dr. Heather Swales was interviewed by Channel 3 on Feb. 16 to promote an upcoming women's heart event at the HHC Wellness Lounge at Westfarms Mall.

Dr. Edmond Cronin was interviewed by Fox CT on Feb. 21 about the A-Fib Center. Read more here.

Dr. Rocco Orlando was interviewed by Hartford Business Journal on Feb. 20 about the decrease in hospital spending on medical malpractice.

Dr. Spencer Erman was interviewed by WFSB about exercise in cold weather and weight loss. Watch it here.

Research and Academics

CESI Purchases "Harvey" Cardiopulmonary Patient Simulator with $71,500 CHEFA Grant

Hartford Hospital’s Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI) recently welcomed Harvey® The Cardiopulmonary Patient Simulator to its collection of high-fidelity human patient simulators available for training.

The manikin—which realistically simulates 30 conditions by varying blood pressure, pulses, heart sounds, and murmurs—was purchased through a $71,500 grant from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA).

“The Harvey patient simulator is a great complement to our program,” says Thomas Nowicki, MD, cognitive simulation director at CESI. “It allows heart and lung listening skills to be developed. It is as close to a real person as you can get as far as training. An added bonus is that Harvey allows us to teach 20 students simultaneously through its wireless components. Our other simulators could not do that.”

The purchase of the Harvey is part of a renovation and expansion project that began in the fall of 2013 that will allow CESI to grow from its current site in the Education and Resource Center on Hudson Street into the adjacent Barney Building on Jefferson Street.

CHEFA is a quasi-governmental agency created to help Connecticut-based nonprofit organizations raise the funds needed to meet their goals of improving the health and education of the citizens of this state.

 

Enhancing The Patient Experience

Voices of Our Patients: Kudos To Dr. Mandeep Kumar

Dr. Kumar,

I would like thank you and the staff for taking very good care of me.

I really appreciate the follow up call I received from nurse Kathy. Very professional. Sure makes the patient feel like they are cared for.

Thanks.

Humbly Serving,

Brandon L. McGee, Jr.
5th Assembly District Representative | House Democrats

Operational Update

ICP News! Read about Moving Toward Population Health Management

The March 3 issue of ICP News is available here. Dr. James Cardon, CEO of Integrated Care Partners and HHC Chief Clinical Integration Officer, writes about population health management.

"ICP has taken significant steps along the road to managing population health and delivering higher-quality care at lower costs, including improving care coordination," Cardon writes. "Our more than 1,200 physician members have committed to a program of financial incentives tied to improving quality and cost through shared savings. Our shared-savings agreements are with commercial insurers, as well as Medicare and our own Hartford HealthCare employees. By providing better access, measuring and managing quality outcomes, and working to reduce unnecessary costs, we move closer to our goal of consistent, high-quality, affordable health care."

Read it here.

 

Wondering what to do with your Hartford Hospital 403(b)/TSA Retirement Savings Plan?

Retirement counselors from Prudential will be available at Hartford Hospital through May to assist employees who want more information about consolidating account balances in their Hartford Hospital 403(b)/TSA retirement savings plan at Prudential.

These sessions are for participants in the Hartford Hospital 403(b)/TSA ONLY. Information sessions for participants in other HH retirement savings plans will be announced shortly. To find out what plan you belong to, create an account at Prudential.com/HartfordHealthCare. Follow the prompts to create a user name and password, and login to your account. Above the account value you will see “Hartford Hospital Section 403(b)/TSA Plan.’’

Until May 31, 2014, you may transfer your Hartford Hospital 403(b)/TSA balance to Prudential and pay no fees associated with the transfer. During March, April and May, Prudential counselors will have office hours in the Human Resources building at 195 Retreat Ave. where you can learn more about your options.

To set up a private meeting on the Hartford Hospital campus, specific to helping you consolidate your accounts call (860) 972-2146 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to schedule an appointment or call Prudential at 1-800-249-2430 for help with your account consolidation over the phone.

