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

 

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In This Issue... July 6, 2014 Edition

HAND HYGIENE
Wash In - Wash Out

Greene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continue to improve our hand-hygiene compliance, advancing from a 75 percent total overall compliance rate in July 2013 to 88 percent as of mid-May. However, we still have work to do in our hospital and system.

In mid-May, although Hartford Hospital nurses were top in the system with a compliance rate of 84 percent, that rate was down from 89 percent in April.

Our physician assistants were first in the system with a compliance rate of 91 percent in mid-May, compared to 86 percent in April.

Our physicians were fourth in the system with an 82 percent compliance rate, compared to 84 percent in April.

We will continue peer checking and reminders and increase the number of accountability agents on the floors.

 

 

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Wash

 

"This year, Hartford Hospital celebrates 160 years of medical firsts and continues to deliver excellent, compassionate care to the communities we serve."

- Dr. Stu Markowitz, President

 

HH Facts and Firsts:

2005 - Hartford Hospital introduces the first 64-slice “LightSpeed” VCT scanner to the state.

 

 


Follow Hartford Hospital on facebook, youtube and twitter

 

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

 

Ask Jack

There has been concern among the medical staff about not having a specific person at the hospital to turn to when an issue is encountered. This may lead to important issues not being addressed and frustration among the staff.

Each one of us likes to make sure our voice is heard. This theme has been reiterated by both the Physician Communication Task Force and the Physician Engagement Committee.

In order to address this concern, we are putting into place a dedicated email box for the medical staff. This email will be called ASK JACK.

The emails will be picked up each day and I will be responsible for making sure that they are routed to the appropriate person who is responsible for the area which led to the concern. I will also be responsible to ensure that you receive feedback.

It is our hope that this will help with the perceived gap in your ability to communicate your concerns.

In order to access the email go to: askjack@hhchealth.org

 

GreeneInternal Medicine Reorganizes Inpatient Care Model

By Dr. Ajay Kumar

In order to refine our processes and to improve the Internal Medicine Residency teaching experience, department leadership has been working to reorganize the inpatient care model at Hartford Hospital.

Effective June 28, the department’s inpatient model was organized as “Teaching Service”, “Non-Teaching”, “IM Consult” and “IM observation care service”. There is a new teaching ‘Hospitalist Resident’ service created focused on “Hospital Medicine Track and Quality Improvement curriculum”.

Teaching Service

The Hospital medicine service will manage two teaching teams and the Chief Medicine service will manage four teaching teams. We are aiming for this service to be geographically located on a single floor with overflow of patients in a geographically defined unit. Triage and admission to these teaching teams will be based on a patient’s clinical complexity and educational value for the teaching service. These criteria are being defined at this time. There will be a single pager to admit patients to this service with a single triage team, which will include the MOD and hospital medicine, admit APRN (HMAA). The ER and other referring services do not need to make the accepting service decision based on insurance status.

Non-Teaching Service

The Hospital medicine service will continue as before, managing the non-teaching patients. There will be a minimum of 10 teams on the non-teaching service. HMAA will have the decision making capacity to admit patients to this service.

IM consult service

All consults will be triaged by HMAA and will be distributed to the consult team managed by 1 or 2 attendings and IM residents.

IM Observation Care

The Hospital medicine physicians, IM APRN team, and IM residents will manage IM observation patients. Current location of these patients is N10.

To summarize: The significant changes with this transition will include:

  • Single pager (8608250971) to admit patients, place consults or request a transfer of service
  • Single pager (8608250971) to accept transfer of a patient
  • Triage will NOT be done based on insurance status of patient
  • Geographically based placement of all teaching patients on B5E ( this will be done on gradually starting July 1st with 16 beds and reaching >35 beds by mid august)
  • A new teaching service will be created geared towards “hospitalist track and quality improvement “

Please direct your questions to any of the team members or myself who have been working on this transition. Our team is committed to make this transition as smooth as possible and we welcome your questions and feedback in advance to make this a success.

Team

 

High Reliability Training Sessions for Physicians

Sessions for physician training in high reliability training are being scheduled. All doctors who go into the hospital should plan on taking the 90-minute course.

Pick a time today! Email Marybeth.Scanlon@hhchealth.org to register.

Sessions will be held in JB-118:

  • Tuesday, July 8 - 6:45-8:15 a.m.
  • Wednesday, July 9 - 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 13 - 6:45-8:15 a.m.
  • Thursday, August 14 - 5:30-7 p.m.
Top News

Hartford Hospital Ranked 22nd Most Technologically Advanced Hospitals in the World

Hartford Hospital ranked #22 among 30 most technologically advanced hospitals in the world, according to Top Master's in Healthcare Administration. This is another recognition of our hospital as a destination for innovative and complex care.

 

Ads Spotlight Cancer Programs at HH

Hartford Hospital is joining the other four cancer centers from throughout Hartford HealthCare to roll out a new ad campaign promoting our membership in the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, and our partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The ads emphasize that the HHC Cancer Institute is working across the system to provide a single standard of the best possible care for patients right in their own communities.

The five cancer centers are located at Hartford Hospital, Backus Hospital, MidState Medical Center, The Hospital of Central Connecticut and Windham Hospital.

