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Christopher M. DadlezPresident andChief Executive OfficerSaint Francis Hospitaland Medical Center
An Ounce of Prevention
When the myriad moving parts of today’s ever-evolving healthcare reforms begin to overwhelm you, here is all you need to remember:
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
I was recently asked to provide a “reflection” to open a meeting in Washington of the American Hospital Association. In healthcare, our days are often filled with frantic interventions, challenging reinventions, and maddening conventions… but moments for reflection, not so often.
Near and Dear – Our Volunteers
“People are our greatest asset.” This truism is so obvious, so fundamental, that it almost goes without saying. And therein is the problem: If we are not walking this talk every day – or worse, if we are writing it off as a cliché – then we have failed our missions because we have failed our colleagues.
Tort Reform: Making the Case
The Affordable Care Act, often dubbed ObamaCare, is introducing sweeping changes to healthcare in the U.S. with three principal aims: to enhance the experience of care, improve the health of populations, and reduce costs.
Is Healthcare Getting Healthier?
The major drivers behind today’s healthcare reforms are cost and quality issues. We know that the spiraling costs of the past are unsustainable. We also know that any healthcare mistake that causes harm is intolerable.
The ABCs of ACOs
Saint Francis HealthCare Partners, a physician-led affiliate of Saint Francis Care, was recently recognized as an Accountable Care Organization – an ACO – by the Department of Health and Human Services for Medicare patients.
Aiming To Save Lives
On a recent snowy Saturday, 181 unwanted, working firearms were turned in by their owners at a gun buyback program held in Hartford. The collection included 2 derringers, 55 pistols, 91 revolvers, 13 rifles, 19 shotguns, and 1 assault rifle.
The Medical Cliff
While Washington wrestles with the “fiscal cliff” and its implications for a redistribution of American wealth, I’m worried about a health disaster that we are steering toward at full speed: the “medical cliff” just ahead.
Teach…Our Children Well
It has been reported that nonfatal injuries to young children in the U.S. have increased for the fourth year in a row. In 2011, kids age four and under
experienced an estimated 2.5 million injuries that brought them to emergency rooms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s
12.4 injuries per 100 children.
Taking Hope to Olympic Heights
Timing is everything, we say, and the arrival of the Olympics could not have been more timely. Coming on the heels of the horrific and senseless recent tragedy in Colorado, the Olympics have been a welcome antidote for the American psyche.
We Are Who We Are
America prides itself on our “melting pot” makeup. Since our nation’s inception, we have inherently understood that diversity creates opportunity. And our forefathers constitutionally crafted protections for individual freedom, rather than class privilege
Recent Supreme Court hearings on the Affordable Care Act once again riveted our nation’s attention on healthcare and its confounding complexities.
Working Their Magic…and Miracles
This week is National Volunteer Week, and I am reminded of another asset unique to hospitals – the value delivered to our region by those who freely donate their time and talents in service to our mission.
Oft InterredI’m reminded of this each year at this time because this is when we quantify and publish the results of what the healthcare industry labels “community benefits.”
The Best Medicine
Americans, and New Englanders in particular, take great pride in a character trait we consider uniquely our own – Yankee ingenuity. This can-do, make-do trait cherishes an attitude of invention, improvisation and innovation. In a land blessed with many resources, it has been, perhaps, our greatest national asset of all.
As one observer put it in the aftermath of the failure of the deficit-reduction “supercommittee,” things on the healthcare front could get much worse before they start to get even worse
The Net Effect
Our recent, massive power outages tested the safety net of our healthcare system with some unusual – and almost catastrophic – challenges. Early on Sunday, oxygen-dependent individuals began arriving at our doors. By day’s end we were sheltering 25 of them as “patients.” They needed our power outlets – and warm beds.
The State of Our Health
The Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis issued a recent report indicating that Connecticut could lose 40,000 more jobs through 2011, bringing the state’s total job loss since the onset of our recession to 110,000 positions.
Terror Today. Gone Tomorrow
One of the great advances in modern medicine is our exponentially
expanding ability to integrate and share information.
Our industry has long been adept at recording patient data. A visit
to the medical records department of any hospital or the filing cabinets
of your local primary care physician’s office will demonstrate this in
neat rows of tens of thousands of colorful file folders.
For the Greater Good
As our nation’s economic travails continue, it is no surprise that
fundraising for non-profits has never been more challenging.
This comes at a time when donations to hospitals, in particular,
are absolutely essential to our survival. Indeed, contributions
often make the difference in whether our bottom lines show a
loss or a paper-thin gain for the year.
Our Malpractice Malady
It’s a basic principle of healthcare that a bad condition, left
untreated, will surely worsen.
We are seeing that principle unfold in a scenario that is
healthcare-related – the recent quantification of the ill effects
of our current medical malpractice system.