As a reminder to 403(b)/TSA participants:
• Your account balance as of January 1, 2014 stayed with your prior plan provider; it did not move to Prudential automatically
• Going forward, your retirement savings deductions will go into your new Prudential account
• You have a choice. You can transfer your existing account balance into your new account at Prudential or you may maintain two account balances– one at Prudential and one at your prior plan provider
• For more information please read the attached FAQs
To make your one-on-one session as productive as possible, please bring a statement from your current 403 (b)/TSA manager (MetLife, American Funds, ING or Mutual of America).

 

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.

 

Remind a Colleague: Wash In, Wash Out

All health care workers and patients should feel comfortable reminding any other health care worker to sanitize regardless of their role. This should always be done in a courteous and constructive manner. All health care workers should respond courteously and gratefully when reminded.

If you remind another health care worker to sanitize, and he or she responds with irritation or hostility, please notify their department chief, Dr. Jamie Roche or Dr. Jack Ross, who will communicate with them to prevent recurrences.

 

 

 

Save These Dates:

 

Medical Staff Interim Meeting - March 26; 6:45-8 a.m. and 5:30-7 p.m.

We will be having two Town Hall Style meetings with the hospital and medical staff leadership on Wednesday, March 26 in Gilman Auditorium, 6:45-8 a.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. Planned participants include Drs. Stu Markowitz, president; Jack Greene, chief medical officer for HH; Rocco Orlando, chief medical officer for HHC; Jim Cardon, executive vice president and chief clinical integration officer for HHC; and Stacy Nerenstone, president of the medical staff. Come and ask your difficult questions, and find out what is going on at Hartford Hospital and at Hartford HealthCare.

Medical Staff Spring Event - May 22

The Board of Directors and Medical Staff Spring Event will be held Thursday, May 22, starting at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour in Heublein Hall at the ERC. The awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. We will present five awards: the Physician in Philanthropy Award; the Distinguished Service Award; the David Hull, MD, Young Practitioner Award; the John K. Springer Humanitarian Award; and the Quality and Safety Award.

Did You Know?

Supply Cost Stats

HHC spends more than $2 million annually on surgical mesh.

Countdown To The Upgrade: 212 Days To The ICD-10 Conversion

From "Make ICD-10 Easier" by NextGen Healthcare:
6 Quick Tips For Doctors in Small Practices

As the demands of ICD-10 get closer and escalate, there will be plenty of organizations that feel like a runaway train.

If you’re part of a small group that has gotten off track with ICD-10 preparation, what should you do now?

First, breathe deeply. OK, next, follow this quick list of suggestions:

  • If your coders don’t have a background in anatomy and physiology, they should take a course right away
  • Buy an ICD-10 book and attempt to code the 50 most common codes in your practice
  • Look at translation programs (icd9data.com and icd10data.com) and enter your most common diagnosis codes. From the results of your comparisons, make a list of clinical documentation improvements that will be required
  • Select certain coders in your practice to go off-site for two-day training—it’s worth the time
  • Develop a timeline for training clinical staff close to the implementation date
  • Read the general guidelines for coding ICD-10 on the CDC’s website  

Check out the ICD-10 resources for physicians we have placed on our SharePoint site: https://myhhc.hhchealth.org/hhcProjects/icd10/info
E-mail questions to ICD10.info@hhchealth.org

HH In the News

Where'd You Get That? Dichronic Glass Mosaic of a Brain Scan at IOL

Hartford Magazine, Jan. 19

Go to any gala event in Hartford and chances are good that Dennis Peabody’s jewelry will be in attendance. The artist’s distinctive iridescent glass jewelry has been a favorite with area trendsetters since he began creating his custom-fashioned dichroic glass earrings, pins, rings and necklaces in the early 1980s.

In 2005, two of Peabody’s regular customers, Drs. Godfrey Pearlson and Harold Schwartz, both doctors at The Institute of Living, approached him with a request to create a piece for the lobby of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center.

Peabody took a tour of the center, spoke with researchers and doctors, and asked for examples of brain imaging. A DTI, or diffusion scan, caught his attention.