The ads focus on nurse navigators at each cancer center. In this region, they feature the five navigators from Hartford Hospital: Barbara Gaughan, Marlene Silvis, Paige Woodruff, Erin Mangan and Susanne Brown.

One of the ads reads:

We’re five hospital cancer centers working together as one institute. But you can call us Barbara.

Barbara Gaughan is a skilled nurse navigator who connects with cancer patients to coordinate their care.

You’ll find navigators like Barbara in each of the five hospitals within the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, which brings advanced cancer services and expertise right to our communities.

And as the proud charter member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, we’re working together to provide a single standard of the best possible care - giving our patients more options, confidence and hope.”

The ads also promote Cancer Connect - a phone line that provides information about cancer treatment options, educational events, support services, cancer screenings and general information. The Cancer Connect phone number is 855-255-6181.

The campaign kicked off with newspaper ads June 29, and with a social media blitz on facebook and twitter starting June 30.

The five key messages contained in the ads are:

  1. We’re organizing ourselves around patients' needs.
  2. HHC has five cancer centers, one at each of our acute care hospitals.
  3. Together they make up the HHC Cancer Institute.
  4. Skilled nurse navigators are a key part of the care team throughout the Cancer Institute - at each cancer center.
  5. We’re proud to be the first member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance.

 

GreeneRetirement Tea for Dr. AJ Smally

Please join us at a retirement tea for Dr. AJ Smally, Emergency Medicine medical director, on Monday, July 7 from 2-4 p.m. in the Special Dining Room at Hartford Hospital.

Dr. Smally has given 28 years of dedication to patient care, teaching, and his colleagues at Hartford Hospital.

 

 

Surgical Team Performs First LINX Magnetic Lower Esophageal Sphincter Augmentation at HH

On June 27, surgeons performed the first LINX magnetic lower esophageal sphincter augmentation at Hartford Hospital.The LINX procedure represented a major advancement in the treatment of reflux .

This procedure has been brought to HH through a collaborative approach involving Drs. Darren Tishler, Mario Katigbak, Pavlos Papasavas and Juan Escalon. The team included GI, endoscopy, the esophageal function testing lab, the operating room, hospital finance, and others.

This minimally invasive/laparoscopic procedure was completed in less than an hour and the patient went home feeling much improvement just a few hours after the procedure.

 

Dr. Edmond Cronin First in CT to Use Thermocool Smart Touch Catheter

On May 21, Dr. Edmond Cronin, cardiac electrophysiologist at at Hartford Hospital, became the first doctor in Connecticut to use the newly available SmartTouch ablation catheter, which provides real-time contact force measurement during cardiac ablation procedures.

During percutaneous catheter ablation procedures, a therapeutic catheter is inserted into the heart where it is used to deliver radiofrequency energy to treat heart rhythm disorders. In the past electrophysiologists had no way to precisely measure how much force was being applied to the heart with the catheter, and had to rely on tactile feedback, electrogram characteristics, impedance, and appearance on fluoroscopy to infer contact force.

Too little force results in ineffective lesions, whereas too much force might be dangerous. The new technology measures contact force so that the appropriate amount of force can be applied during mapping and ablation and has been associated with improved patient outcomes.

The catheter is expected to be especially useful for ablation of atrial fibrillation.

Dr. Cronin recently appeared on Medical Rounds on WFSB talking about the Thermocool Smart Touch catheter. Watch it here.

 

New Housestaff Began Last Week

Thirty four new residents and fellows began work at Hartford Hospital last week.

Pathology

  • Dr. Nicholas Bercovici
  • Dr. Katrina Collins
  • Dr. Brittany Symbol
  • Dr. Christy Perez-Valles

Hematopathology

  • Dr. Elena Vrotsos

Selective Pathology

  • Dr. Jean Hou
  • Dr. Bernardo Mucha
  • Dr. Inga Gurevich

Psychiatry

  • Dr. Elizabeth Burch
  • Dr. Sarah Calnan
  • Dr. Michael Gillespie
  • Dr. Christine Shapter
  • Dr. Danica Vargo
  • Dr. Christy Yuen
  • Dr. Vanessa Katon

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

  • Dr. Manpreet Kaur
  • Dr. Neil King

Urogyn-female Pelvic

  • Dr. Katie Propst

Radiology

  • Dr. Kathryn Henault
  • Dr. Christopher Kanner
  • Dr. Joseph Lembo
  • Dr. Raj Shah
  • Dr. Alicia Shea

Interventional Neuroradiology

  • Dr. Violiza Inoa-Acosta

EM Simulation

  • Dr. Amy Flores

EM Ultrasound

  • Dr. Allison Cohen
  • Dr. Nick Enos

Congestive Heart Failure

  • Dr. Bhaskar Arora

Non-invasive Cardiology

  • Dr. Nasir Hussain

Cerebrovascular/Endovascular

  • Dr. Paul Mazaris

Dentistry

  • Dr. Jeffrey Cutler
  • Dr. Ying Hsien Huang
  • Dr. Eric Jacobs
  • Dr. Noella Nubani

 

 

Stop the Stigma of Mental Illness

We are asking all HHC medical 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, more than 9,600 have taken the pledge.

Ask everyone — fellow employees, volunteers, patients, the community — to “take a pledge.” It is online now at www.StopTheStigmaCT.org.

