CT Center for Patient Safety
CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter

November 2014
In This Issue
Caregiver Action Network
Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Rating Scores
Doctor, Please Pee in this Cup
November Health Hint
The Patient Passport

Caregiver Action Network


Being a caregiver is hard work and often a very lonely job.  Did you know that there is a national organization that supports caregivers? The Caregiver Action Network's website provides support to the more than 65 million Americans who care for others with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age.  This organization provides education, peer support and resources to caregivers free of charge. They can also be followed on Facebook

Lisa Freeman

Recently, Lisa Freeman, a board member at Connecticut Center for Patient Safety, was selected as one of "25 of the Nation's Best Practices in Patient and Family Engagement" for the work that she has done to support the voice of patients in Connecticut and nationally.

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Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Rating Scores Just Released!


Leapfrog has just released their fall 2014 updated Hospital Safety Scores. Connecticut ranked #33 of 42 (with some states tied) based on the percentage of "A" hospitals they have compared to the total number of hospitals that operate in the state.  In Connecticut, only four of the 25 hospitals that they rated received a score of "A". Twelve hospitals received a "C".

Click on this link to see how your local hospitals did.


These scores are compiled based on 28 performance measures, all currently in use by national measurement and reporting programs. These measures consider practices such as how often a hospital gives patients recommended treatment for a given medical condition or procedure. For example, "Use antibiotics right before surgery" measures how often a hospital gives patients an antibiotic within one hour before surgery. Other measures represent the environment in which patients receive care. For example, "Doctors order medications through a computer" represents whether a hospital uses a special computerized system to prevent medication errors. A final example would be measures that represent what happens to a patient while receiving care. For example, "Dangerous object left in patient's body" measures how many times a patient undergoing surgery had a dangerous foreign object, like a sponge or tool, left in his or her body. (Yes, this still happens!) The Hospital Safety Score methodology has been peer reviewed and published in the Journal of Patient Safety. 

Doctor, Please Pee in this Cup

We hold doctors to very high standards and they are shown a high degree of respect.  Day in and day out, they are making decisions that affect the quality of life for other people and sometimes their decisions are about life and death issues themselves.  For other professionals, such as airline pilots, train conductors, truck drivers, many school bus drivers and others whose jobs require a high degree of precision and where public safety is a concern, varying policies requiring drug testing are in place.  For doctors and nurses, this is most often not the case.  Yet, their overall rates of substance abuse are roughly on par with the rest of the population, at about 10 percent.  Through a ballot initiative in a few days, California could become the first state to mandate a requirement for random drug testing for physicians.  The intent is to protect patients and get health care providers into treatment so they can safely get back to work.

Even if this proposition does not pass, the conversation has begun and will continue.  We welcome you to go to our Facebook page or our website to let us know how you feel about this or to share any stories that you might have.  For a more in-depth look at this issue click here.

November Health Hint:


The 2014-2015 Enrollment period is about to begin!

It has been reported that "the number of Connecticut residents without health insurance had been cut nearly in half -- from almost 8 percent of the population to 4 percent -- following the implementation of Obamacare."While some plans may automatically renew, enrollment  opens for everyone on November 15th and continues until February 15, 2015. BUT, for your plan to become effective on January 1 you must sign up by December 15th.

Let's make sure that the word gets out to the 4% - the 2nd enrollment period is about to begin! 

The Patient Passport



The Patient and Family Engagement Action Team at the National Quality Forum (NQF) has been studying and developing tools to improve and increase authentic partnerships between patients, families, and healthcare teams.  According to the NQF, the Patient Passport "is unique because it allows the patient to initiate and guide patient-provider conversations.... It is written by the patient in the patient's voice, and is intended as a complement to other resources. [It presents] critical information about the patient in a concise and meaningful way.  In addition, small things-like a personalized photo-help to humanize the experience of the patient/provider encounter. 


Doctella.com has taken this concept and in collaboration with NQF has created an online and mobile version of the patient passport.  Their website also provides patients with a specialized checklist of questions to ask their healthcare team and to-do lists to get you organized before your care. Their goal is to help patients and their healthcare team communicate more effectively.  This communication leads to better, safer healthcare.  You can find Doctella.com on the web and on both Android and Apple platforms.