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

 

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In This Issue... May 25, 2014 Edition

HAND HYGIENE
Wash In - Wash Out

Wash

We are proud to report that our hand-hygiene compliance improved in March to 86 percent overall. The number reflects the overall facility compliance for the past 12 months.

We achieved 90 percent compliance for staff members leaving a patient's room and 80 percent compliance when entering a room. About 87 percent of our units had an overall compliance of more than 80 percent; about 45 percent of our roles had a more than 90 percent compliance rate.

We are training additional hand-hygiene accountability agents and deputizing additional floor-based champions to help us continue to improve our compliance rate.

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HH Facts and Firsts:

Connecticut's first robotic surgery system was introduced at Hartford Hospital 10 years ago.


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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

Updating Research Systems at HHC

The Research Department works closely with clinicians to develop insight into current practices and evaluate new therapies. To that end, it has undertaken an effort to improve the process and reduce the administrative burdens.

The Research Department functions at the intersection of data analytics and clinical trials ranging from quality review of key performance metrics, review of outcomes for developing insights around current standards of care to our investment in evaluating innovative new treatment approaches through organized clinical research.

The goal of Research Administration Department is to contribute to the clinical mission through effective partnership with clinical leaders and streamlined processes that facilitate advances in the care of our patients.

In the last six months, the department has recognized the need to update the system for review, tracking and compliance of clinical research. To that end, Research Administration, under the leadership of Dr. Carolyn Hoban, has undertaken the following initiatives and improvements in in the following key areas:

  • Establish an electronic Integrated Research Information System (IRIS) available to all HHC sites with 24/7 access to track clinical research
  • Create the HHC Central IRB to coordinate centralized review of clinical research involving patients
  • Coordinate and prioritize clinical research themes working closely with each clinical department through the implementation of Research Councils that act as the woodshed for identifying the highest priority for medical utility or need to advance with further research or data collection

IRIS and Central IRB: The implementation of an electronic system allows clinical researchers to support several important aspects of clinical management including submissions to the Institutional Review Board/Human Research Protection Program (IRB/HRPP) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), tracking patient accruals, achieving study milestones and improved budget management and invoice submissions.

The real return of using iRIS will encourage clinical research across the HH community by providing a central location for all study documents that is web-based and tools for budget tracking, payment reconciliation, accrual goals and regulatory compliance.

IRIS also facilitates submission of federal grants. The Central IRB format and the IRIS suite of tools represent a technological solution to facilitate research in a centralized approach, reducing redundancies, improving timeliness to launch clinical research across the system.

IRIS includes a Clinical Trials Research Module that will allow for smoother management of multiple aspects of clinical trials ranging from patient enrollment to budget management. iRIS goes live June 4, followed by implementation of the HHC Central IRB model in July/August across the HHC system.

The entire Research Department is committed to providing the resources, tools and consultations needed to strengthen and support the clinical and pre-clinical research that drives advances in medical care and enhances patient safety. We anticipate that iRIS will be an important tool in these endeavors. More importantly, our success in improving access to clinical trials and innovative treatments will be a team effort that supports a culture of clinical excellence through data driven improvements in the effectiveness and safety of patient care.

Clinical Department Research Councils/Handbook: Medicine is constantly evolving through on-going clinical research and HHC has tremendous potential to contribute to this evolution. In order to promote evidence-based medicine and to grow clinical and translational research, we have proposed that each department work towards instituting a Research Council made up primarily of clinical investigators.

These Research Councils will have the mandate to identify the most significant clinical questions in their field and to actively promote those research projects that best address them. The Research Department has developed a toolkit and guidelines to help each of the Research Councils achieve these goals in addition to providing grant writing assistance, database design, and data analysis on an as-needed basis to approved proposals. Our goal is to ensure that HHC is both a center of excellence for clinical care and for innovative clinical research.

The Research Department webpage is located here on the Hartford Hospital website.

 

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 unless otherwise indicated:

  • Tuesday, June 3 - 6:45-8:15 a.m.
  • Wednesday, June 4 - 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 5 - 7:15 a.m. (CB 142)
  • Thursday, June 12 - 6:45 a.m. (dining rooms A, B, C)
  • 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

Medical Staff Spring Event Was a Huge Success

More than 250 people - including active and retired medical staff - enjoyed camaraderie and great food at the Medical Staff Spring Event held Thursday, May 22 in Heublein Hall.

Remarks made by Douglas Elliot (chair of the HH Board of Directors), and Dr. Stu Markowitz, thanked the medical staff for their loyal service, and crucial participation in the incredible journey that has marked the life and evolution of Hartford Hospital.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the annual Medical Staff Awards. They went to:

Dr. Anoop Meraney - David Hull MD Young Practitioner Award

Dr. Cunegundo Vergara- John K. Springer Humanitarian Award

Dr. A.J. Smally - Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Robert Spillane and Roger Klene - Quality and Safety Award

 

MitraClip Procedure at Hartford Hospital First in CT

On May 6, Hartford Hospital became one of the first hospitals in New England to perform a MitraClip procedure for the repair of a degenerative mitral valve in a patient with severe mitral regurgitation.

Approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in October 2013, the MitraClip is a first-of-a-kind percutaneous catheter technique for treating patients with severe mitral regurgitation who have been deferred from surgical mitral valve replacement or repair. The MitraClip procedure is performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory in a patient under general anesthesia. Following transseptal catheterization to gain access to the patient's left atrium with a guiding catheter, the regurgitant mitral valve is crossed with the MitraClip Delivery System.

Under the guidance of transesophageal echocardiography and fluoroscopy, the delivery system is then used to grasp the anterior and posterior leaflets of the mitral valve and deliver one or more cobalt-chromium, polyester-covered clips to fasten the leaflets together. The technique mimics the surgical Alfieri stitch, which approximates the two leaflets, creates a double-orifice valve opening, and subsequently reduces the valvular regurgitation.

Use of the procedure has been shown to reduce the degree of a patient's mitral regurgitation resulting in improvement in NYHA functional class and a decrease in subsequent hospitalization for congestive heart failure.

At Hartford, the MitraClip procedure is performed by a multidisciplinary team of physicians from Interventional Cardiology, Echocardiography, Anesthesiology and Cardiac Surgery.

To date, Hartford has performed three MitraClip procedures with successful delivery of one or more clips in all three patients.

The only other hospitals to initiate this therapy in New England have been the Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME, which has performed three procedures, and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston which has performed one procedure.

 

Hartford HealthCare Launches Online Scheduling App: ZocDoc

Hartford Business Journal, May 20

Hartford Healthcare Medical Group has launched an app on its website that it says can book doctor's appointments within 24 hours.