Excellence

CareChex Rates HH First in CT for Cancer Care, Women's Health, Heart Attack and Stroke

CareChex, a division of Comparion Medical Analytics Inc., rated Hartford Hospital first in the state for cancer care, women’s health, and heart attack and stroke care.

We are rated among the top 100 in the nation in medical excellence and patient safety in cancer care, heart-attack treatment, gall-bladder removal and pneumonia care.

Comparion is a privately held health care information service company. CareChex is its quality-rating system.

 

Ob-Gyn Faculty Docs Honored by UConn Residents

The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology is proud to announce that several of their faculty members were recently honored with teaching awards from the UCONN Ob-Gyn Residency Program.

Congratulations to the following physicians:

Dr. Odin Kuiper (Intern Teaching Award)

Dr Christopher Nold (Second Year Teaching Award)

Dr. Pamela Griswold (Chief Resident Teaching Award)

Dr. Andrea Joyner (New Faculty Teaching Award)

Dr. Christopher Morosky (CREOG Award)

 

Dr. Michael Miranda's Article Among Most Viewed Online in Techniques in Orthopaedics

Dr. Michael Miranda’s article “Skeletal stabilization in the severely injured limb: Fixation techniques compatible with soft tissue trauma” will be among the “Most Viewed” online articles in the December 2014 issue of Techniques in Orthopaedics.

The article originally appeared in the December 2012 issue. Dr. Miranda recently has been on a teaching and meeting tour in Europe and Asia and gave four lectures in Xi’an, China. China has more than 80,000 orthopedic surgeons.

 

Dr. Paul D. Thompson Speaks on Statin Myopathy in Finland

Dr. Paul D. Thompson, chief of Cardiology at Hartford Hospital, was one of the invited international speakers at The 22nd Puijo Symposium on Physical Exercise in Clinical Medicine in Kuopio, Finland. Dr. Thompson's lecture was entitled "Clinical Trials in Statin Myopathy".

 

 

Bariatric Program Anniversary

July 1 was the 10th anniversary of the Bariatric Surgery Program at Hartford Hospital.

Dr. Darren Tishler and Dr. Pavlos Papasavas, board-certified and fellowship trained laparoscopic surgeons, lead the program.

Dr. Tishler started the program in 2004 and the first minimally invasive procedure for weight loss was performed at Hartford Hospital in January 2005. Dr. Papasavas joined the program in January 2008.

 

 

Our Physicians Are Great Sources For Local Media

Dr. J. Craig Allen was interviewed on FOX CT on July 1 about inherited traits of drug addiction.

Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor was interviewed by WFSB on June 29 about Fourth of July safety. Read more here. She was also interviewed on FOX CT and WFSB on July 1 about a father who left his 6-month old baby in a hot car for half an hour.

Dr. Vasanth Kainkaryam was interviewed on NBC CT on June 25 about summer hazards. Watch it here.

Dr. Robert Levitz was interviewed on NBC CT on June 26 about the fifth case of measles in the area. Watch it here.

Dr. Robert Piorkowski was interviewed on NBC CT on July 1 about melanoma. Watch it here.

Dr. A.J. Smally was interviewed by WFSB on June 26 about secondary drowning. Watch it here.

Dr. David Tolin was interviewed by the New Haven Register on June 21 about hoarding. Read more here.

 

You can always view a list of media interviews on the website under Hartford Hospital Making Headlines.

 

Advancing Medicine

Advancing Medicine aired June 26 on WFSB, Ch. 3. The topic was men's health. Eyewitness News had a room full of physicians in the studio to answer call-in questions after the program.

Watch it here.

Academics and Research

30th Annual Cardiovascular Symposium

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, Oct. 8

The 30th Annual Cardiovascular Symposium will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the CT Convention Center.

Speakers include: Dr. Christine Albert, Dr. Joshua Beckman and Dr. Christopher Cannon from Brigham and Women's Hospital; Dr. George William Dec Jr. from Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center; Dr. Jennifer Mieres, North Shore-LiJ Health System; Dr. Vivek Reddy from Mount Sinai Medical Center; and Dr. Jeffrey Rich from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

For more information and registration, go to www.harthosp.org/CVSymposium.

 

9th Annual Interdisciplinary Transplant Symposium

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, Nov. 6

The 9th Annual Interdisciplinary Transplant Symposium will be held on Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill. Details to follow.

Voices of Our Patients

Voices of Our Patients: Kudos to The 'Take Charge of Your Health' Team

Hi Cheryl (Ficara),

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to make a difference in the community by encouraging and increasing awareness regarding health issues that affect so many people in this community we serve. I know another life was saved last week because of the work we do.

My role as community liaison nurse has served to inspire people to be informed and be responsible about their health. On June 16, I received a telephone call from Dorely Roldan, outreach educator of the Cancer Program, requesting that I make a home visit to a friend of hers. Dorely recognized there was a problem, but was not able to convince the woman to get help.

Dorely picked me up from my office and we drove to her friend’s home. When we arrived, the woman was sitting at the computer working with her legs elevated. She explained that she fell three weeks ago onto her left arm, and noticed the next day her right leg started hurting and she was unable to walk or put pressure on her leg. For a few days her arm was numb and limp.

