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On Saturday night, the emergency room staff knows all too well what's coming — people showing up with a broken jaw, a knife wound or a bashed-in face, often after too many hours in a pub. Doctors at the emergency department in Cardiff, Wales, realized that many of the people who were injured in fights never reported it to the police. That realization led to a simple program that has radically reduced the toll of violence.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center announced a major partnership Tuesday with Hartford HealthCare Medical Group. Hartford HealthCare will be the first member of Memorial Sloan-Kettering's new Cancer Alliance. The alliance will bring the expertise of MSK's physicians and research team to oncology providers in the Hartford HealthCare system.

The county's Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles is a hulking, massive concrete structure. It is also part of the largest municipal jail system in the United States.

On a recent day, four men enter handcuffed with a police escort. The sheriff's deputies assign them cells, and for the duration of their sentences, this is home. The men wear bright blue pants and neon yellow shirts to set them apart from other inmates.

Ariel Zambelich/WIRED (Creative Commons)

You've probably heard of Google Glass - the computer you wear like eyeglasses. The computer display is right in front of your eyes, and is navigated by voice commands.

Now Hartford Hospital has been given a pair of the futuristic glasses by Google to explore the possibilities of using Google Glass in life saving situations by medical personnel.

 But the hospital has apparently had a change of heart. Last month, St. Francis told the city that it would no longer fund the program. But Raul Pino, the city's health director, says the hospital has let him know it has reversed its course. "They have informed us that they are funding the program on a month-to-month basis." Pino says the hospital will also conduct an analysis of the program to see if it is running efficiently.

Pete/Comedy_Nose / Flickr Creative Commons

One in five Medicare patients are back in the hospital within 30 days after being discharged. A new study looks at simple measures hospitals can adopt to reduce readmission rates.

For an elderly patient, one hospital stay is hard enough, but having to come back due to complications can be devastating.

St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center is cutting funding to a Hartford program that targets infant mortality. The hospital says the recently-passed state budget is to blame. The Maternal Infant Outreach Program is almost 30 years old and is jointly funded by two hospitals and the city of Hartford. It serves about 450 pregnant women a year.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut's system of primary healthcare still relies heavily on small, physician-owned practices. It's a quaint hangover in a world that's increasingly dominated by large multi-specialty groups, and hospital-owned practices. But as WNPR's Harriet Jones reports, Connecticut's small practice doctors are looking to wield just a bit more clout.

Dr Doug Gerard sees his last patient of the morning. He's an internist in New Hartford, the only primary care doctor in town.

"Knock on wood, I haven't missed a day in practice due to illness since the beginning."

Hospitals, Administration at Odds Over Budget Cuts

Apr 11, 2013
Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Hospital Day at the Capitol drew more than 600 hospital workers to Hartford today. They were protesting Governor Malloy's proposed budget, which they say would cut state spending on hospitals by $550 million over the next two years. The cuts would include the payments hospitals get for treating the uninsured.

But on WNPR's Where We Live, the administration's budget chief Ben Barnes said he's not sure the plan should actually be called a cut. "In recent years," Barnes said, "hospitals have received very very large increases each year, so we've discontinued providing large increases but I think overall, we're looking at a flat-funding scenario over the next few years."

The High Cost of Health Care

Mar 15, 2013
StockMonkeys.com on Flickr Creative Commons

When we need to go to the hospital, we usually don’t care what it costs to make us better. We just want to get better.

And when you think about it, you shouldn't have to worry about how much it costs when you’re sick or hurt.

But in America, where we’re likely to spend $2.8 trillion dollars on health care this year, the care we receive doesn’t cost the same for everyone.

United States Army Corps Of Engineers

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say this year's flu season is off to it's earliest start in nearly a decade. Many hospitals nationwide, including 19 in Connecticut, have implemented mandatory flu shots for it's workers. 

But, there has been some pushback from unions representing hospital workers, and at least a few workers have been fired for refusing to get the flu shot. 

