rsmithMessage from the Chief of Medical Staff

MidState Medical Center’s medical staff has been very involved in strategic planning for the Central Region. We and our colleagues at The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) are exploring how we can work together to give exceptional patient care that is also efficient and cost-effective. Several changes have been made to make care more efficient. One is that all bariatric surgery is now performed at MidState. Another is that, in the future, all stabilized behavioral health patients needing inpatient care will be admitted to The Hospital of Central Connecticut, which has a larger unit and more services. These changes, and others to come, take advantage of each hospital’s respective strengths.

MidState saw growth in several areas this year. Through the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute,we are now officially part of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance. This partnership will ensure that the newest cancer therapies are available to all our patients, right here at home. In collaboration with HOCC, we opened our new Southington Surgery Center for orthopedic ambulatory surgery, and it’s been very well received. The center is one way we are adapting to the new health care environment, which emphasizes outpatient care close to where residents live and work.

This new environment also demands that hospitals transition to an electronic health record. Hartford HealthCare has selected an electronic health record provider, and the system will be phased in over the next several years. It will allow everyone in the system to share medical information. This will help avoid duplication and improve quality and safety.

Quality and safety are also the goals of Hartford HealthCare’s High Reliability initiative. Every physician on staff at an Hartford HealthCare facility—including MidState— participates in this program. Training focuses on adherence to procedures proven to prevent errors. The program has been successful in several other industries.

This year, hospitals nationwide prepared for the possibility of Ebola. Hartford HealthCare established a specialized infection control unit. MidState and other Hartford HealthCare partner hospitals rapidly put in place the training, equipment and protocols for dealing with the disease. Fortunately, to date, we have not needed to activate these plans.

All health care institutions today are facing financial and other constraints. All of us at MidState, the Central Region, and Hartford HealthCare are working together to be efficient, safety-oriented and cost effective while always keeping the most important person, the patient, at the center of the medical universe.

Richard Smith, MD