I assessed her right leg, and it felt cold to touch. There was no pedal pulse and the top of her foot looked darker in color. She had a positive homans(old school). I immediately informed her we were transporting her to the ED. She was concerned because she had just started a new job and her insurance was not in effect yet.

I was not taking no for an answer. I explained she needed to have Doppler studies a.s.a.p. to determine the problem with her leg. She did not want to go in an ambulance, but agreed she would go if we drove her, so Dorely and I assisted her into the car.

She was admitted to B9E,with right leg and left arm DTV. A few days later she underwent surgery for removal of blood clot from right leg.

The “Take Charge of Your Health Team” now has an established reputation in the community and people are requesting our services throughout the Hartford area. I am so appreciative for being able to make a difference in people’s lives. I give credit to you and Hartford Hospital for your sincere commitment to the community.

Vicie Brooks, Community Liaison Nurse

Operational Update

Jefferson Radiology Physician Workflow Coordinator

If you need assistance in contacting a radiologist, a radiology resident or in the retrieval of radiology imaging results, the Jefferson Radiology Physician Workflow Coordinator can assist you. The Workflow Coordinator can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling: Externally: 860 972-2273; and Internally: extension 2-2273.

For any questions, please contact by email, Arija Agostino, radiology quality manager, or Dr. Bob Spillane, vice-chief, Department of Radiology.

 

New Cardiology Reporting Starts Tuesday

Effective Tuesday, July 8, the Cardiology Department will be implementing a new PACS (picture archiving communication system) and reporting system for Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTEs), Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEEs) and all Stress Echos.

Please find attached the new report format that will be available in Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM), and the report format that will be faxed to provider offices.

If there are any questions, please contact April Mann in the Cardiology Department at 860-972-5531.

 

HH No Longer Has Dermatology Consultant On Site

Effective June 30, Hartford Hospital will not have a dermatology consultant on site to provide patient service. This change has occurred due to expiry of our current contract with UConn to provide dermatology coverage. Hartford Hospital leadership is working to re-establish the coverage in near future.

Dr. Frank Santoro and Dr. Meagan McCusker, who have been part of our inpatient consult service, will not be available here after July 1.

Dr. Santoro has joined HHC MG and we hope to see him soon at Hartford continuing his work as inpatient consultant. He will be available to see outpatients starting Sept. 19 along with other community based dermatologists. Until then physicians should refer patients to existing outpatient clinics.

 

Bill Signed at HOCC Imaging Center

On June 27 at the Hospital of Central Connecticut Imaging Center of West Hartford, Blue Back Square, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman signed into law Public Act 14-97 regarding a $20 limit on co-pay for breast ultrasound. (Read the bill here.)

Dr. Jean Weigert, director of Breast Imaging at HOCC and president of the Radiological Society of America, spoke at the event about two studies regarding the value of breast ultrasound in patients with dense breasts. Watch coverage of the event here.

The first study was published in 2012. Dr. Weigert led a study that was prompted by a state law that requires breast density information be included in mammography reports. The ultrasound study, based on data from six radiology practices over 12 sites within Connecticut, including The Hospital of Central Connecticut, looked at ultrasound's value as an added study following normal mammogram results for women with breast density greater than 50 percent. It analyzed data from more than 8,500 ultrasound screenings within the year following law enactment, effective Oct. 1, 2009.

On average, according to Weigert, four to six cancers are found for every 1,000 mammogram screenings. This study finding indicates a potentially increased ability to diagnose cancers that might not have been seen on screening mammograms alone. (Research published in The Breast Journal November/December 2012.)

A second study reviewed data from October 2010 to October 2011 that demonstrates the ability to continue to find significant numbers of small cancers with screening breast ultrasound in patients with dense breasts. This study will be published in the Breast Journal.

 

Dr. Markowitz Addresses 1854 Society Luncheon

More than 60 members of Hartford Hospital’s 1854 Society attended the society’s annual luncheon at the Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford on June 24. The 1854 Society recognizes individuals who have included Hartford Hospital in their estate plan through a planned gift.

The luncheon featured a dialogue with Hartford Hospital President Stuart K. Markowitz, MD, who spoke about his vision for the future of Hartford Hospital and Hartford HealthCare.

The Medical Staff leaders who attended the luncheon were Jack Greene, MD; Robert Hagberg, MD; Ajay Kumar, MD; Inam Kureshi, MD; Peter Pasciucco, DDS; and Patricia Sheiner, MD.

 

Hartford Hospital Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center Named

On June 28, the Marie and Raymond Beauregard Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center on the 4th floor of the Brownstone Building was dedicated at a ceremony attended by the Beauregard family, members of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis team, and hospital leadership.

The naming of the center was made possible by donations from the children and grandchildren of Marie and Raymond Beauregard to honor their memory and in gratitude for the compassionate care they received at Hartford Hospital.

In addition to the center, the donations created the Marie and Raymond Beauregard Fund to support the salary, education, research, supply, technology, and equipment needs of the center.

 

New Physicians

Tigist Ashagari, MD, Internal Medicine, ProHealth Physicians

Stacey Bass, MD, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC

Eric Bezler, MD, Pediatrics, ProHealth Physicians, Inc.

