Patient Care Enhancements – The Hospital, as a not-for-profit, applies surplus funds to improvements in patient care, medical education and research. FY 2011 examples included the following:
Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and Bridgeport Hospital jointly initiated a process to integrate their two pediatric services, creating two inpatient campuses operating under the Yale-New Haven Hospital license, with a goal of increasing safety and quality through a single standard of care. The integration of these two pediatric services will allow for the comprehensive expansion of services for the Bridgeport community, the creation of a larger continuum of care and the provision of broad access to a wider variety of specialty services.
The Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute began construction on a new Outpatient Radiation Oncology Center in Trumbull, adjacent to other cancer services on Park Avenue. The new Center will allow the Hospital to consolidate its radiation oncology service into one convenient, welcoming new building that will house a new state-of-the-art linear accelerator for a variety of radiation oncology treatments. Completion of the Center is expected in the fall of 2012.
The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center introduced expanded women’s wellness services at its Fairfield site on Beach Road. These services included yoga, massage, mental health counseling, naturopathic medicine, nutrition counseling and Pilates. The Breast Care Center was also accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
Bridgeport Hospital’s Center for Geriatrics (named “Best in Fairfield County” for geriatrics by U.S. News and World Report’s 2011-12 Best Hospitals rankings) recruited a fifth geriatrician and expanded its Geriatric Emergency Medicine Program. The Center for Geriatrics also recruited a dedicated advanced practice registered nurse to coordinate its Palliative Care Program.
Bridgeport Hospital’s da Vinci robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery program, launched in January 2007, reached its 1,000th procedure milestone, the most done at any hospital in Fairfield County.
The Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital re-packaged its heart rhythm services into the new Connecticut Cardiac Arrhythmia Center (CCAC). In June, CCAC physicians performed New England’s first hybrid ablation for atrial fibrillation, an innovative procedure that combines the best minimally invasive surgical and catheter-based approaches. A renovated Electrophysiology (EP) Laboratory opened on July 1st in the Hospital’s 10th floor Angioplasty/EP Suite. The new lab is more spacious and includes advanced technology such as a larger video monitor that can display multiple images of the heart.
Bridgeport Hospital’s Center for Sleep Medicine relocated its Diagnostic Suite to the Holiday Inn in downtown Bridgeport in May. The move provides more space for patient care in comfortable surroundings and patient access to amenities such as the hotel pool and fitness center. The Center maintains a Consultation Suite at the Hospital.
Park Avenue Perinatal Services, an outpatient antenatal testing center, opened in February 2011 in Trumbull, expanding Hospital-based services for pregnant women to a suburban location. The Hospital also performed the first single-port (single incision) hysterectomy in Connecticut, a laparoscopic procedure that leaves little or no visible scarring.
The Hospital also participates in clinical research funded by public and private resources. Clinical trials at Bridgeport Hospital are undertaken in the areas of cardiovascular and oncology research and include studies in Diabetes, Atrial Fibrillation, Anti-Platelet Therapy, Breast Cancer, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colon Cancer, Bone Metastases, Pancreatic Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lymphoma, Leukemia and Gastroesophageal and Gastric Cancer. The Hospital was the first Connecticut site for a national trial on the effectiveness of cryoblation (freezing) as a treatment for breast cancer. If successful, the trial may lead to the elimination of surgery (lumpectomy and mastectomy) for many breast cancer patients.
Bridgeport Hospital participates in government sponsored health care programs including Medicare, Medicaid, CHAMPUS and Tricare. The Hospital offers financial assistance, a sliding scale of fees and also free care for eligible patients who cannot afford to pay for some or all of their care. Bridgeport Hospital is a disproportionate care hospital in a large urban center. The Hospital provides an outpatient account advocate based in its primary care clinic. This resource is dedicated to assist the self pay population at the primary care clinic enroll in public programs. Last year, over 150 individuals were assisted with all aspects of the enrollment process including pre screening, application review. The Hospital also continued to pay for an onsite State Department of Social Services worker to assist patients to apply for state health insurance programs.
Community members utilize Bridgeport Hospital as a vehicle to connect and contribute to individuals and the overall community through philanthropy and volunteering. In FY 2011, 472 volunteers dedicated a total of 64,451 service hours to the Hospital. Volunteers were placed in both patient and non-patient areas including ED, Surgease, Endoscopy, Labor & Delivery, Cancer Resource Center, Gift Shop, Mail Room, and Nutrition Services. The Hospital conducts a variety of fundraising activities each year, such as a road race, golf and tennis tournaments, galas and piano recitals, which help to connect the community to the hospital to support goodwill, reputation as well as fundraising efforts.
The Hospital’s primary service area is comprised of eight cities and towns along the southwest coast of CT, including Bridgeport, Fairfield, Easton, Trumbull, Monroe, Shelton, Stratford and Milford. The Hospital itself is located in Bridgeport, which is the most populous city in Connecticut, and the fifth largest city in New England. Located in Fairfield County, the city has an estimated population of 142,546. The city is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area, which itself is considered part of the labor market area for New York City. The per capita income for Bridgeport is $19,854, which is $16,921 below the State of Connecticut per capita income of $36,775. About 20.8% of the population of Bridgeport lives below the federal poverty level versus 9.2% for the whole state.
Bridgeport has a high proportion of under or uninsured patients, while the surrounding towns are some of the most affluent towns in the country, which creates an urban/suburban divide in the area. There are three hospitals in the primary service area, Bridgeport Hospital, St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Milford Hospital. Bridgeport and St. Vincent’s are large community teaching hospitals, of equivalent size, located in the urban center of Bridgeport, however Bridgeport Hospital has more extensive teaching programs, the state’s only burn center, is the women’s and children’s hospital for the area and has a much higher mix of under and uninsured patients. Nearly a third of the inpatients at Bridgeport Hospital, 6,288 patients (33% of total) were Medicaid or uninsured in FY 2011. The Hospital is a disproportionate share hospital, and also qualifies for 340b pharmacy pricing.
The Bridgeport Hospital Emergency Room provides a health care safety net for thousands of people each year by serving as the primary care provider for uninsured and underinsured patients. In FY 2011, the total number of Emergency Room visits were 75,672 including both treated and admitted and treated and discharged patients. The treated and discharged patients make up 85 percent of the total with 8,173 of those patients identified as not having insurance and another 34,185 identified as Medicaid beneficiaries.