The scheduling service is provided by ZocDoc, a company that launched in 2007 with financial backing from Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos and others. ZocDoc told CNN Money's Fortune in March that it expects to be available nationwide by the end of this year.

Western Connecticut Medical Group also uses ZocDoc, and the site also displays physicians affiliated with Yale New Haven and a number of smaller practices.

 

HHC Inks Affiliation With CVS

Hartford HealthCare is one of four major regional health systems to have into a new clinical affiliation with CVS Caremark to enhance access to high-quality, affordable health care services for patients.

Through this collaborative, we will be better able to support Integrated Care Partners (ICP) in care management efforts. Patients will have access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS, and clinical information will be shared electronically with physicians. We will launch this project with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, and include all ICP physicians over time.

The affiliations, announced May 15, were also with Memorial Health in Georgia, and Lahey Health and Baystate Health in Massachusetts.

In addition, CVS Caremark will provide critical prescription and visit information to those health systems through the integration of secured electronic medical record (EMR) systems.

CVS/pharmacy currently has more than 7,600 retail pharmacy locations across the U.S., more than 800 of which include MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics. MinuteClinic locations are open seven days a week, offering evening hours with no appointment necessary and most health insurance is accepted. The clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners who provide treatment for common family illnesses and administer wellness and prevention services, including health-condition monitoring for patients with chronic diseases.

HHC and the other participating health systems will receive data on interventions conducted by CVS pharmacists to improve medication adherence for their patients. The affiliation also encourages collaboration between the health systems and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination of care for patients seen at MinuteClinic locations.

Physicians affiliated with the participating health systems will collaborate with MinuteClinic nurse practitioners to work closely on joint clinical programs and care coordination activities. If more comprehensive care is needed, patients can follow up with their primary care provider and have access to the services at the health system as appropriate. For those patients who do not have regular access to health care, MinuteClinic provides assistance in finding a primary care physician and a greater opportunity for continuity of health care services.

MinuteClinic, CVS/pharmacy and the participating health systems will begin to work toward integrating EMR systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual patient's care. This integration will include the electronic sharing of messages and alerts from CVS/pharmacy to the health system physicians regarding potential medication non-adherence issues. In addition, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with the patient's primary care provider when they are a member of a participating health system.

The new clinical affiliations announced here bring the total number of health system affiliations for CVS Caremark and MinuteClinic to 36 major health systems across the country. These four new affiliations represent the first to include clinical collaborations with MinuteClinic combined with data on interventions performed by CVS pharmacists.

 

Third Annual Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner - June 20

Members of the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff and their guests are invited to join the officers and other members of the Medical Staff for a special social evening at the third Annual Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner on Friday, June 20 at Rosedale Farms, 25 East Weatogue Street, Simsbury.

It is a unique opportunity for members of the Medical Staff to socialize and enjoy each other’s company while celebrating the beauty and abundant bounty of our local farms.

Cost is $100 per person. Please make your check out to the Medical Staff Office.

 

Flu Season Officially Ended at Hartford HealthCare

We are officially ending the flu season for purposes of staff compliance with Hartford HealthCare's Universal Influenza Prevention Policy, effective immediately.

This means that staff members who received flu vaccination exemptions no longer are required to wear masks, per the policy, and the color-coded tags distributed during vaccination may be removed from I.D. badges and discarded.

Please keep in mind that patients still may present with flu or develop it while in our care.

Once again, our Universal Influenza Prevention Program provided nearly 100 percent staff coverage this year, which represents many lives protected and saved from flu. In creating and sustaining this program, we have modeled the adoption of a national best practice. Hartford HealthCare has become a leader in flu prevention. We have sent a clear message to our communities and peer organizations: Patient safety comes first at Hartford HealthCare.

 

Finances for April: Looking Good

Inpatient volumes based on discharges for the month of April were 5.5% above budget. The comparison to the prior year shows April, 2014 discharges approximately 6.2% above the prior year. Outpatient revenues exceeded budget by 3.7% for the month. The favorable outpatient revenue variances were in Emergency services, Cardiology and Radiology.

Through the first seven months of fiscal year 2014, inpatient discharges were above budget by 0.6% and were 1.8% greater than the prior fiscal year. Outpatient revenues were 4.8% above budget for the seven months ending April 2014. Year to date, the favorable outpatient revenue variances continue to be in Radiology, Perioperative services, Cardiology, Emergency services and Laboratory services.

 

Two HHC Family Health Centers Opening

Hartford HealthCare will hold grand openings of two family health centers - in Farmington and Storrs - in June.

The Farmington Family Health Center grand opening will be held on Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. It is located at 406 Farmington Ave., Farmington.

The grand opening of Storrs Family Health Center will be held on Monday, June 23, from 5-7 p.m. It is located at 1244 Storrs Road, Storrs. The opening will feature a "business after hours" event, where we bring the business community together, showcasing how we help to improve health and wellness through primary care, urgent care and rehabilitation services, as well as to provide education resources. This is an opportunity to get to know the Storrs community while celebrating our newest family health center.

 

Information Technology Systems Begins PC Refresh at Hartford Hospital

On May 19, ITS began its refresh of the hospital's PC inventory.

Many of our physicians and other clinical staff have indicated to ITS that we could improve our patient care if our PCs were more functional. We have also heard the same message from the hospital's "Rounding to Influence" program.

ITS is responding to these concerns. We are prioritizing our deployment initially with PCs and following with cart replacements. The priority of units has been a joint effort of ITS, the chief medical informatics officer, and Nursing Informatics.

All of the new equipment will be Epic compliant. This positions us for Care Connect at Hartford Hospital in 2016.

Any questions regarding this rollout can be directed to Rich Kubica at 860-972-3923.

 

Leveraging Hartford Hospital's Telehealth Technology to Improve Acute Stroke Care and Neurology at Backus

Acute stroke and neurology patients at Backus Hospital and their Plainfield Urgent Care Center will now have immediate access to highly specialized care as the result of joining the Hartford Hospital Telehealth Network (HHTN). Backus Hospital went "live" with this service on May 1.

"We are so pleased to have Backus Hospital join the telehealth network," said Karen Butterworth, regional manager of Emergency Services. "This partnership will allow patients to receive immediate care by highly trained medical specialists all day, every day, which will allow families to have peace of mind when going through a difficult situation."

HHTN neurologists are specially trained physicians who have received additional intensive training and education so they have the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat strokes by using the latest technology available.

Via the network, emergency department physicians at Backus and Plainfield will have the ability to consult immediately with HHTN neurologists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year using telemedicine to determine the best treatment options for stroke patients. In addition, the network will respond to any neurological condition and guarantees to respond within 15 minutes of the initial call made to one of the network's stroke/neurology specialists.