Lindsay Bliss, MD, Surgery, Hartford Hospital

Daniel Boyce, MD, Radiology Jefferson Radiology, PC

Fillor Caushaj, MD, Surgery, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group

Sonia Chaudhry, MD, Pediatric Orthopedics, CT Children’s Specialty Group

Allison Cohen, MD, Emergency Medicine, Hartford Hospital

Valerie Cote, MD, Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, CT Childrens Medical Center

Peter Cuniowski, MD, Emergency Medicine, Hartford Hospital

Lindsay DaSilva, MD, Surgery, Hartford Hospital

Philip Dinauer, MD, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC

Patrick Duffy, MD, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC

Linda Durst, MD, Psychiatry, Institute of Living

Ossama Elsaid, MD, Hospital Medicine, Hartford Hospital

Amy Flores, MD, Emergency Medicine, Hartford Hospital

Christopher Garcia, MD, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC

Narinder Grewal, DO, Surgery/Surgical Critical Care, Hartford Hospital

Jared Martillotti, MD, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC

Syed Naqvi, MD, Hospital Medicine, Hartford HealthCare Medical Group

Mark Neavyn, MD, Emergency Medicine, Hartford Hospital

Glenda Nouman, DO, Pediatrics, Smart Start Pediatrics, LLC

Kathryn Pascucci, DO, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Connecticut Women Ob/Gyn

Padmanabhan Premkumar, MD, Hospital Medicine, Hartford Hospital

Katie Propst, MD, Urogynecology (Fellow), Hartford Hospital

Matthew Recker, MD, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC

Kaveh Shahmohammadi, MD, Surgery/Trauma, Hartford Hospital

Kiran Sheikh, MD, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC

Cameale Smart, MD, Hospital Medicine, Hartford Hospital

Robin Sobolewski, MD, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC

Jesse Sturm, MD, Pediatrics, CT Childrens Medical Center

Stanley Stutz, MD, Emergency Medicine/Traumatology, Hartford Hospital

Bollepalli Subbarao, MD, Psychiatry, Institute of Living

Steven Temkin, MD, Radiology, Jefferson Radiology, PC

Katharine Woods, DO, Psychiatry, Institute of Living

Jamie Zorn, MD, Anesthesiology, Hartford Anesthesiology Assoc., Inc.

 

Medicare Alert: Three-Day Qualifying Stays

Federal Medicare requires a three day hospital stay for a patient to be eligible for coverage of a Subacute, Skilled, or Rehabilitation stay. This rule sometimes creates an incentive for patients and families to request that physicians keep a patient in the hospital an extra day to qualify. Medicare considers keeping patients in the hospital without medical necessity to be fraud. Government auditors are on the lookout for it.

Patients who do not require continued stay in the hospital must be discharged. Patients and families who persist in asking for delay in discharge should be referred to the case coordinators. Physicians needing more information should contact Dr. Stephen Upham.

 

UConn CIO to join Hartford HealthCare as senior investment director

Kevin Edwards was named senior investment director at Hartford HealthCare, according to David Holmgren, chief investment officer. The position is new; he will start Aug. 1.

Edwards is chief investment officer at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

At Hartford HealthCare, Edwards will be responsible for selecting managers to run the Hartford, Conn.-based hospital’s $2.7 billion in pension, endowment and insurance assets. He will also oversee the investment risk management functions for the portfolio; and report to Holmgren.

 

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.” Follow this link for instant access.

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.

Do You Have An Idea for a Good Media Story?

Media Relations Manager Seeks Good Story Ideas for the Media

By Tina Varona, Hartford Hospital Media Relations Manager

Each month, Hartford Hospital generates news coverage worth roughly $1 million in advertising. I would like to continue to capitalize on this trend with robust, innovative, human-interest and leading-edge technological stories that will keep Hartford Hospital in the spotlight, and further promote our presence as an established market leader.

With your help and ideas, we can continue to achieve this goal and advance the Hartford Hospital brand by showcasing the exceptional care provided here every day.

Some helpful tips: What makes a great health news story?

  • Timeliness - Stories with "news value." This includes breaking news on medical innovations, research results or events of the day that capture the public's interest.
  • Personality - Stories that feature compelling patients and clinic employees with unique or inspiring stories to share.
  • Uniqueness - Stories that may be a bit less timely, but explain a treatment unique to Hartford Hospital.
  • Universal Interest - Stories that feature conditions or diseases which affect large numbers of individuals and families all across the country. Always ask, 'why would a person in Fargo, North Dakota care?'
  • The "Wow" Factor - Stories that are compelling and will make the audience want to repeat the story to family and friends.
  • Visual Appeal - Stories with interesting, easy-to-interpret graphics or visuals to explain a complicated process.
  • Celebrity - Stories that feature care provided to VIPs.

We always need the following elements to pitch a story:

  • Patient/ main character who has already signed a consent form
  • Video of the surgery or procedure
  • Video of the patient before and after
  • Short interview with the physician that helps explain in layman terms what the procedure is, why it's new or different and how it helps the patient.

Please feel free to contact me at tina.varona@hhchealth.org, or call me directly at 860.972.4475 or by cell 860.310.7640 with story ideas that we can publicize.

Thank you, and I look forward to working with you.

ICP News

ICP News! An Example of Managing Population Health

Please find attached the July issue of ICP News.

This month’s feature story is: ICP launches employee population health-management program; Plans to expand into the community

Read what ICP is doing and what it means for you.

