News & Events

A year in review – the top 10 highlights for 2013

January 6, 2014

Delivering on a promise, it’s what we have done, and what we continue to do. 

Planning a health care system today that will meet tomorrow’s needs is both an exhilarating challenge and a daunting task.  To remain sustainable and continue to provide for the health care needs of Eastern Connecticut, Backus made considerable progress in developing and innovating programs and services in 2013.  Let’s take a look back at the top 10 highlights of the year.

1.  Affiliation agreement

Backus Corporation and Hartford HealthCare received approval in July to affiliate from the state Office of Health Care Access.  The affiliation results in the creation of the system’s first regional network, the East Region, including Backus and Windham hospitals.  The affiliation also lends to developing an integrated health care delivery system for Eastern Connecticut.

2.  Awards and recognition

  • Designated as a “Most Wired” hospital for third year in a row by the American Hospital Association. This award recognizes leading edge technology implemented in a health care environment.
  • Received Anthem Blue Distinction recognition for orthopedics.
  • Anticoagulation Center received national award for excellence.
  • Backus HomeHealth Care was named as a top home health agency in the U.S. by HomeCare Eilte™.

3.  Improving access to care

Having adequate access to health care is crucial to maintaining good health.  One way Backus helps patients access care is through MyHealth Direct, a program that connects patients to a primary care provider and screens for insurance eligibility.

MyHealth Direct exceeded goals in linking patients to insurance and primary care providers. The number of appointments went up 38 percent compared to prior year, and the number of appointments kept went up 86 percent.

4.  Backus Health Centers expansion

The Backus Health Centers experienced significant growth.  Two new centers were opened, one in Norwichtown and one in North Stonington.  The Colchester and Montville Backus Health Centers also became the first physician groups in Con­necticut to receive the National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition.

5.  Gastric bypass surgery added

The Backus Weight Loss Center added gastric bypass as another option for patients seeking weight loss.  The center started performing LAP-BAND® procedures in 2010 and added bypass to round out the continuum of care for bariatric patients.

6.  Quality improvements

More than 1,800 employees and 200 medical staff members participated in “Safety Starts with Me” training sessions, as part of a statewide high-reliability organization initiative. Daily safety huddles were implemented, and antibiotic stewardship and congestive heart failure protocols were created.

Backus also saw quality and patient safety improvements in all key publicly reported metrics and was one of a few Connecticut hospitals not cited for excess patient readmissions.

7.  Population health management

Transitioning from sick care to health care and becoming a true population health

Manager isn’t an easy task.  The first step to accomplishing this goal is putting patients first, always – all 460,000 of them (the population of Eastern Connecticut).

Population health management efforts included:

  • Completion of a community health needs assessment.
  • Expansion of Rx for Health program, which involves physicians writing prescriptions to farmer’s markets for children and families at-risk for obesity.
  • Healthy Eating Advocate Training (HEAT) to create sustainable community education about nutrition.
  • Healthy Community pilot program in village of Baltic (in the town of Sprague) to create sustainable, measurable health improvements among a defined population.

8. Milestones

  • The Plainfield Backus Emergency Care Center celebrated its one-year anniversary in July, and helped improve access to emergency services in northern New London and southern Wind­ham counties. The center is on a pace to see more than 17,000 patients in its first year.
  • The Backus Cancer Center celebrated its 15th anniversary in June.  The center has experienced significant achievements including advancement in radiation therapy, numerous quality designations, patient navigation, and most recently an affiliation with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center through Hartford HealthCare.

9.  Philanthropy

With the support of a $300K community campaign, Backus was able to purchase the new CareVan, a mobile health van that provides preventative health care including screenings, primary care and health education in the community, when and where it’s needed most.

10.  The Boutique at Backus

In June, Backus opened the Boutique, which offers education, resources and merchandise for cancer patients. The Boutique was made possible through a lead gift from the Backus Auxiliary, The Backus Survivors Fund and the Laura Beth Seder Memorial Golf Tournament.