 

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 8,600 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

Dr. Godfrey Pearlson Selected to Receive Prestigious Stanley Dean Award

Hartford Courant, April 29

Dr. Godfrey Pearlson, founding director of the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center at the Institute of Living (IOL), will receive the prestigious Stanley Dean Award for Research in Schizophrenia from the American College of Psychiatrists in 2015.

Dr. Pearlson is being honored for his lifetime of research in this field, which the bestowing organization says constitutes a "major contribution to the understanding and treatment of schizophrenic disorders."

Read more here.

 

Dr. Srinivas Mandavilli Creates Immunohistochemistry App

Dr. Srinivas Mandavilli, director of the Surgical Pathology Fellowship Program, has created an Immunohistochemistry (IHC) App called OSIH for download for Apple and Android devices with help from pathology resident Dr. Richard Danialian.

It is designed to be a handy resource for the practicing pathologist, includes information on IHC work-up of tumors, details individual IHC stains and suggested IHC panels in common diagnostic dilemmas. Relevant molecular data is included in some cases. It aims to be comprehensive, but edited to keep content being usable in real-life cases, rather an encyclopedic listing of antibodies and panels.

It is available on the iTunes Store (for all apple devices) and also on Google Play for Android devices.

 

Dr. Beth Taylor Authors Articles on Statin Therapy

Dr. Beth Taylor, director of Exercise Physiology Research in the Department of Cardiology, recently coauthored two publications initiated by the National Lipid Association providing 2014 updated guidelines for muscle and cognitive side effects of statin therapy.

Dr. Taylor was invited to participate in the writing group because of her work with Dr. Paul Thompson in Cardiology. The two researchers have recently completed three NIH-funded grants looking at the effects of statins on muscle performance and cognitive outcomes. Data from these studies have been disseminated nationally and internationally and focus on helping clinicians better define the costs and benefits of statin therapy in various patient populations.

 

Dr. Mike Lindberg Presents Poster at National Geriatric Society Meeting

Dr. Michael C. Lindberg, physician-in-chief, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine Institute, presented a poster at the American Geriatric Society Annual Scientific Meeting from May 14-17 in Orlando titled: "A Nurse Practitioner Transitional Care Team for Seniors: Starts with the Before You Admit Tool.

The poster described a quality project jointly involving Jefferson House and the Hartford Hospital Department of Medicine Nurse Practitioner program.

Dr. Lindberg also served as a mentor to senior geriatric fellows as part of the American Geriatrics Society national mentorship program from trainees.

 

ED Residents Win Ultrasound Competition

Three Emergency Medicine residents from UConn won the 2014 Society of Academic Emergency Medicine SonoGames ultrasound competition in Dallas.

Drs. JP Crawford, Peter Keenan and Tia Little bested a field of 36 tough competitors from all across the country including University of Michigan, Boston City, University of Utah, and Yale, among others.

"They did us proud in this very difficult testing and hands on ultrasound-based 5-hour competition," said Dr. Jeff Finkelstein, chief of Emergency Medicine. "This is an amazing reflection of how far ultrasound education has come at UConn in a few short years and illustrates how our program can go toe to toe with any residency in the country."

Dr. Finkelstein recognized Drs. Meghan Herbst, Shirley Wu, Felix Pacheco and Dave Thomas, who put in many hours prepping the ultrasound team for this challenging competition.

 

Department of Medicine Recognized by PA Grads as Outstanding Clinical Site of 2014

The Department of Medicine was recognized as the "Outstanding Clinical Site for 2014" by the Springfield College physician assistant graduating class.

The teaching program is led by Dr. Robert Gionfriddo, who is assistant medical director of the Department of Medicine.

The award was presented during the Springfield College graduation ceremony on May 16 by graduate Leila Rebai, who said the inpatient clinical experience here at Hartford Hospital was "intense and challenging, with excellent teaching in an optimal learning environment."

Dr. Joel Sorosky Presents at National Ob-Gyn Annual Meeting

Dr. Joel Sorosky gave three oral presentations at the Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Chicago on April 28 and 29. He spoke on the new 2014 Pap smear guidelines, gave an interactive presentation on Abdominal Incisions and Wound Closures, and spoke on the Management of Endometrial Hyperplasia.

 

Drs. Chaletsky, Tadros and Shahbaz Present Poster at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago

Drs. David Chaletsky, Michael Tadros, and Omar Shahbaz presented a poster at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, the world's largest gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. It was titled "Radiofrequency Ablation for the Management of Radiation Proctitis: An Effective and Safe Treatment Modality."

It represents a study of the largest cohort of patients to date who have been treated with Radiofrequency Ablation for radiation proctitis. The study demonstrated a 90% success rate.

 

Drs. Smally and Ratzan Publish article in American Journal of Emergency Medicine

Drs. AJ Smally and Richard Ratzan have recently published an article in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. It is entitled: Using pharmacists to optimize patient outcomes and costs in the ED.

Jacknin G, Nakamura T, Smally A, Ratzan R,. Using pharmacists to optimize patient outcomes and costs in the ED. Am J Emerg Med. 2013 Nov 26. pii: S0735-6757(13)00811-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2013.11.031. [Epub ahead of print]

 

 

 

Our Physicians Are Great Sources For Local Media

Dr. Michelle Boudreau was interviewed by WFSB on Mary 17 about bike helmet safety.

Dr. Edmond Cronin was interviewed by News 8 on May 22 about the loop recorder for heart arrhythmia. Read more here.

Dr. Lane Duvall was interviewed in Cardiovascular Business about stress-only SPECT.

Dr. Marc Eisen was quoted in the Hartford Courant on May 4 about Better Hearing and Speech Month. Read it here.

Dr. Sheila Gately was interviewed on NBC CT on May 10 about national women's health week.

Dr. Len Jacobs was interviewed by Catholic Health World about the Hartford Consensus. It was published on May 13.

Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor was interviewed on NBC CT on May 5 about a bill that would require schools to have epi pens; on NBC CT on May 7 about a bill banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors; by WFSB on May 12 about the dangers of sexual enhancement supplements; by NBC CT May 18 about wound care; and by WFSB on May 21 about deciphering pharmaceutical buzz words.

Dr. D'Andrea Joseph was interviewed on News 8 on May 7 about domestic violence.

Dr. Jason Lee was interviewed by WFSB on May 15 about allergy season. Watch it here.

Dr. Raveen Mehendru was interviewed on Channel 3 on May 5 about active psychosis.

Dr. Jack Ross was interviewed on WNPR on May 19 about MERS. Listen to it here.

Dr. Laura Saunders was interviewed on WFSB on May 11 about how grieving classmates can cope after a Bolton teenager was killed in a car crash. She was also was interviewed on News 8 on May 7 about domestic violence. In addition, she was interviewed by NBC CT on May 12 about bullying.