HH In the News

HHC Opens Family Health Center in Farmington

Farmington Patch, June 20

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.

 

Sandy Hook Panel Focusing on Guns, School Safety, Mental Health

Hartford Courant, June 20

The Sandy Hook Commission's final report, now expected in December, will touch on school shooter Adam Lanza's mind-set and what might have led to the evil he perpetrated, but the panel's recommendations for change will come from a broader look at the state's mental health system.

Dr. Harold Schwartz, a commission member and the chief psychiatrist at the Institute of Living in Hartford, said the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012, won't be tied as directly to the mental health recommendations as it will be to the sections in the final report on safer school design and improving law enforcement response. Twenty children and six educators died in the nation's worst elementary school shooting.

"Adam Lanza and his life inform what we have to address,'' said Schwartz.

But he said that the panel lacked the detailed information on Lanza's mental health and the months leading up to the massacre to recommend systemwide reform "by examining this particular event and this particular individual." Instead, Schwartz said that the report will focus on improving the system's "capacity to recognize and respond" to behavioral changes and mental illness in young people.

"By doing this, we hopefully diminish the risk of it happening again,'' said Schwartz.

Read more here.

 

Blood Test Helps Transform Prenatal Screening

Hartford Courant, June 22

A simple blood test is transforming the world of prenatal screening, offering women a risk-free way to learn about fetal abnormalities early in pregnancy. The test, one local hospital says, has drastically reduced the demand for amniocentesis, an invasive procedure that diagnoses chromosomal disorders in mid-pregnancy and occasionally causes miscarriage.

"It's almost like science fiction to see how they can do this with such a high level of accuracy," says Leslie Ciarleglio, a genetics counselor at Hartford Hospital, where the number of amniocentesis procedures has plummeted by more than 70 percent in two years — from 112 in 2011 to 32 in 2013. "It's far more accurate than any screening test we've had before."

Only a few women have received inaccurate results from Hartford Hospital. Two women of the more than 700 tested were notified that their child might have a chromosomal problem, but a follow-up amniocentesis showed the fetus had no genetic defects, Ciarleglio says.

Read more here.

 

Hospitals With Patient Complications See Medicare Cuts

Bristol Press, June 25

A third of the state’s hospitals, including five in north-central Connecticut, could see their Medicare revenue slashed in the fall because of high rates of infections and other patient complications.

Yale-New Haven Hospital — part of the system that along with Tenet Healthcare Corp. is expected to acquire ECHN and Bristol Hospital— is among the 11 acute-care facilities most likely to be penalized under “pay-for-performance” standards in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The group includes Hartford Hospital, the University of Connecticut’s John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington, Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford, and Windham Hospital.

Also included are Danbury Hospital, Waterbury Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, and Norwalk Hospital.

The hospitals are among 175 from across the country that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says had the highest scores in a provisional analysis of the rates of bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, and “serious complications” such as collapsed lungs, post-surgery blood clots, bedsores, and other patient injuries.

Each of the Connecticut hospitals had a preliminary “hospital-acquired condition” score at least 7 out of a possible 10, with a 10 score suggesting that patients are at the most harm.

The highest scores went to Danbury Hospital, at 10, Hartford Hospital, at 9.025, and Stamford Hospital, at 8.7.

Read more here.

 

Hartford, Shelton Anesthesiology Practices Merge

Hartford Business Journal, June 30

Two anesthesiology practices with a combined 300 doctors, nurses and other staff said they have merged and changed their name. Hartford Anesthesiology Associates Inc. and Medical Anesthesiology Associates are now Integrated Anesthesia Associates. The two said in a statement that the merger better positions them "for new opportunities in the changing healthcare environment."

The move also makes them one of the largest private anesthesiologist employers in the Connecticut, they said. The newly merged company's leaders said they hoped to establish a broader presence across the state's major health systems. Between them, the practices have exclusive contracts to operate anesthesiology departments and operations at five Connecticut hospitals and 13 orthopedic centers, eye centers and other facilities.

HAA runs the anesthesia department at Hartford Hospital and also operates smaller departments out of Connecticut Children's Medical Center, UConn Health Center's John Dempsey Hospital, and various single-specialty and multi-specialty ambulatory surgery centers. Its website lists 87 physicians. MAA, which has approximately 15 doctors and is based in Shelton, runs the anesthesia department at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport.

HAA is headed by Dr. William Ceruzzi, who is on Hartford Hospital's medical staff. MAA is headed by Dr. Thomas Bladek, who chairs the anesthesiology department at St. Vincent's.

Bladek said in an email that the deal had been in the works for the past two years. He said Integrated is in talks with other private practices in the area that are facing consolidation pressures, particularly with recent legislation paving the way for for-profit hospital and medical group acquisitions in the state.

 

Hartford Circus Fire Changed Nursing Practice

Hartford Courant: Letter to the editor, July 1

The feature story commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Hartford circus fire brought back many memories [June 29, Opinion, "Afternoon Of Terror"]. This tragic event affected many practices and regulations related to public safety. From this tragedy nursing practice was also changed.

Before the fire, only anesthesiologists or doctors could initiate intravenous lines. Hartford Hospital realized that because of the volume and complexity of these victims' care needs that registered nurses needed to share this responsibility to provide for their patients hydration needs.