The Light Ahead
The Light Ahead? On Curing Healthcare Hospitals have been struggling for some time with the growing ranks of patients coming to our Emergency Department doors, and many have begun taking serious steps to address this trend. At Saint Francis, were opening our new John T. OConnell Tower in the spring of 2011. Its doorway
Making Change On Curing Healthcare Change is todays one constant. And with that constancy comes a cost: unrelenting uncertainty. That uncertainty can, if we let it, paralyze us with pessimism. But Americans are optimists. We have largely sprung from a gene pool of immigrant adventurers and risk-takers. That is our heri
An American Story
An American Story On Curing Healthcare In the swirl of tragic stories about the continuing terrible toll of roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the devastating oil spill in the Gulf, national riots, drug wars and a host of other miseries, we have just been blessed by an uplifting story that has occurred right here
Standing for Those Fallen
Standing for Those Fallen On Curing Healthcare Its Memorial Day in America. First called Decoration Day, this was originally a time to honor the nations Civil War dead by decorating their graves. With roots in traditions in both the North and South, dozens of American cities have claimed to be its birthplace. Today, it
Our Commitment to the Community
Our Commitment to the Community On Curing Healthcare Much has been written recently about hospital and church concerns about the proposed retroactive extension of the current statute of limitations for child abuse victims beyond the current 30-year limit. Our institutions have been portrayed as being insensitive to tho
The Good, the Bad, the Unknown
The Good, the Bad, the Unknown On Curing Healthcare Healthcare reform….where to begin? Im reminded of the comment by Sir Winston Churchill after the British victory at El Alamein in 1942: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” First, the good ne
Fixing What Ails Us
Fixing What Ails Us On Curing Healthcare I have written several times in this space about impending and disastrous shortages of medical professionals, especially within the ranks of primary care physicians. The Association of American Medical Colleges has estimated a shortage of at least 125,000 primary care physicians
What does 62,264,685 Buy
What Does $62,264,685 Buy? On Curing Healthcare Popular culture has peculiar ways of prizing, and pricing, things. Consider the recent Super Bowl. Industry experts estimate that each 30-second spot that aired during Super Bowl XLIV cost advertisers about $2.6 million. Thats about $86,666 per second of air time. Thats a
Putting Politics Aside
Putting Politics Aside On Curing Healthcare Committees are now busily at work in Washington crafting compromise proposals to address considerable differences in the separate healthcare reform bills passed recently by the House and Senate. Despite the differences, we hope that Congressional leaders will agree on several
Education for the Next Generation
Christopher M. Dadlez President and Chief Executive Officer Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Canadian pundit Allan Gregg once observed: “A good education should leave much to be desired.” The subtle, insightful wisdom of this statement is being dramatically expressed through a number of promising academy and m
Our Primay Concern
The centerpiece of virtually every healthcare reform proposal is a commitment
to expand insurance coverage for millions more Americans.
This is a laudable, long-overdue goal. The postponement of preventive care
by the uninsured inevitably results in catastrophic and extraordinarily expensive
care later. An apt aphorism comes to mind: “An ounce of prevention……”
Saving the Safety Net
The healthcare reform debate continues its roller-coaster ride with major
provisions coming and going in daily new twists and turns.
Despite these vicissitudes, we would ask legislative leaders to remain
steadfast on one important principle: First, do no harm.
A Healthy Exchange
One of the unsettling ironies of healthcare
is that we excel at collecting complex patient
information – but often miss opportunities to use
it for the very purpose it was retrieved.
A Better Prescription
A recent editorial in the Hartford Courant
correctly framed the issues regarding the University
of Connecticut’s proposal to create a “partnership”
with Hartford Hospital to replace John Dempsey
Hospital: We all want a world-class medical and dental school, but this is
not the time to ask taxpayers to approve a plan that has a $605 million
price tag over the next 10 years.
Doing Well To Do Good
Doing Well To Do Good Surveys routinely indicate that many Americans do not understand the “not-for-profit” nature of our hospitals. As large employers and economic engines in our communities, it is easy to see how this can occur. It is important, however, for hospitals to tell our non-profit story because our tax-exem
Collaboration is Key
Collaboration Is Key There is unanimous agreement that UConn and its major teaching hospitals can form a world-class academic medical center only by working together. Indeed, collaboration was the essence of our response to the UConn Health Centers Solicitation of Interest. We are a strong proponent of the Connecticut
Created Equal - But Not Alike
Created Equal – But Not Alike At its recent Rising Star Breakfast, the MetroHartford Alliance sponsored a program dedicated to the issue of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare. For decades already, research has confirmed that healthcare disparities are real, widespread, and mortally destructive. Heart disease,
Hard Pills to Swallow
The doughnut — that American culinary icon —
has been leaving a very bad taste in the mouths of
millions of retired seniors for several years.
