Cardinal Health Foundation Grants Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center $31,500 to Improve Patient Safety at the Point-of-Care

(Hartford, Conn. November 26, 2013) — Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center today announced that it has received $31,500 in grant funding from the Cardinal Health Foundation to improve operating room safety and efficiency.

Saint Francis will use this funding from the Cardinal Health Foundation to continue implementation of a patient safety training program for perioperative surgical teams across the Hospital.  Last year, the Surgical Safety Task Force established a patient safety training program that utilizes the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Comprehensive Surgical Checklist. The Checklist covers the pre-procedure check-in in the patient holding area; the sign-in period before induction of anesthesia; a time-out before skin incision; and the sign-out period before the patient leaves the OR. The Checklist is comprehensive, takes minimal time, and is effective in reducing post-surgical complications. On each perioperative team, the anesthesiologist takes the lead in administering the AORN Checklist and is empowered to stop the surgery at any time.

“Saint Francis is proud of its strong record in patient safety in the operating room,” states Christopher M. Dadlez, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We have been recognized by leading national organizations for our excellence in patient safety, and this Cardinal Health Foundation grant will allow us to continue to achieve high levels of patient safety.”

“We believe that continuous improvement depends on education, re-education, training, and team practice in simulation experiences to ensure that patient safety protocols are universally followed and a culture of patient safety is embedded in all perioperative procedures,” states Scott Ellner, D.O., MPH, FACS, Director of Surgical Safety, Vice Chairman, Department of Surgery.

“The Checklist has significantly impacted our procedures in the OR,” states Patti Jagoe, Executive Director, Surgery Service Line. “We have improved patient safety and communication among the healthcare team. Everyone is supported in their accountability to speak up and hold the line if they see something unsafe.” 

The overall aim of the project is to train all Saint Francis personnel who participate in the delivery of care to the surgical patient in the perioperative continuum. The goal of the project is to establish a patient-centered, pervasive, and enduring culture of safety in all inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures throughout the Hospital. Using a core curriculum that has been developed, piloted, and has had statistically significant positive patient outcomes, the training will focus on the behavioral dynamics of operating room circulating nurses; recovery room nurses; pre-operative admitting nurses; scrub technologists; anesthesiologists; certified registered nurse anesthetists; surgeons; surgical residents; and medical, nursing, and ancillary students.

“The AORN, on the local and national levels, has been a leader in patient safety initiatives throughout our nation,” states Jeanne A. Ring, MSN, RN, CNOR, Vice President AORN Connecticut Chapter I, Perioperative Clinical Advisor, Ambulatory Surgery. “Cardinal Health has been a strong supporter in providing perioperative nurses with the education and training needed in implementing the surgical safety checklists at Saint Francis. The entire surgical team at Saint Francis has been involved in an ongoing process of improving the culture surrounding patient safety in the perioperative setting. We are grateful to Cardinal Health for this award, as this will allow us to continue to improve and to search for new methods to enhance patient care at our hospital.”

Since its inception in 2008, the E3 Grant Program has awarded more than 200 grants, totaling $6.15 million, to healthcare institutions across the U.S. to advance the effectiveness, efficiency and excellence of healthcare. The program has generated millions of dollars in cost savings, with the most recent grantees focused on reducing medication errors and reporting savings of more than $11 million.

“We are encouraged by the impressive outcomes that previous grant recipients have made from the use of our E3 grants,” said Dianne Radigan, vice president of Community Relations at Cardinal Health. “There have been major strides in medication and OR safety leading to lower readmission rates, significant cost savings and, most importantly, better patient outcomes. We congratulate Saint Francis and their work to achieve similar meaningful, long-term improvements.”


About Saint Francis Care 

Saint Francis Care is an integrated healthcare delivery system established by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, an anchor institution in north central Connecticut since 1897.  Licensed for 617 beds and 65 bassinets, it is a major teaching hospital and the largest Catholic hospital in New England.  Other major entities of Saint Francis Care include The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center, the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research, and Saint Francis HealthCare Partners.  Johnson Memorial Medical Center, parent organization of Johnson Memorial Hospital, Evergreen Health Care Center, and Home and Community Health Services is also a Saint Francis Care Partner.  Its services are supported by a network of five major Access Centers and eight additional medical office centers sited throughout the region.  For more information, visit


About the Cardinal Health Foundation 
The Cardinal Health Foundation supports local, national and international programs that improve health care quality and build healthy communities. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage employee service to the community and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster. To learn more, visit or