Quality & Safety

In 2017, Hartford HealthCare (HHC) continued its journey to transform healthcare for patients by improving the quality and safety of their care and making healthcare more affordable for all. These goals are being brought to life by taking four critical steps for change.

The first phase of transformation focuses on making care safer. HHC embraces the goal of becoming a high reliability organization; to date, more than 12,000 staff members have been trained in these principles. For them, each work day begins with a safety huddle. HHC is now focused on failure — mindful that “being in the moment” is a key step to eliminating human error. The results, to date, have been dramatic — a 73 percent reduction in the frequency of serious safety events during the past three years.

With safety and reliability as a foundation, we have established clinical councils — systemwide multidisciplinary teams charged with developing standards of care and monitoring outcomes data. HHC began with four councils in 2011. Today, there are 40 councils working to reach consensus about best practices, put these practices into use and monitor results. Care is monitored through clinical dashboards established for each council.

The third phase of transformation has been to increase transparency about outcomes and results. We began with internal transparency — all dashboards are shared across the system and the identity of the hospitals and care teams is known. Last year, HHC committed to increase public transparency by publishing the clinical outcomes for its institutes detailing complication rates and important outcomes for specific diseases and procedures.

HHC is now embarking on the fourth phase of transformation: Clinical Care Redesign (CCR). CCR is an approach to restructuring care to drive better outcomes by reassessing all aspects of care. The goal is to create evidence-based standards and develop care paths that are efficient and effective. Clinical teams have begun CCR efforts in three areas: general medicine focusing on sepsis, pneumonia and chronic disease; cardiac care; and colorectal surgery. Early results in colon and rectal surgery are promising, with low complication rates for surgery and more rapid return home and to full activity for patients.

This sequential approach — safety, quality, transparency and pursuit of value — will allow HHC to fulfill its vision to be “most trusted for personalized coordinated care,” and to offer patients real value: quality, affordability and an unmatched customer experience.