Saint Francis Receives Major Patient Safety Training Grant

$227,044 funding to support perioperative training statewide 

(Hartford, Conn. December 16, 2014) - Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has received a $227,000 grant from the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation to support patient safety training for perioperative teams at hospitals across Connecticut.  

In 2011, Scott Ellner, DO, MPH, FACS, Vice Chairman Department of Surgery, and Director of Surgical Quality at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, founded the Connecticut Surgical Quality Collaborative, a unique and innovative coalition of 22 hospitals and 3 state medical groups that work together to improve patient safety in all surgeries throughout the State. The grant-supported activities of the Collaborative will improve patient outcomes and reduce costs following both inpatient and outpatient surgeries.              

“Hospitals are coming together to share strategies and implement perioperative training protocols aimed at developing a consistent, disciplined culture of safety in the OR,” said Dr. Ellner. “Our efforts to create fail-safe procedures will result in lives saved, reductions in hospital readmissions and a decrease in healthcare costs.” 

The grant will support extensive training of perioperative teams at the Collaborative member hospitals on the use of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses’ (AORN) surgical safety checklist, and training in “TeamSTEPPS”, and “SBAR” (two evidence-based strategies/protocols that develop effective intra-team and inter-team communications skills). In 2015, the grant will support training and education on “enhanced recovery after surgery” clinical pathways aimed at a team-based approach using clinical guidelines to reduce hospital acquired conditions, readmissions and hospital length of stay. 

The Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation grant also supports the installation of “Smart ORs” in the Saint Francis surgical suite and in the Saint Francis Simulation Studio. “Smart ORs” are equipped with new, cutting edge, innovative technology that is designed to detect potential problems and errors before they occur, virtually eliminating the chance of preventable adverse events during surgeries. Perioperative teams from the Connecticut Surgical Quality Collaborative will be able to train in “Smart OR” technology at the Saint Francis Simulation Studio. The “Smart OR” is considered to be the OR of the future for all hospitals across the country.  

The American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program notes that between 2009 and 2013, Saint Francis decreased errors and adverse patient outcomes with an estimated 150 lives saved, 2,500 hospital days prevented, 400 readmissions avoided, and $7,504,255 in reduced healthcare costs through the implementation of surgical safety checklists, improved communications and perioperative training. Now, with the Coverys grant, the success Saint Francis has achieved will be spread throughout the State.  

The Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation was established to support charitable endeavors that provide healthcare services to improve patient safety and care. Coverys remains a consistent supporter for non-profit organizations and state/regional medical societies, and has expanded its focus to include innovative projects committed to enriching the healthcare community. Through funding, the Foundation positively reinforces charitable organizations and innovative programs affiliated with the healthcare community, including causes in which Coverys employees are involved. The development of the Foundation exemplifies Coverys’ dedication to being an affirmative and active corporate citizen in the healthcare community and the communities in which it operates. 

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.  Saint Francis Care’s 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 Coverys 

Coverys is an innovative medical professional liability insurance provider dedicated to helping its policyholders and clients anticipate, identify and manage risk to reduce errors, eliminate inefficiency and improve outcomes. As one of the largest medical professional liability insurance providers in the country, Coverys is responsible for insuring over 32,000 physicians, dentists, and allied health care providers, as well as more than 500 hospitals, health centers and clinics from coast to coast. Coverys has consistently been included in the Ward’s 50 for the past five years. In addition to its insurance products and service delivery to the health care industry, it also has established the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation to support endeavors that focus on the improvement of patient safety as well as healthcare programs to reduce childhood obesity. For more information, visit Coverys at