He set out to create a piece that reflected the brain’s dynamic activity — something with movement and energy. More than three months and 3,000 tiles later, he had succeeded.

Read more here.

 

Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital Eyes Expansion into China

The Lowell Sun, Feb. 19

Brigham and Women's Hospital is considering a proposal from real-estate billionaire Hui Ka Yan to become the first Harvard-affiliated hospital to expand to China. Brigham and Women's, which trains Harvard Medical School students, is exploring "the possibility of collaborating" with Hui's Evergrande Real Estate Group on a hospital in China.

U.S. hospitals and medical schools are eyeing China as its economy matures and demand for health-care increases. Constraints on pricing from payers for hospital services have also pushed some U.S. medical centers to consider expanding abroad, she said.

A 2011 survey of 311 medical centers by the American Hospital Association found that 21 had overseas partnerships. Among 12 willing to give details, two -- Tampa General Hospital and Hartford Hospital in Connecticut -- had partnerships in China. Both arrangements were formed with existing health-care providers in the country, rather than new hospitals.

Read more here.

 

Doctor's Dilemma: Dosing Medical Marijuana

Hartford Courant, Feb. 21

It was not long after Connecticut legalized medical marijuana in 2012 that Dr. William Zempsky received calls from patients asking about it. Zempksy said that although he has no doubt that medical marijuana helps alleviates discomfort, he would be very reluctant to certify any patients to use the drug because he has too many questions about it.

"I think it's going to be a learning curve among doctors and patients on how to dose it," said Dr. Andrew Salner, chief of the department of radiation oncology at Hartford Hospital. He said he has certified "a handful" of patients for medical marijuana use. "For that small number of patients who either can't tolerate the conventional methods or they don't work for them, it's nice to have another thing."

Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor, a toxicologist at Hartford Hospital, said marijuana likely has medical benefits to it, but without large-scale studies, "the evidence is very nebulous." "I definitely know of patients who have had great benefits from its use," she said. But Johnson-Arbor cautions that, even though fatal overdoses of marijuana are virtually impossible, people can still take too much of it at one time.

"Definitely you can take enough where you have psychotic symptoms, or visual hallucinations — those can happen," she said.

Salner, at Hartford Hospital, said he thinks that doctors who participate in the medical marijuana program in Connecticut will take an active role to minimize those negative effects.

"There needs to be a discussion between patient and doctors about what the doses are and of what the active compounds are like and what the general guidelines might be for starting the medication," he said. "Other doctors have asked these questions. There's some good literature, but to some degree, we're going to be on a learning curve."

Read more here.

 

Facebook Addiction Could Point Out Underlying Problems

WFSB 3, Feb. 25

Doctors said a self-evaluation craving that comes with a Facebook membership could point out more underlying problems, and that being addicted to Facebook is not a diagnosable disorder.

"There becomes that obsessive quality," explained Dr. Laura Saunders, a psychologist at the Institute of Living in Hartford. "People feel the need to be checking things continuously. As if it has an impact on their day-to-day functioning. And that's how people treat it."

Saunders said Facebook users can perform a self-evaluation to see if their usage has reached an unhealthy level. They also said it's hard for a lot of people to admit that they have a problem.

"You take that self-evaluation and you say, 'Wow, this is really starting to have a negative impact on my life. I'm not spending time with my children, not spending time with my spouse without constantly checking things and looking for that external validation,'" said Saunders.

She said that includes checking excessively for "likes" to feel accepted or accomplished and keeping tabs on friend totals and only posting about positive things.

Read more here.

In the HHC System

HOCC Beneficiary of Generous Bequest

New Britain Herald, Feb. 17

The Hospital of Central Connecticut is beneficiary of a Berlin resident’s $1.3 million bequest, from the estate of Myrna Pauloz, who died in 2012.

Pauloz asked that the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain be the steward of the money. She requested that the money for the hospital be used to support medical research relating to inpatient care. Kimberly Gensicki, senior marketing and communications specialist for Hartford HealthCare at HOCC, said officials are not sure why Pauloz designated the hospital.