Dr. Erica Schuyler was interviewed on News 8 on May 8 about the Epilepsy Center. Watch it here.

Dr. Hank Schwartz was interviewed on News 8 on May 8 about bipolar disorder.

Dr. Eric Silverstein was interviewed on Hebrew Health Care's TV show, "For Health, For Life" on May 8 about foot health.

Dr. Christina Wai was interviewed live by FOX CT May 13 to dispel myths about skin cancer.

 

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

Academics and Research

Dr. David Chaletsky Directs RFA Course at CESI

For the second year in a row, Dr. David Chaletsky, CTGI and Hartford Hospital, was co-course director of the Northeast Regional Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) Course, which was held at CESI on May 16. It was sponsored by Covidien.

Dr. Chaletsky performed live RFA cases in the OR, treating Barrett's Esophagus, GAVE, and Radiation Proctitis for an audience of gastroenterologists from around the Northeast United States.

Co-course director was Dr. Willis Parsons, director of the Center for Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy in Illinois.

Drs. Michael Karasik and Kiran Sachdev from CTGI/HH, highlighted the Esophageal Disorders Program of CTGI and HH, which includes advanced testing and procedures such as high resolution esophageal manometry/pH/impedance and EMR/ESD.

Hartford Hospital is one of the busiest centers in the U.S. for the treatment of Barrett's Esophagus with RF ablation, and a leader in esophageal disease diagnosis, treatment, and education.

 

Cardiology Research Published in Journal of Aging Research

Doctors from Hartford Hospital's Department of Cardiology are publishing results from a study in the Journal of Aging Research that challenge the assumption that arterial flow-mediated dilation (FMD), a method used to assess vascular health, is mediated by nitric oxide.  

The name of their presentation is Redundant Vasodilator Pathways Underlying Radial Artery Flow-Mediated Dilation are Preserved in Healthy Aging.

They are: Drs. Paul Thompson, director of Cardiology ; Francis Kiernan, director of the cardiac catheterization lab; Kevin Ballard, ME Tschakovsky, AL Zaleski, DM Polk, and BA Parker.

Adults with a mean age of 65 years underwent FMD assessment prior to and after chemical blockade of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide blockade did not reduce FMD in these older subjects. These findings suggest that more than just nitric oxide regulates vasodilator pathways in older adults. These findings may affect how clinicians and researchers measure vascular health in older subjects.

Reference: Ballard KD, Tschakovsky ME, Zaleski AL, Polk DM, Thompson PD, Kiernan FJ, and Parker BA. Redundant Vasodilator Pathways Underlying Radial Artery Flow-Mediated Dilation are Preserved in Healthy Aging. Journal of Aging Research. 2014 [In Press].

 

Nuclear Lab Medical Staff Have Seven Abstracts Accepted for National Meeting

Doctors from Hartford Hospital's Nuclear Lab had seven abstracts accepted to the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology annual meeting in September. This work involved four fellows and four medical residents along with two members of the clinical research staff.

They also received notification this week of grant funding from Astellas for an investigator initiated project with a budget of $70,000.

 

New System Coming for Research Project Submissions

iRISOn June 4, the Integrated Research Information System (iRIS) will replace Trintech as the electronic system for Hartford HealthCare Institutional Review Board (IRB) submissions for research projects. The last day to submit applications in Trintech was May 23.

iRIS is a web-based system that enables online application submission, real-time submission tracking, review, post-approval compliance activities, and data management.

iRIS will be used to process all research applications submitted to the IRB. It also will function as a document repository, providing investigators with easy access to submission records and study documents. Investigators can use the system anywhere they have Internet access, helping to connect faculty, researchers, students and partners around the world in one portal.

A series of training sessions will be offered in May and June. You may sign up here.

For sessions with limited space, priority will be given to those who have submitted new studies within the last six months. Training will be offered through the summer. Two training manuals are available on Hartford Hospital's Research website. You may view the FAQs and user manual at http://harthosp.org/research/iRIS.

 

Small Grant Program and New Investigator Initiative Introduced

Hartford Hospital Research Administration is pleased to announce funding opportunities in two areas: Small Grant program and New Investigator initiative. The funds are sponsored by HH Medical Staff and Hartford Hospital Research Administration.

The Small Grant program funds promising investigator-initiated projects or pilot studies that address system wide goals of patient safety, quality or personalized medicine AND will lead to major submissions for external funding. The funding can cover any aspect of study cost, including salary support, supplies, analytic and/or data base support, etc, however requests for travel, lap-tops, computers, or other capital expenses are generally not allowable. The maximum award will be $10,000.

The New Investigator program provides support for projects involving investigators in post graduate training programs or Hartford Healthcare employees in the first five years of their careers who require nominal financial support for small research projects. Residents and fellows must be working with a mentor who is willing to assume the responsibility of being the Principal Investigator. The grant funding can cover statistics and database services, lab or test fees, or patient compensation. Salary costs and travel are not covered. The maximum award will be $2,000.

The maximum funding amounts should be viewed as a limit and not a target. Budgets should be streamlined and designed to cover essentials only. The RC will evaluate the scientific merit, originality, budget and relationship to the specific goals of the HHC research enterprise. The RC may approve a proposal for funding at a funding level less than the total requested.

Key dates:

  • June 16, 6 p.m. - Letter of Intent submitted by e-mail
  • July 15: Investigators will be informed as to whether they are being invited to submit full application by or before July 15
  • August 18, 6 p.m. - Full Application/Proposal due - submitted thru IRIS
  • Sept. 30: RC funding decisions made and funds encumbered for new proposals

It is anticipated that projects will be approximately one year in duration.  Any projects with a longer duration than one year must apply for an extension.  A progress report is due at month 6 and one year.  A draft manuscript is due at the completion of the project.

Please share with any potential investigator that did not receive this notice.

Any questions concerning this timeline should be addressed to Dr. Ilene Staff (ilene.staff@hhchealth.org).

 

Stroke Center Presents Symposium on Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage, May 30

Hartford Hospital's Stroke Center presents a one-day symposium called Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage: Are We Making An Impact on Outcome? on Friday, May 30 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Heublein Hall.

It is designed to update generalists and specialists alike on state-of-the-art treatments that are now a part of mainstream care.

The visiting professor lecture on New Clinical Trials for ICH will be delivered by Dr. Daniel Hanley from Johns Hopkins University.

Speakers will be Drs. Lauren Sansing, Sanjay Mittal, Catherine Hosley, Isaac Silverman, Robert Brown and Martin Ollenschleger.

For more information or registration, please visit www.harthosp.org/event/607

Enhancing The Patient Experience

Voices of Our Patients: Kudos to Dr. Adam Steinberg

Having been a recent patient at Hartford Hospital, I wished to comment on my experience during my stay at the hospital.