Since IV skills require additional education and additional time to perfect, they established an IV training program for RNs. My first boss, Trice Carter, was the first nurse trained at Hartford Hospital. She established the first IV team, which still exists today at the hospital.

I am sure many patients remember the IV expert who started their IV line. Yes this tragedy redefined fire safety regulations, but also expanded nursing practice.

Patricia Karwoski, RN, Farmington

In the HHC System

Hospital association names new officers

CT Media Group, June 20

At the Connecticut Hospital Association annual meeting on June 18, Bruce Cummings, the president and CEO of Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, began his two-year term as Chairman of the CHA Board of Trustees.

Additionally, CHA members elected trustees and officers for the CHA 2014-2015 Board of Trustees.

David Whitehead, President, Hartford HealthCare East Region, will serve as vice chairman.

Christopher O’Connor, Executive Vice President, COO, Yale New Haven Health System, will serve as treasurer.

Peter Karl, President and CEO, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, will serve as secretary and as chairman of the Committee on Government.

Elliot Joseph, President and CEO of Hartford HealthCare, will serve as Chairman of the Committee on Hospital Finance.

Patrick Charmel, president and CEO of Griffin Hospital in Derby will serve as chairman of the Diversified Network Services Board, overseeing CHA’s fee-based services.

John Murphy, the president and CEO, Western Connecticut Health Network (which includes Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk Hospitals), will serve as chairman of the Committee on Patient Care Quality.

Christopher Dadlez, president and CEO Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, will serve as Chairman of the Committee on Population Health.

Marna Borgstrom, CEO of Yale-New Haven Hospital and President and CEO, Yale New Haven Health System, will serve as Executive Committee At Large Member.

Kurt Barwis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bristol Hospital, will serve as CEO Forum Chairman.

Newly elected or reelected trustees include Rohit Bhalla, vice president, chief quality officer, Stamford Hospital; William Jennings, president and CEO, Bridgeport Hospital and John Murphy from Western Connecticut Health Network.

 

Natchaug Hospital's Profit Shrunk by One-third in 2013

Norwich Bulletin, June 23

Hartford HealthCare’s Natchaug Hospital ended 2013 with $616,000 in profit over expenses of $49 million, officials announced last week. The hospital made $925,000 in 2012.

The Mansfield-based regional provider of care for people with mental illness and substance abuse operates facilities in Danielson, Norwich and Windham, among other locations.

Read more here.

Outpatient is in: Offering high quality care without a hospital stay

Bristol Press, June 28

Over the last two decades the health care industry has undergone a significant shift away from predominantly providing inpatient care to offering its clients an array of outpatient services. So how do hospitals still provide people with the medical care they need as reimbursements persistently diminish? One way to combat this problem is to offer more outpatient services, which are generally less costly.

“It’s really something that started in the 90’s,” said Steven D. Hanks, executive vice president and chief medical officer of The Hospital of Central Connecticut. “And what’s really driving it is the finances of health care, and how the system we have is really not sustainable.”

The change in the industry, Hanks said, has accelerated in the last 10 years and will most likely continue to do so. HOCC’s outpatient income in 2013, for example, made up about 54 percent of its revenue, an increase of about 6 percent from 2010.

HOCC, which is operated by Hartford HealthCare, opened its Family Health Center in Bristol in October and also runs or has a financial interest in several other outpatient facilities locally, including New Britain MRI, Central CT Sports Medicine and New Britain Alliance Occupational Health.

Read more here.

Health Care News In the Region

Patient-friendly: Bristol Hospital Launches New Electronic Medical Record Software

Bristol Press, June 24

Bristol Hospital will soon be launching a new “portal” allowing patients to access their electronic medical record from the comfort of their own home.

The new software, which will officially become available June 30, gives patients information about their scheduled visits, prescribed medications and much more.

Security was a big concern, Rackliffe said, but the hospital took all the necessary precautions before releasing the service.

Read more here.

 

Vernon residents ask Tenet to extend Rockville General promise

Journal Inquirer, June 25

Residents and officials said Tuesday they’re still worried Rockville General Hospital will close in three years, and urged those involved in the sale of Eastern Connecticut Health Network to extend the period for which the hospital is guaranteed to remain open.

“It’s no one’s desire to close anything,” Trip Pilgrim, Tenet Healthcare Corp.’s chief development officer, said at a public hearing held at the Senior Center. “In fact, we’d like to invest and grow it.”

Former Democratic Mayor Ellen Marmer said that if the hospital closes, its former patients will get on the highway and travel to Hartford Hospital or St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford — they won’t head to Manchester Memorial Hospital, which also is part of the Tenet sale.

Read more here.

 

Griffin Hospital in Derby rebounding from misuse of insulin pens

New Haven Register, June 29

As Griffin Hospital awaits the conclusion of the state Department of Public Health’s investigation into its misuse of insulin pens, the hospital has returned to using traditional insulin needles and has tested hundreds of patients who potentially may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis.

Patrick Charmel, the hospital’s president and CEO, said so far the hospital has tested 750 patients and those patients will continue to be retested and monitored during the next six months. Charmel said the possibility that some patients may have been exposed is minute and while HIV and hepatitis C can lay dormant in the body without showing symptoms for years, blood tests will immediately reveal any abnormalities.

