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CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter
July 2012


Dealing with these realities should be a top priority for our country.

HOSPITAL INFECTIONS alone cost  as much as $45 billion and that is just in direct costs.  Think about the patient and family suffering.

FALLS have a significant economic cost. In 2005, the total direct cost of fall injuries for adults age 65 and older was over $34 billion (NCOA, 2010). The direct costs for fall-related care include fees for hospital and nursing home care, doctors and other professional services, rehabilitation, community-based services, use of medical equipment, prescription drugs, changes made to the home, and insurance processing. It is estimated that by 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $54.9 billion (CDC, 2010).



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Choosing Wisely


American College of Radiology


Not all tests are good for you.


Five things physicians and patients should question


1.  Imaging for uncomplicated headache


2.  Imagining  for suspected pulmonary embolism without moderate or high probability


3.  Admission or preoperative chest x-rays for ambulatory patients with unremarkable history.


4.  For children with suspected appendicitis, use ultrasound first.


5.  Imaging as follow-up for clinically inconsequential adnexal cysts.








Dear Members,


There are signs of change!  Ten years ago, the industries that so inefficiently and ineffectively made up our health care "system"  were able to say they represented the patients' interests.  We simply were not at the table to point out what you all know so well:  their statements of safe care and quality delivery often fell short of what we, as patients, expected and needed.


Ten years later, this June, we helped organize and present a patient safety panel on Choosing Wisely.  Each month going forward we will be featuring one physician specialty group and identifying commonly used tests or procedures which they say are often not necessary and indeed, might be harmful.  Choosing Wisely is a wonderful example of physicians and consumers working together to improve outcomes.


In May, we completed our first year's outreach to nursing schools with numerous workshops for their students.  We are eager to continue and to expand this program again during the upcoming year.  We have also initiated a partnership with two hospitals and hope to expand that effort to include establishing a network of providers who want to hear patients' first hand perceptions of care within the medical community.


In early July, we are excited to announce that Senator Blumenthal will be holding a regional hearing on patient safety (see below).  Our work is being noticed!  Our voices need to be heard.  We have an important viewpoint that we must express and share with others.  If not, our perspective might not be represented.



Congressional Hearing

on Patient Safety


Next Steps for Patient Safety: Assuring High Value Health Care Across all points of Care 


July 2, 2012, from 1-3pm  

 Hartford, CT Legislative Office Building


There will be time for questions and answers.


We need consumers

and patients to attend.


Healthcare is about us!


Confirmed Witnesses:


Panel 1:

Susan Davis, RN, EdD, FACHE, Ministry Market Leader for New York/Connecticut/Gulf Coast/Florida, Ascension Health, and President and Chief Executive Officer, St. Vincent's Health Services, Bridgeport, CT

Jamesina E. Henderson, President and CEO, Cornell-Scott Hill Health Center, New Haven, CT

Dr. Scott Ellner, D.O., F.A.C.S., General Surgery, Bariatric Surgery, Saint Francis Medical Group, Hartford CT


Panel 2:

Jean Rexford, Executive Director, Connecticut Center for Patient Safety, Redding Connecticut

Dr. David Blumenthal, Chief Health Information and Innovation Officer at Partners Health System in Boston, MA, and Professor of Medicine and Professor of Health Care Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School.

Alice Bonner, PhD, RN, FAANP, Director, Division of Nursing Homes in the Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey and Certification within the CMS


The Leapfrog Group has released their

Hospital Safety Score Website


U.S. hospitals are rated with an A, B, C, D or F.  Hospital Safety ScoreSM ratings are based on patient safety via a first-of-its-kind initiative. A Blue Ribbon Panel of the nation's top patient safety experts provided guidance to The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits, to develop the Hospital Safety Score. The Hospital Safety Score is calculated using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections.


The Hospital Safety Score website:  www.hospitalsafetyscore.org allows visitors to search hospital scores for free and, at the bottom of the page, also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay.

See if your local hospital is an A, B, or a C.  Transparency and accountability are going to be drivers toward safer care.
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