On March 12, I was admitted for surgery and was there one day and a half.

My physician performing my operation was Dr. Adam Steinberg. I cannot say enough about the care and skill that Dr. Steinberg has given me. He has a sense of humor that I greatly appreciated and made me feel so reassured.

I was very fortunate to have had Dr. Steinberg as my surgeon.

That being said I also wanted to compliment the medical staff for their care and attention. I don't think I have ever received such professional care in any other hospital I have attended. They were so attentive, knowledgeable and caring.

My praise to you all for giving the best experience I have ever had. Thank you for a pleasant day and a half even though it was a hospital stay which most people do not enjoy.

Sincerely,

Agatha Polowy

Operational Update

Gift in Memory of Dr. Carlton to Fund Apheresis System

With a generous gift honoring the memory of Dr. Lawrence S. Carlton, the hospital's first medical director of Quality Assurance, we are purchasing a Terumo Optia apheresis system.

Working with Dr. Brad Sherburne, medical director of Transfusion Services, and Susan Dana, director of major gifts in Fund Development, Peg Carlton, who is Dr. Carlton's widow, made the gift to ensure that anyone needing apheresis therapy could be cared for at Hartford Hospital.

The gift will reduce the need to send patients elsewhere for treatment, and enhance collaboration with infectious disease, nephrology, and oncology. The new equipment will facilitate our ability to perform leukocyte depletion for patients with acute leukemia, and red cell exchange for patients with babesiosis and complications of sickle cell disease.

Dr. Carlton passed away in October 2012.

New HHC CIO Named

Richard T. Shirey has been appointed senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) of Hartford HealthCare. He will assume the role that Joe Sullivan has held on an interim basis since Luis Taveras' departure in November. He will report to Thomas Marchozzi, executive vice president and CFO.

For the past 10 years, Shirey has served as CIO of Baptist Health System (BHS) in Birmingham, Ala., a four-hospital system with 90 employed multispecialty physicians and 400 aligned doctors in the Baptist Physician Alliance. There, he implemented the Epic electronic health record and revenue cycle solutions in system hospitals and in the BHS central business office. This background will be invaluable as we continue to move forward with our CareConnect transformation, which includes using Epic software as a tool to fundamentally change the way we provide care.

Previous to working at Baptist Health System, he was vice president and CIO of MedCath Inc., a for-profit hospital business start-up in Charlotte, N.C. and vice president and CIO of the North Broward Hospital District in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He also was director of Medical Decision Support Systems at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago.

 

New Neuroscience Services Director

Erika Schouten has been appointed the Neuroscience Services director. Schouten currently serves as director for Academic Affairs at Hartford Hospital. She will report to Wendy Elberth, vice president of administration, and will be based on the Hartford Hospital campus.

Schouten holds a bachelor's degree in health management and policy from Oregon State University and a master's degree in health services administration from George Washington University.

 

Please Take This Brief Survey: Center For Global Health

The Hartford Hospital network has a history of leadership in providing volunteer health services both domestically and abroad.  At the same time, Hartford Hospital continues to advance tremendously in technology and service excellence. In order to best utilize these resources to have a positive impact on global health issues, a Center for Global Health has been created to facilitate and coordinate various local and international activities.

A generous contribution has been made by the Medical Staff and the hospital. We are actively working to raise awareness and funds for the center.   

Our goal is to build a Center for Global Health that will integrate and coordinate the global health activities of our staff. The center will leverage existing relationships and strengthen our ability to have a positive impact on global health matters and serve a global health mission that is in line with the mission of Hartford Hospital. The support we receive from our community will be vital as we work to build the Center for Global Health at Hartford Hospital.

Please complete a survey by the Hartford Hospital Center for Global Health.  This survey should only take about five to ten minutes of your time.  Survey results will be used in the development of Hartford Hospital's first global health database. Your survey responses are important to us as we work to identify the global health activities of our physicians, clinicians, and staff, as well as your interest in participating in future opportunities.

Survey: https://redcap.harthosp.org/surveys/?s=Dbb8n9HJv3

No-Fee Deadline extended to June 30 to Move HH 403(b) TSA to Prudential

Until June 30, you may transfer your Hartford Hospital 403(b)/TSA balance to Prudential and pay no fees for the transfer.

Hartford HealthCare's retirement savings plans are now managed by Prudential. As of Jan. 1, 2014, your retirement savings deductions go into your new Prudential account. But the balance of the Hartford Hospital 403(b)/TSA was not automatically moved.

Account consolidation is entirely your choice and you can do it at any time. Until June 30, Prudential will reimburse you for any fees associated with the account transfer charged by your previous fund manager. After June 30, you will be responsible for fees associated with the switch.

To ensure that employees who wish to can take advantage of the fee waiver, representatives from Prudential may call or e-mail you to offer personalized assistance. This is a service offered by HHC for your convenience and you are under no obligation. Keep in mind that if Prudential attempts to contact you, both caller ID and email address will identify the correspondence as coming from Prudential or @prudential.com.  Before any personal account information is discussed you may be asked to confirm name, address and last four digits of your social security number. 

It is recommended you start the consolidation process no later than June 15. If you have an outstanding loan at the prior provider, it may not be possible to transfer your entire balance to Prudential.

For more information call Prudential at 1-800-249-2430.

 

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.

Did You Know?

Supply Cost Stats

In FY2013, the Hartford Hospital Laundry purchased more than $1.9 million worth of linen, scrub wear and textiles.

ICP News

Watch This Short Video From Dr. James Cardon, Integrated Care Partners

Dr. James Cardon, CEO of Integrated Care Partners, is featured in a short video (2:21) explaining why Integrated Care Partners (ICP) is the way of the future and what being an ICP member can mean for you. Watch it here.

ICP is a clinically integrated organization led by physicians, with the tools to help your practice in our new, rapidly changing health care environment.

There are no costs to doctors, no dues, nor loss of your independence. We are physicians collaboratively working together to drive quality care and successful outcomes to patient populations throughout Connecticut.

For more information or to schedule an in-office visit with Dr. Cardon, please contact Heather at 860-972-9051 or Sharon at 860-263-3540.

 

Dr. Patrick Carroll Leaves Integrated Care Partners

Dr. Patrick Carroll has left his role as chief medical officer of Integrated Care Partners (ICP). He has accepted a role as chief medical officer of the Division of HealthCare Clinics with Walgreens.

Working with Tracy King and other members of the ICP leadership team, he built a solid foundation for our care-management program and played a major role in leading our efforts to transition from a fee-for-service payment environment to one based on value.