Jim Williamson, president of the foundation, said it will invest the funds and that the hospital will get the money in mid-2015. Per Pauloz’ wishes, Williamson said, 4 to 5 percent — or about $52,000 a year — will go to the hospital.

Pauloz was born in Berlin in 1935 and was valedictorian of her 1953 Berlin High School graduating class. She was married to the late Alfred Pauloz and she was a bookkeeper at the former Skinner Chuck Co. in New Britain.

 

HOCC Cancer Center Receives $1.5 Million Pledge

New Britain Herald, Feb. 17

The Hospital of Central Connecticut Cancer Center will be named the Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation Comprehensive Breast Center after the foundation donated $1.5 million to fund it.

The gift, the largest yet in the hospital’s $10 million cancer center fundraising campaign, will go to support a new state-of-the-art breast cancer center being built on North Mountain Road in New Britain, near the Plainville line. Once completed, the two-story center will cover more than 65,000 square feet, including centers for the detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all forms of cancer. It will also offer a full range of treatment and services for breast cancer patients.

The center will also benefit from Hartford HealthCare’s membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, which will bring state-of-the-art cancer research and cancer care to people in area communities.

Read more here.

 

Westfarms Donates Proceeds To Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network

Hartford Courant, Feb. 23

A donation of $12,017.71 has been awarded by Westfarms to the Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Behavioral Health Network (BHN) to support public outreach education efforts through HHC's Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training program. The gift is the result of proceeds from the Westfarms gift wrapping station.

Read more here.

 

Norwich Neurologist Will Be Honored For Work in Haiti

The Norwich Bulletin, Feb. 24

There are just two practicing neurologists who live in Haiti and serve its 9.8 million people.

But thanks to the work of a devoted Norwich doctor, more than 40 neurologists from across North America have traveled to the impoverished island nation almost monthly since 2010, providing services from a clinic at St. Luc Hospital in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince.

“What we’ve done is create an opportunity for neurologists to come and work for a week and really experience why we got into medicine to begin with. Not to argue with big insurance companies, but to use our skills for physical examinations and to help people who need it,” said Anthony Alessi, director of The William W. Backus Hospital’s Stroke Center.

Read more here.

 

Killingly Students Take Pledge To Help Peers Who Contemplate Suicide

The Norwich Bulletin, Feb. 24

On Thursday, Killingly High School, in cooperation with Hartford HealthCare, hosted its first Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention Day.

It brought students together with mental health advocates in an effort to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. Sheryl Sprague, manager of Meriden-based Rushford treatment center’s prevention and welfare department, asked an auditorium full of juniors and seniors to be vigilant and empathetic.

“I’m here to say help is available,” Sprague said. “Recovery is possible. And just by talking you can make a difference.”

Read more here.

Health Care News In the Region

Major Expansion Underway at UConn Health Center

New Britain Herald, Feb. 11

Since Gov. Dannel Malloy signed his job-creation initiative in June 2011, nearly 1,700 construction jobs have been created on the campus of UConn Health Center. In the next six years, the initiative is expected to create another 3,000 construction jobs.

Bioscience Connecticut is the large-scale state investment in facility upgrades, regional collaborations, and educational expansion that supports the governor’s vision of making Connecticut an international destination for health care and bioscience research.

Seven major construction projects are ongoing on the 164-acre campus, a massive, renovation undertaking built with $500 million in state dollars. Each project has a different completion date; each varies in complexity.

The overall Bioscience Connecticut initiative — probably the largest of its kind in the nation — is on time and on budget. It is estimated that approximately $868 million will be invested in overall construction by the completion of all campus projects.

Read more here.

 

Hospitals: We're worth over $20B to CT economy

Hartford Business Journal, Feb. 14

Connecticut hospitals create, directly and indirectly, $20.2 billion in economic value for the state, up from $20 billion a year ago, according to a report from the Connecticut Hospital Association.

Hartford Hospital is one of 28 acute care hospitals in the state, which CHA said generated $20.2 billion in economic value last year.