Dr. Mary Reich Cooper, Vice-President and Chief Quality Officer at the Connecticut Hospital Association talks about it.

Medical Advertising: Educational or Promotional?

Oct 23, 2012
benjamin sTone (Flickr Creative Commons)

Driving on I-84 in Hartford, have you seen a billboard from Hartford Hospital. It's the one that asks, "What’s scarier -- a colonoscopy or cancer?"

What’s the point of an ad like that? Does it inform us? Does it freak us out?

Rexford Santerre is a finance professor and healthcare management at the UConn School of Business. He says the ultimate test would be to see whether advertising improves our health.

But that’s pretty hard to do. So here’s how economists think about it.

digital cat / Creative Commons

Earlier this month Attorney General George Jepson signed off on the merger between The Hospital of Saint Raphael and Yale-New Haven Hospital. The merger between the two elm city hospitals was proposed last fall, as the Hospital of Saint Raphael faces a multi-million dollar shortfall, and Yale-New Haven is looking for more hospital beds. Here to talk about the merger is the President and CEO of the Hospital of Saint Raphael Christopher O'Connor.

Official U.S. Navy Imagery

There is an effort underway in hospitals nationwide to stem the occurrence of operating room mistakes and hospital acquired infections.

Dr. Scott Ellner, a trauma surgeon and director of surgical quality at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, says that although the risk of dying after a hospital admission is low, health care is hazardous and hospitals should have systems in place to protect patients.

Robert S. Donovan

Smaller Hospitals Struggle With Deficits

Apr 17, 2012

Eight of Connecticut’s 30 acute-care hospitals ended the last fiscal year in the red—double the number that reported financial losses the year before, according to a new state report.

The data filed with the state Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) is a mixed bag of news about the financial health of the state’s hospitals. It shows that only six hospitals had operating losses in the 2011 fiscal year in contrast with nine that did not break even on operations in 2010. But when non-operating gains and losses are included, eight had negative total margins, or deficits.

Could 'Contagion' Strike Connecticut?

Mar 22, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, blmurch

Which is a worse way to die: the Spanish influenza that nearly killed off Elizabeth McGovern in Downton Abbey, or the respiratory virus that took out Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie Contagion?

Patient Safety

Mar 6, 2012
isafmedia, creative commons

Patient safety is one of the nation's most pressing health care challenges.

Patient safety advocates say that thousands of people are put in harm’s way from preventable hospital-acquired infections and medical errors.

Connecticut alone reported more than 16-hundred “adverse hospital events” 2004 and 2011, including 157 cases in which patients died.

But reporting by the Connecticut Health Investigative Team shows that few of these cases are actually investigated by the state.

Hospitals To Face Penalties For High Readmissions

Nov 28, 2011
Jordan Valentine Graphic

Patients treated for pneumonia at four Connecticut hospitals have ended up readmitted to the hospital within 30 days at rates significantly higher than the national average—a lapse that the federal government considers costly and potentially harmful, and that could lead to Medicare penalties beginning in 2012.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut hopes to grow a significant cluster of high-tech companies in fields such as fuel cells, advanced manufacturing and medical devices. But one of the stumbling blocks can be finding cash to develop new and unproven ideas. WNPR’s Harriet Jones looks at efforts to fill the funding gap for emerging technologies.

Jolinda Lambert is the CEO of a company called Innovatient Solutions that’s just about 18 months old.

Aplicare

Getting into the international market can be both exciting and challenging for a business. It offers the chance for new customers and growth, but it’s also a steep learning curve. WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited one Meriden firm that’s sending Connecticut-made medical products all around the world, and bringing work back from overseas.

“So this is our production floor. We have 21 production lines, that are operating on two shifts….”

Nathan & Jenny / Creative Commons

Hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid have new rules to follow concerning patient rights. Earlier this month, the federal Department of Health and Human Services implemented the new federal regulations that were first proposed by President Obama in 2010.

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