I’m referring to the infamous “doughnut hole”
phenomenon, the Medicare Part D prescription drug
coverage gap that afflicts so many retirees.
A Prescription for a Healthy Community
Our hospital, like most hospitals, relies
desperately on the generosity of donors to support
the life-saving care we deliver. Each and every day is a struggle to make
ends meet, and the donations we receive literally help us save lives.
So why then, I am sometimes asked, do we support other non-profits
when our own needs are so great?
A Step in the Right Direction
A Step in the Right Direction Small steps are often the true test of larger ambitions. That reality confronts us now as our Presidential election moves closer and healthcare-related issues move to the fore of most platform agendas. At or very near the top of that list is “universal healthcare,” an item that has as many
Dark Clouds for Those Golden Years
On Curing Healthcare T H I R T E E N T H I N A S E R I E S Advertisement Dark Clouds for Those Golden Years? We all know that America is aging. Baby-boomers will be retiring in record numbers in the next decade. And the comforting certainties that once seemed immediately ahead — prosperous financial markets, a solid re
Hospitals-Bellwethers of Our Fiscal Health
Is There a Doctor in the House
Is There a Doctor in the House? The number of primary care physicians (PCPs), once called the “family doctor,” is rapidly diminishing, and just as Americans have greater need for them. Barely 15 years ago, ironically, predictions of a national surplus of physicians by the year 2000 abounded. Now, experts foresee the U.
it's 2 am, Do Your Health Records Know Where You Are
Its 2:00 a.m. Do Your Health Records Know Where You Are? Imagine visiting a branch of your bank outside of Connecticut. Staff there can instantly access your most detailed financial records. They can also complete even complex transactions. Now imagine being admitted to an Emergency Department in that same community. H
Medicaid, On the Critical List
Medicaid: On the Critical List Twenty-five years is a long time to wait for a system that matches payments to expenses. But thats how long it has been since the present Medicaid and State Administered General Assistance (SAGA) reimbursement system for Connecticut hospitals has been revised. Thats a long time for hospit
News We Can Take to Heart
On Curing Healthcare N I N T H I N A S E R I E S Advertisement News We Can Take to Heart In an earlier message I shared the good news of remarkable decreases in cancer-related deaths for both men and women in the U.S. Recently, there was another welcome report on the medical front, this time regarding successes against
On the State of Our State's Health
On Curing Healthcare T E N T H I N A S E R I E S Advertisement On the State of Our States Health “The families of Connecticut...simply open their wallets and then their bills to see if there is a match. “Increasingly, there is not.” GOVERNOR M. JODI RELL, STATE OF THE STATE, FEBRUARY 6, 2008 In the budget outlined duri
Our 'Chronic' Crisis
Our Best Wishes for the New Year
Our Best Wishes for the New Year Institutions, like individuals, can benefit from the adoption of resolutions for the new year aimed at improving our world. At Saint Francis, we expect to collaborate with legislative leadership on a number of critical healthcare issues in the coming year. Principal among them are four
Patients Feel the Pain of Malpractice Crisis
Patients Feel the Pain of Malpractice Crisis The issue of Connecticuts malpractice insurance reform continues to simmer, raising the question: “How many more physicians will prematurely end their practices before this matter is resolved?” This situation, which aptly fits the clich “no good deed goes unpunished,” is con
The 'Big C' Celebratin
The “Big C”: Celebration? Recent headlines trumpeted great news on the healthcare front: Death rates from cancer dropped more than 2 percent per year from 2002 through 2004 in the United States. These significant declines were seen in lung, prostate and colorectal cancers in men. Similar results were reported for breas
The Miracles of Tucson
On so many levels, the recent Saturday morning tragedy in that
Tucson shopping plaza was horrific: The senseless deaths, the
shattering wounds, the tormenting failure to heed the gunman’s
all-too-obvious warnings -- and that sinking “here we go again”
feeling that stems from our nation’s continued nightmarish exposure
to this type of trauma.
The Nursing Shortage - Is it Real
The Nursing Shortage: Is It Real? There is a troubling irony surrounding Connecticuts nursing shortage. Despite the common misconception that young people are no longer interested in becoming nurses, thousands of eager nursing students are being turned away annually, due to a shortage of faculty. Add to this the fact t
The System Needs Help - Stat
On Curing Healthcare T W E L F T H I N A S E R I E S Advertisement The System Needs Help – Stat A major irony of our healthcare system is that individuals with little or no health insurance routinely use our most expensive healthcare channels — our hospital emergency departments. This incurs high costs, creates dangero
These Mean Data Are Good News, Sort Of
On Curing Healthcare E L E V E N T H I N A S E R I E S Advertisement These Mean Data Are Good News. Sort Of. Its always great to bear good news, and there was more recently on the healthcare front — but this time, news with a twin spin. The medical community has long recommended a total cholesterol level of 200. The Na
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