The report comes as hospitals are facing a state tax on their revenue and underfunding of Medicaid costs. The association hopes the report will spur state lawmakers to invest an additional $30 million in hospitals next year.

Combined with a federal match, that investment would amount to an additional $100 million, and could generate 1,650 jobs, the report said.

The state's 28 acute care hospitals employ 55,000 people, according to the report, which used an economic multiplier to determine that each of those jobs is indirectly worth an extra — meaning 111,000 jobs can be traced to the industry.

In 2012, hospitals directly contributed $5.3 billion in payroll, $3.9 billion in spending on goods and services, and $530 million in spending on buildings and capital needs.

That impact of that $9.73 billion more than doubles to $20.2 billion when the multiplier is factored in, the report said.

 

Cancer Immunologist Karolina Palucka Joins JAX Genomic Medicine Facility at UConn

The Jackson Laboratory, Feb. 21

Internationally recognized clinical oncologist and cancer immunologist A. Karolina Palucka, M.D., Ph.D., will join The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine faculty on March 1 as professor and associate director of cancer immunology. Science magazine recognized cancer immunotherapy as the “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2013, and Palucka is one of the leaders in this field. Her research exploits dendritic cells, which control the body’s immune response to tumors, as the basis for new vaccines against melanomas and other human cancers.

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine is currently in temporary facilities on the University of Connecticut Health Sciences campus in Farmington, Conn., while an 183,500-square-foot permanent facility is under construction and scheduled to open in October 2014.

Palucka is the Michael A.E. Ramsay Chair for Cancer Immunology Research and director of the Ralph M. Steinman Center for Cancer Vaccines at the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research (BIIR) in Dallas, where she is principal investigator of a large U-19 research award from the Human Immunology Project Consortium. She is also professor of oncological sciences and clinical immunology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Read more here.

 

Hot Topics in Health Care

Centralizing Organ Removal May Benefit Transplant

Yahoo News, Feb. 25

For decades, surgeons have traveled to far-off hospitals to remove organs from brain-dead donors and then rushed back to transplant them. Now an experiment in the Midwest suggests there may be a better way: Bring the donors to the doctors instead.

A study out Tuesday reports on liver transplants from the nation's first free-standing organ retrieval center. Nearly all organ donors now are transported to Mid-America Transplant Services in St. Louis from a region including parts of Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas.

Removing organs at this central location near the four hospitals that do transplants saves money, the study found. The livers spent less time outside the donor's body, which at least in theory improves the odds of success. Doctors also think they are getting more usable organs from each donor, though this study only looked at livers.

Read more here.

 

Some Hospital Infections Reduced by Computerized Checklists

Medical News Today, Feb. 25

The automated checklist, and a dashboard-style interface used to interact with it, made it fast and easy for caregivers to follow national guidelines for keeping patients' central lines infection-free.

The new system combed through data in the electronic medical record and pushed alerts to physicians and nurses when a patient's central line was due for care.

During the study, the rate of central line infections in the hospital's pediatric ICU dropped from 2.6 to 0.7 per 1,000 days of central line use.

Read more here.

Coming Events

March 7 (Friday)

Connecticut Forum: "An Honest Look at Mental Illness"

Bushnell, 8 p.m.

Dr. Hank Schwartz, psychiatrist in chief at the Institute of Living, will be a panelist at an event in the Connecticut Forum series called "An Honest Look at Mental Illness," on Friday, March 7 at 8 p.m. at the Bushnell. Other panelists will be Royce White, NBA draft pick; and authors Andrew Solomon and Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison. The panel will be moderated by John Dankosky, host of WNPR's "Where we live."

Because Hartford HealthCare's Behavioral Health Network is hosting the event, HHC employees can receive a $6 discount on tickets.

For more information or tickets, call 860-509-0909 or go to: http://www.ctforum.org/forum/honest-look-mental-illness

 

March 26 (Wednesday)

Medical Staff Interim Meeting

Gilman Auditorium, 6:45-8 a.m. and 5:30-7 p.m.