So far, those retested have shown no signs of HIV and hepatitis.

In May, the hospital admitted to misusing insulin pens on more than 3,000 diabetic patients.

Read more here.

 

OP-ED: Tenet association with Yale gets infected with bad news

Journal Inquirer, June 30

Names are often used as a means of gaining prestige. After all, if you were Tenet Healthcare Corp. and you wanted to attach your hospital group to a prestigious name in Connecticut, wouldn’t Yale-New Haven Hospital be the one you would choose?

Yale, the old Ivy League institution, has at least as much prestige as any other Connecticut university or nonprofit entity.

But when Tenet teamed with Yale-New Haven — hoping that an association with Yale would elevate its standing with doubters — it failed to take into account that Yale-New Haven Hospital is among 11 acute-care facilities likely to be penalized under “pay-for-performance” standards under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Yale-New Haven is being penalized because it has one of the highest scores in a provisional analysis of the rates of bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary-tract infections, and “serious complications” such as collapsed lungs, post-surgery blood clots, bedsores, and other patient injuries.

To the credit of Eastern Connecticut Health Network, it is not listed as one of the worst performing hospital groups in these categories. Small-town hospital Day Kimball in Putnam and New Milford Hospital in New Milford were both listed as facilities with the lowest likelihood of a hospital-caused condition occurring.

Tenet and Yale-New Haven should tell us how they intend to correct this negative listing. If Yale-New Haven is providing medical guidance to Tenet, and if the infection rates from Yale reach Manchester’s patients, this will not be a good marriage.

Hot Topics in Health Care

More Than 750 Hospitals Face Medicare Crackdown on Patient Injuries

Kaiser Health News, June 22

A quarter of the nation’s hospitals – those with the worst rates of infection and patient injuries – will lose 1 percent of every Medicare payment for a year starting in October.

In April, federal officials released a preliminary analysis of which hospitals would be assessed, identifying 761. When Medicare sets final penalties later this year, that list may change because the government will be looking at performance over a longer period than it used to calculate the draft penalties. Vidant, for instance, says it lowered patient injury rates over the course of 2013, and Handron praises their efforts.

The sanctions, estimated to total $330 million over a year, kick in at a time when most infections measured in hospitals are on the decline, but still too common. In 2012, one out of every eight patients nationally suffered a potentially avoidable complication during a hospital stay, the government estimates. Even infections that are waning are not decreasing fast enough to meet targets set by the government.

Read more here

 

9 in 10 New Physician Jobs Follow Employment Model

Health Leaders Media, June 30

Growing importance of population health management and value-based care as well as market share and leverage with payers is spurring much of the trend toward physician hiring.

The shift toward the employed physician model has grown from a stream to a deluge, accounting for more than 90% of new physician job openings at hospitals, medical group, health centers and other healthcare facilities.

Read more here.

Coming Events

July 7 (Monday)

Retirement Tea for Dr. AJ Smally

2-4 p.m., Special Dining Room at Hartford Hospital

July 8 (Tuesday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

JB-118, 6:45-8:15 a.m.

July 9 (Wednesday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

JB-118, 5:30-7 p.m.

July 12 (Saturday)

ERRACE (Everyone Ride / Run Against Cancer Everyday)

Avon Cancer Center

ERRACE (Everyone Ride / Run Against Cancer Everyday), the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, 80 Fisher Drive, Avon. For more information: errace.org.

August 13 (Wednesday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

JB-118, 6:45-8:15 a.m.

August 14 (Thursday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

JB-118, 5:30-7 p.m.

September 8 (Monday)

Hospital Auxiliary Golf Tournament

Tumble Brook Country Club, Bloomfield

September 18 (Thursday)

The Mind-Body Connection: Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care

Maneeley's in South Windsor, 11:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Integrated Care Partners is offering its first annual conference on The Mind-Body Connection: Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care on Thursday, Sept. 18. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Henry Chung, VP and CMO of Montefiore Care Management Organization. Welcome remarks will come from CT LT. Gov. Nancy Wyman.

For more information go to www.integratedcarepartners.org.

October 8 (Wednesday)

30th Annual Cardiovascular Symposium

CT Convention Center, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The 30th Annual Cardiovascular Symposium will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the CT Convention Center.

Speakers include: Dr. Christine Albert, Dr. Joshua Beckman and Dr. Christopher Cannon from Brigham and Women's Hospital; Dr. George William Dec Jr. from Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center; Dr. Jennifer Mieres, North Shore-LiJ Health System; Dr. Vivek Reddy from Mount Sinai Medical Center; and Dr. Jeffrey Rich from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

For more information and registration, go to www.harthosp.org/CVSymposium.

November 6 (Thursday)

9th Annual Interdisciplinary Transplant Symposium

Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill

November 20 (Thursday)

Annual Meeting of Hartford Hospital Corporators

Heublein Hall, 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.

 

2015

January 24, 2015 (Saturday)

Black & Red

The Bushnell

Join us for a night with the Blues Brothers Starring Dan Aykroyd & Jim Belushi and a celebration of the dedication and extraordinary work of the Hartford Hospital Trauma Center at the 24th annual Black & Red gala on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at The Bushnell in Hartford. Stay tuned for ticket and sponsorship information. For up-to-the-minute details, visit giving.harthosp.org/blackandred

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.