He has been collaborating with our physicians to establish quality performance standards and taking steps toward population-health management. He also worked with our team to implement ICP's Medicare Shared-Savings Program and a number of shared-savings and collaborative arrangements with commercial insurance payers.

Thanks to his many years of experience working in quality improvement and with the forerunner of accountable care organizations, Pat has helped us put ICP in an excellent position to achieve success. Our ICP team will continue this work to lead the way in developing a new model of care in our new health care environment.

 

ICP News! ICP Works to Integrate Behavioral and Physical Health

Please find attached the May issue of ICP News. This issue's feature story is "ICP Works to Integrate Behavioral and Physical Health."

Also learn about consultative psychiatric services that will be provided by ICP members to primary care physicians treating children and adolescents in Connecticut.

HH In the News

Ending Teen Dating Violence is Aim of New HH Effort

Hartford Courant, April 29

The 16-year-old girl had been slapped, punched and pushed to the ground by her boyfriend when she arrived at an emergency room several weeks ago with facial injuries and a concussion.

"Why did this happen?" Garry Lapidus, director of Hartford Hospital's Injury Prevention Center said Tuesday. "She was seen talking to another boy. This kind of behavior is wrong, and unfortunately it's not that uncommon."

Hartford Hospital officials joined Interval House, the state's largest domestic violence organization, Tuesday to announce a new campaign to raise awareness about teen dating violence and its connection to adult domestic violence.

Read more here.

 

Second Wave of Flu Season Strikes CT

Eyewitness News 3, May 1

It may be May, but doctors said the flu has made its way through Connecticut. They said it was a second wave, but that the season was almost at an end. Coughing and fever are indications of the virus, according to Hartford Hospital.

Health officials said the state has seen more than 6,000 cases in all counties. The Department of Public Health reported 32 flu-related deaths.

"In many years, we'll see two waves," said Dr. Jack Ross of Hartford Hospital. "We saw our first wave peak here between Feb. 1 and 14 and then we saw a second wave that started around the 23rd of March and kind of tailed off around the 7th of April."

Ross, who is the director of infectious diseases at Hartford Hospital, said the total number of cases was about the same as last year's number.

"The second wave we saw a different pattern in terms of age distribution," Ross said.

Read more here

 

ECHN Ruled Out Nonprofit Affiliation Before Agreeing to Buyout

Journal Inquirer, May 2

The top executive at Eastern Connecticut Health Network disclosed Thursday that the regional nonprofit had ruled out partnerships with three other nonprofit health systems in Connecticut before deciding to sell itself to a big for-profit hospital chain, Tenet Healthcare Corp.

ECHN President and Chief Executive Officer Peter J. Karl said deals were considered with the two biggest health care systems in Hartford - the owners of St. Francis and of Hartford Hospital - as well as with Western Connecticut Health Network, the entity created by Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital in 2010.

But Karl said none of those had "enough capital to help absorb us and create the scale necessary," and that neither did Yale New Haven Health System, the owner of Yale-New Haven Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, and Greenwich Hospital that is now Tenet's junior partner in the bid to buy ECHN.

Karl said both of the Hartford systems proposed deals that would involve a for-profit partner. He said ECHN dropped St. Francis when the latter's own combination with a for-profit "fell apart," and that ECHN also ruled out a deal with Hartford HealthCare after lawyers advised it would face antitrust obstacles.

Read more here.

 

Gaylord Hospital Exits Sleep Medicine Business

Hartford Business Journal, May 5

As part of a major strategy shift, Wallingford's Gaylord Hospital is getting out of the sleep medicine business. The long-term acute care provider, which generated $72 million in fiscal 2012 revenue, is closing its four Connecticut sleep lab locations in Glastonbury, North Haven, Trumbull, and Guilford.

Yale-New Haven Hospital and Connecticut Children's Medical Center have agreed to take on some of Gaylord's sleep patients.

Recent moves were part of the medical center's strategy to exit a money losing sleep medicine business and focus on its core competency caring for medically complex patients and providing rehabilitation. Gaylord specializes in brain and spinal cord injury, stroke, pulmonary disease and patients with post-surgical complications.

In Greater Hartford there are a number of players in the sleep medicine industry. Hartford Hospital provides treatment services in Wethersfield; St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford; Eastern Connecticut Health Network in Manchester; and ProHealth in West Hartford, among others.

Read more here.

 

Muscle Pain Not Well Defined in Most Statin Studies

Reuters Health, May 15

Studies evaluating cholesterol-lowering drugs might find more muscle problems if they did a better job of defining and asking about muscle pain, suggests a new review. Researchers say 10 to 25 percent of real-world patients on statins report having muscle problems, but clinical trials consider these side effects to be rare.

"A lot of patients complain about . . . muscle aching while they're on statins," Dr. Paul D. Thompson told Reuters Health. Thompson, who worked on the study, is chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut.

"So that's why we did the study - we wanted to see, why is there such a big difference between what doctors say who practice taking care of patients and what the literature says?" he said.

To see how muscle-related side effects are evaluated and reported in trials of statins, Thompson and his colleagues searched for studies that compared people taking a statin with those taking a drug-free placebo pill for at least six months. They found 42 studies that examined seven different types of statins, including atorvastatin (marketed as Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor).

Read more here

 

Allergy Season Affecting People Throughout the State

Eyewitness News 3, May 17

Allergy season is underway in Connecticut and doctors say it is going to hard for people throughout the state. Doctors at Hartford Hospital said some patients might experience unusual symptoms related to the allergies.

"May is the time where we see the most symptoms," said Dr. Jason Lee.

The doctors at Hartford Hospital are predicting that this allergy season is going to be the worst one they have seen in years. It has only just begun as pollen continues to blanket the state. Lee said, "It's probably going to be like this for a few more weeks."

Read more here.

 

Quarter of State's Hospital Systems in the Red

Journal Inquirer, May 21

A quarter of the health systems running Connecticut's hospitals ended the last fiscal year with more expenses than revenues - including the two expected to be bought by Tenet Healthcare, the big for-profit hospital chain based in Texas.

Along with the systems targeted by Tenet - Eastern Connecticut Health Network in Manchester and Greater Waterbury Health Network Inc. - four others finished fiscal 2013 with negative total margins, according to a new report by the state Office of Health Care Access.

The report charts end-of-year total margins at the state's 24 hospital health systems, which can encompass not just multiple acute-care hospitals but also nursing homes, diagnostic centers, rehabilitation facilities, home health and hospice programs, and physician groups.

"Total margin" might also be called "profit," and a positive margin like the largest recorded for the year - a 13.8 percent margin at Hartford Healthcare Corp. - means that it kept as "profit" 13.8 cents for each dollar of revenue.