We will be having two Town Hall Style meetings with the hospital and medical staff leadership on Wednesday, March 26 in Gilman Auditorium, 6:45-8 a.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. Planned participants include Drs. Stu Markowitz, president; Jack Greene, chief medical officer for HH; Rocco Orlando, chief medical officer for HHC; Jim Cardon, executive vice president and chief clinical integration officer for HHC; and Stacy Nerenstone, president of the medical staff. Come and ask your difficult questions, and find out what is going on at Hartford Hospital and at Hartford HealthCare.

 

March 26-28 (Wednesday-Friday)

TransFuse 2014

JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

Hartford Hospital and the Mayo Clinic are offering TransFuse 2014, a 3-day multidisciplinary conference devoted to exploring the current state-of-the art techniques and program development to implement a blood management program in hospitals. It will be held March 26-28 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief of the Department of Medicine, is one of the course directors. Also on the faculty from Hartford Hospital are Dr. Elizabeth Deckers, Ob-Gyn; Dr. Steve Shichman, chair of the Department of Urology; and Chris Donovan, executive director of fiscal services.

REGISTER ONL INE NOW! http://www.mayo.edu/cme/anesthesiology-2014r455 HHC members gets a discount with registration at the Blood Summit.

 

April 4 (Friday)

Department of Surgery Grand Rounds

Gilman Auditorium, 6:45 a.m.

Topic: Mesenteric Ischemia

Speaker: Dr. Parth Shah, director of vascular surgery, Hospital of Central Connecticut

 

 

April 10 (Thursday)

Prostate Health Seminar

Glastonbury Pond House Grill, 5:30 p.m.

Hartford Hospital’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Cancer Institute is providing free educational seminars for primary care providers. Each session will provide 2 CMEs and dinner. They will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the Glastonbury Pond House Grill. Advance registration is required; contact the Health Referral Service at 860-545-1888. For more information, contact Jan Ruderman at 860-817-5300.

Speakers: Drs. Stuart Kesler, Arthur Tarantino and Joseph Wagner. The session will focus on criteria for PSA testing, managing BPH and new developments in Active Surveillance for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer.

 

May 13 (Tuesday)

Kidney Stones Seminar

Glastonbury Pond House Grill, 5:30 p.m.

Hartford Hospital’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Cancer Institute is providing free educational seminars for primary care providers. Each session will provide 2 CMEs and dinner. They will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the Glastonbury Pond House Grill. Advance registration is required; contact the Health Referral Service at 860-545-1888. For more information, contact Jan Ruderman at 860-817-5300.

Speakers: Drs. Jeffrey Morgenstern and  Jarrod Post.The session will focus on the identification and management of stone disease as well as the role of the PCP, urologist and nephrologist in caring for patients with kidney stones.

 

May 22 (Thursday)

The Board of Directors and Medical Staff Spring Event

Heublein Hall at the ERC, 6 p.m.

A cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. The awards ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.This year we will present five awards: the Physician in Philanthropy Award; the Distinguished Service Award; the David Hull, MD, Young Practitioner Award; the John K. Springer Humanitarian Award; and the Quality and Safety Award.

 

June 4 (Tuesday)

Pelvic Health Seminar

Glastonbury Pond House Grill, 5:30 p.m.

Hartford Hospital’s Tallwood Urology & Kidney Cancer Institute is providing free educational seminars for primary care providers. Each session will provide 2 CMEs and dinner. They will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the Glastonbury Pond House Grill. Advance registration is required; contact the Health Referral Service at 860-545-1888. For more information, contact Jan Ruderman at 860-817-5300.

Speakers: Drs. Richard Kershen, Adam Steinberg, Jill Peters-Gee and physical therapist Stacey Head. The session will focus on the role of the Primary Care Provider in identifying and managing: overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, and hematuria. A physical therapist will also provide an overview of the role of physical therapy in patients with pelvic health dysfunction.

 

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. Stacy Nerenstone, Medical Staff president, at (860) 545-3043.