(Hartford, Conn. January 15, 2015) - Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center today
announced that it has received $75,000 in grant funding from the Cardinal
Health Foundation’s E3 Grant Program, which promotes effectiveness, efficiency
and excellence in healthcare, to support the work of the Connecticut Surgical Quality Collaborative founded by Scott Ellner,
D.O., MPH, FACS, of Saint Francis.
Ellner also currently serves as President
of Saint Francis Medical Group, Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, and
Director of Surgical Quality at Saint Francis.
Dr. Ellner founded
the Connecticut Surgical Quality Collaborative
last year, a unique coalition of 22 hospitals and 3 medical societies that will
eventually expand to include all 28 hospitals in the state, to pioneer new
safety protocols for operating room procedures statewide.
The primary goal of the Connecticut
Surgical Quality Collaborative is to create a culture that increases
patient safety in all surgical procedures in every participating hospital.
Human error is the main cause of unintended patient outcomes following surgery
and it results in over $13B per year on a national level due to post-surgery
patient complications, hospital re-admissions, and patient deaths.
A second goal is for all members of the Collaborative to share data on specific surgical procedures; the
effects of new technology in surgical suites; and 30-day, post-operative
patient outcome data at each of the participating hospital sites. This includes
sharing trends in positive patient outcomes as well as openly sharing
information and data on unintended post-operative complications that were the
result of errors during surgery. Strategies are designed to prevent such
incidents in the future.
The third goal of the Collaborative
is to have perioperative teams at all participating hospitals trained in
patient safety protocols and effective teamwork/communication skills, and to
implement these protocols and skills in every surgical procedure in every
hospital. The Connecticut Surgical
Quality Collaborative serves as a model coalition that can be replicated by
any other state in the U.S.
Before the Connecticut
Surgical Quality Collaborative was formed, Connecticut hospitals did not
routinely share the quality of their surgical care, incidents of post-surgical,
or unintended outcomes. Hospitals have historically been reluctant to share
information on surgical procedures and patient outcome data for a number of
reasons: fear of litigation; market share concerns; privacy issues; and the
existence of inconsistent quality and safety protocols among some hospital departments
Human error is inevitable in any work environment,
especially in high-stakes, high-pressure environments such as operating rooms.
Unfortunately, in surgical procedures, errors can result in life-changing
conditions for the patient and for the perioperative team. Unintended outcomes
can also result in significant healthcare costs and, at times, litigation.
Fortunately, there are new patient safety protocols,
technologies, and training programs for surgical teams that can dramatically
impact the risk of human errors during surgery.
Surgical Quality Collaborative is the first coalition in the history of
healthcare in Connecticut that convenes the best surgeons and perioperative
teams in the state to share patient safety protocols that have provided
effective, evidence-based surgical procedures, as well as innovations in
teamwork and communication, with the express purpose of eliminating errors
during the perioperative process. This includes eliminating errors before
surgery, during surgery, and during the transfer of patients to other
To support the Collaborative,
Dr. Ellner and Saint Francis have taken the lead in securing grants to help fund
and coordinate the training of surgical teams at the participating hospitals. Training
includes education on best practices in the perioperative process; on evidence-based
safety protocols; and on effective intra-team and inter-team communication. Coalition
hospitals share training results and develop strategies to overcome challenges
to implementing changes. The grant from Cardinal Health Foundation will help
support the expansion of training in the coalition hospitals.
Grant funding is also being secured for the creation of an
interoperative, electronic Connecticut Surgical
Quality Network that can be updated on a weekly basis and accessed by all
members of the Collaborative. The Surgical
Quality Network will include a forum/blog where surgeons can discuss the
successful use of new technology and innovative procedures, challenges to
implementing innovations, and the effects and outcomes of the Collaborative’s training of
“This is the
second such grant from Cardinal Health, and we are grateful to have their
dedicated support of this program and the Hospital,” stated Lynn B. Rossini,
Chief Development Officer, Saint Francis Foundation.
About Saint Francis Care
Saint Francis Care is an integrated healthcare
delivery system established by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, an
anchor institution in north central Connecticut since 1897. Licensed for 617 beds and 65 bassinets, it is
a major teaching hospital and the largest Catholic hospital in New
England. Other major entities of Saint
Francis Care include The Mount Sinai
Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the
Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount
Sinai Regional Cancer Center, the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for
Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research, and Saint
Francis HealthCare Partners. Johnson Memorial Medical Center, parent
organization of Johnson Memorial Hospital, Evergreen Health Care Center, and
Home and Community Health Services are also Saint Francis Care Partners. Saint Francis
Care’s services are supported by a
network of five major Access Centers and eight additional medical office
centers sited throughout the region. For
more information, visit www.stfranciscare.com.