 

In the HHC System

Author Wally Lamb Headlines Mental Health Forum at Backus

Norwich Bulletin, May 16

Best-selling author and Connecticut resident Wally Lamb was the featured panelist at The William W. Backus Mental Health Forum on May16 at the Hartford HealthCare East System Support Office in Norwich.

Can't Keep it to Ourselves: A Community Dialogue on Mental Health was the latest in a series of interactive mental health forums sponsored by affiliates of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network.

Lamb is a mental health advocate and works closely with inmates at the Niantic Correctional Facility, an effort that resulted in a book of stories by inmates entitled, Couldn't Keep it to Our­selves: Testimonies from our Imprisoned Sisters.

Read more here

 

Report identifies highest-paid hospital chiefs

The top executives at nine Connecticut hospitals and hospital systems each were paid more than $1 million in the 2013 fiscal year, the state Office of Health Care Access reports.

The new report, which is based on hospital filings and doesn't identify the executives but describes their positions, shows that the president and CEO of Yale-New Haven Health System, which includes Yale-New Haven, Bridgeport, and Greenwich hospitals, was paid the most, $3.2 million.

The second-highest paid official was the president and CEO of Stamford Hospital, who collected $2.2 million.

Other officials who were paid at least $1 million and their compensation are:

  • The president of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, $1.6 million.
  • The president and CEO at Greenwich Hospital, $1.5 million.
  • The president and CEO at Bridgeport Hospital, $1.2 million.
  • The former CEO of St. Vincent Medical Center in Bridgeport, $1.1 million.
  • The CEO of Danbury Hospital, $1.06 million.
  • The president and CEO of Norwalk Hospital, $1.05 million.
  • The president and CEO of Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, $1.04 million.

Three more officials just missed the million-dollar club. The president and CEO of The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain was paid $999,354, while the new president and CEO of St. Vincent Hospital in Bridgeport was paid $984,669 and the president and CEO of Midstate Medical Center in Meriden collected $943,218.

The compensation of executives at north-central Connecticut hospitals varied widely:

  • The report did not list the compensation for the top executive at Hartford HealthCare, owner of Hartford Hospital, although it showed that its executive vice president and chief operating officer was paid $1.02 million.
  • Peter J. Karl, the president and CEO at Eastern Connecticut Health Network, owner of Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals, was paid $827,600, ranking him as the 16th highest official among the 29 hospitals covered by the report.
  • The CEO at the University of Connecticut's John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington was paid $613,215.
  • The president of the Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford was paid $516,728.
  • The president at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford was paid $477,819.

At the bottom of the roster of highest-paid hospital officials was the CEO of New Milford Hospital, which along with Danbury Hospital forms the Western Connecticut Health Network. He was paid $215,471.

Read it here.

Health Care News In the Region

St. Francis Care Joins Fledgling Health-Tech Accelerator

Hartford Business Journal, May 7

St. Francis Care, whose flagship hospital is Hartford's St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, said it has paid to join a Chicago-based health accelerator and consultancy called Avia. Avia has approximately 40 member hospitals that pay between $50,000 and $250,000 in annual dues.

Founded in 2011, Avia helps healthcare providers identify how emerging technology systems fit best within their respective facilities. St. Francis has been working with Avia to choose technology for a program within the Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation - its joint venture with UConn's School of Medicine.

Uniquely, Avia also invests in some of the emerging technology companies it sees as promising. And St. Francis said its membership may give it the opportunity to co-invest.

 

For-profit hospital deal gets done. Then, doubts behind the scenes

CT Mirror, May 9

Late Wednesday night, lawmakers managed to accomplish something many doubted would be possible: Crafting a compromise that could clear the way for four Connecticut hospitals to be acquired by a for-profit company, in a way that would mollify both unions critical of the transactions and hospitals wary of additional state oversight.

The measure cleared the House and Senate by wide margins. Union leaders supported the deal. Hospital lobbyists looked pleased. But for some legislators key to the deal, any sense of celebration after the deal was short-lived.

Their concern: The response to the bill by Tenet Healthcare and the Yale New Haven Health System, which are partnering to acquire Waterbury, Bristol, Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals.

"If this bill becomes law there is clearly a chance that there will be some unintended consequences -- ones that could make it extremely difficult for us to partner with hospitals in Connecticut to provide quality patient care," Yale New Haven Health System SVP Vin Petrini and Tenet SVP Trip Pilgrim said in a statement.

They added that they think the existing process for converting nonprofit hospitals to for-profits, which the bill expands, already contains "sufficient safeguards."

Was it a sign that the companies were backing away from the deal? Or poor word choice?

Read more here

 

Staffing cuts likely, layoffs possible as L+M adjusts

The Day, May 16

Staffing reductions through attrition and possibly layoffs are likely to be announced in the next few weeks to the approximately 3,500 employees of Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and its affiliates.

Bruce Cummings, president and CEO of L+M Healthcare, said in a memo to staff Tuesday that senior management will meet to decide how to implement recommendations of a consulting firm that has just completed a two-month assessment of all L+M operations.

Read more here.

 

Cigna Inks Nationwide Contract Extension With Tenet

Hartford Business Journal, May 19

Bloomfield health insurer Cigna said it has signed a pay-for-quality agreement with for-profit hospital operator Tenet Healthcare Corp. that represents the insurer's first such arrangement for its Medicare Advantage patient population.

The multi-year extension provides both Cigna's commercial insurance and Medicare Advantage customers with in-network access to Tenet's 77 hospitals and 190 outpatient centers and more than 1,500 doctors around the country.

Through its Medicare Advantage business HealthSpring, Cigna will reward Tenet for improved health outcomes and lowered costs based on various quality measures.

Tenet is looking to make a push into Connecticut through an acquisition of Waterbury, Bristol, Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospitals.

 

Middlesex Hospital's $20M Shoreline Care Center Bows

Hartford Business Journal, May 19

Westbrook is now home to a larger, improved version of Middlesex Hospital's 44-year-old shoreline emergency- and outpatient-care center.

The $20 million building replaces a smaller care facility the hospital opened in 1970 in Essex, hospital officials said.

 

UConn's Canton Space

Hartford Business Journal, May 19

Farmington Valley commercial developer Jeff Sard is erecting a medical-office building whose main tenant will be the UConn Health Center and its practitioners.

Landlord Sard Realty V LLC broke ground last Thursday for the two-story, 17,000-square-foot edifice set to open in early April 2015, at 115 Albany Turnpike. The site is directly across Route 44 from the outdoor Canton Valley Shoppes, and next door to the CVS retail drugstore that opened 18 months ago.

UConn Health Center signed a 15-year lease in the building. The building's roster of health services will include practitioners in family-internal medicine; urgent care with a digital radiology unit; and dermatology.

According to UConn Health, 45,000 people live within a five-mile radius of its planned medical-offices.

 

CT Children's Moves and Expands Sleep Lab

Hartford Business Journal, May 20

Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford said it has expanded and relocated its sleep medicine center to its new surgery center in Farmington.

The Sleep and Neurodiagnostic Center provides sleep studies, electroencephalography and electromyography. The new sleep lab facility, located at 505 Farmington Ave., has five rooms instead of two, allowing for more sleep studies and other services.

In March, Connecticut Children's became the sole owner and operator of the center. It previously subcontracted with Wallingford's Gaylord Hospital, which provided a sleep technologist for studies. Overflow patients also used to go to Gaylord's Glastonbury lab.

Gaylord recently said it was getting out of the sleep business.

 

St. Francis Hospital, HealthyCT Ink Provider Network Deal

Hartford Business Journal, May 21

St. Francis Healthcare Partners said Wednesday it has reached an agreement to join nonprofit insurer HealthyCT's provider network.

Effective May 1, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center and its more than 900 affiliated providers, began participating in all of HealthyCT's commercial health plans. The plans are available on and off the state's healthcare marketplace, Access Health CT.

Joining HealthyCT's network will be St. Francis' 196 primary care physicians, 539 specialists, and 257 physician assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives.

 

L+M physicians: Hospital not 'doctor friendly'

The Day, May 22

A letter to the Lawrence + Memorial Hospital board of directors with the names of 44 physicians says L+M has become a "not doctor friendly hospital" and that recruitment and retention of medical staff are suffering as a result.

"We have lost many excellent doctors to other hospitals," the letter, which circulated last week, states. "Those who have left have found a better atmosphere elsewhere."

Written and signed by neurologist Dr. Daniel Moalli, it lists the departure of at least 18 specialists and general practitioners over an unspecified length of time as evidence of the problems at the hospital.

Attached to the letter are the names of 38 current L+M doctors and six who have either retired or transferred to positions elsewhere who supported the statements.

Read more here.

Hot Topics in Health Care

Doctors Nationwide Victimized in ID Fraud

ABC News, May 8

Many doctors and other health care professionals nationwide have been victimized this year by identity theft used to fraudulently obtain federal and state tax refunds - and their numbers are growing, medical industry and government officials say.

The number of doctors, dentists and nurses targeted by identity theft scams has increased significantly this year, raising questions about a possible security breach of the personal information of medical workers, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Thursday.

"It is incredible. The scope and size are appalling and astonishing. ... We're talking about hundreds (of doctors) nationally and tens of millions and maybe hundreds of millions of dollars," Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal and fellow Connecticut Democrat Sen. Christopher Murphy urged the IRS and Secret Service to dedicate their resources to solve these crimes and prosecute the perpetrators. Their pleas followed the rejection of many doctors' federal and state tax returns last month because they were filed by someone else.

Read more here

 

Mayo Clinic: Reduce Readmissions With Complex, Patient Empowering Interventions

Fierce Healthcare, May 14

Several strategies could potentially reduce 30-day hospital readmissions by nearly 20 percent, according to a Mayo Clinic review published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

"Reducing early hospital readmissions is a policy priority aimed at improving quality of care and lowering costs," lead author Aaron Leppin, M.D., told Mayo Clinic News Network. "Most importantly, we need to address this issue because hospital readmissions have a big impact on our patients' lives."

Leppin and his team reviewed 47 randomized studies on admission-reduction methods and found the most effective interventions--which reduce readmissions by nearly 40 percent--are more complex and focus on helping patients maintain their health. Despite this, providers increasingly used simpler, more technology-focused interventions, that are less effective, according to the review.

When hospitals send patients home after taking care of their acute issues, Leppin said, they give patients lists of tasks to complete, which are often overwhelming. "Some patients cannot handle all these requests, and it is not uncommon for them to be readmitted soon after they get home. Sometimes these readmissions can be prevented," Leppin said, according to the article.

"Effective approaches often are multifaceted and proactively seek to understand the complete patient context, often including in-person visits to the patient's home after discharge," Leppin told Mayo Clinic News Network. "This helps us assess the patients' living environment, their level of support, their resources, and their psychological and physical limitations."

Read more here

Coming Events

May 30 (Friday)

Stroke Center Presents Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage Symposium

Heublein Hall at the ERC, 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Hartford Hospital's Stroke Center presents a one-day symposium called Spontaneous Intracerebral Hemorrhage: Are We Making An Impact on Outcome? on Friday, May 30 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Heublein Hall.

It is designed to update generalists and specialists alike on state-of-the-art treatments that are now a part of mainstream care.

The visiting professor lecture on New Clinical Trials for ICH will be delivered by Dr. Daniel Hanley from Johns Hopkins University.

Speakers will be Hartford Hospital Drs. Lauren Sansing, Catherine Hosley, Isaac Silverman, Robert Brown and Martin Ollenschleger, and Dr. Sanjay Mittal from UConn Health Center.

For more information or registration, please visit www.harthosp.org/event/607

June 3 (Tuesday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

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

June 4 (Wednesday)

High Reliability Training Session for Physicians

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

June 4 (Wednesday)

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.

June 6 (Friday)

Farm to Table in the City

Hartford Public Library, 6:30 p.m.

Sumptuous, fresh local food prepared by The Kitchen at Billings Forge $65 per person

RSVP to Ginger Gillespie at gcgillespie@comcast.net or 860.216.5426.

Sponsored by the Hartford Hospital Auxiliary. Proceeds to benefit community health outreach.

June 6 (Friday)

Surgery Grand Rounds

Gilman Auditorium, 6:45 a.m.

Topic: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Surgery in the Era of Biologics

Speaker: Dr. Neil Hyman, University of Vermont College of Medicine

June 14 (Saturday)

Family Health Center in Farmington Grand Opening

406 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

June 19 (Thursday)

Valedictory Grand Rounds With Dr. AJ Smally

Dr. AJ Smally, medical director of the Emergency Department, will be giving his Valedictory Grand Rounds on Thursday, June 19 at 12 noon in Gilman Auditorium. The occasion is his Imminent retirement after 27 years of service at Hartford Hospital. The topic will be: “A Quarter Century plus of Emergency Medicine at Hartford Hospital.”

June 20 (Friday)

3rd Annual Medical Staff Chef to Farm Dinner

Rosedale Farms, Simsbury

You and your guest are invited to join the Officers and other members of the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff for this special evening – celebrating the beauty and abundant bounty of our local farms – as a unique opportunity for members of the Medical Staff to socialize and enjoy each other’s company. Rosedale Farms, 25 East Weatogue Street, Simsbury. $100 per person.

June 23 (Monday)

Family Health Center in Storrs Grand Opening

Storrs Family Health Center, 5-7 p.m.

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.

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.

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.