Seasons Magazines

Seasons Magazines

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Continues to Gain Recognition

Safety First with Highest Grade from Leapfrog

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington has once again received the highest grade for safety from Leapfrog, a national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers focused on health care safety and quality. Charlotte is one of nine hospitals in the state and four within Hartford Healthcare—including Backus Hospital, Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut—to receive an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade in Leapfrog’s Spring 2022 round of national rankings.

“We are so proud to once again receive the highest grade possible from Leapfrog. Our community should take comfort in knowing our team’s skill and dedication to quality and safety is being recognized nationally,” said Bimal Patel, president of Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Northwest region.

“Achieving an ‘A’ safety grade from Leapfrog is a true testament to our entire team’s commitment to safety and the quality of care we deliver,” added John J. Capobianco, senior vice president of the Northwest region for Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. “We have created a culture that promotes excellence through continuous improvement and empowers all colleagues in our mission to always deliver the best and safest care to our patients.”

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on the work done by hospitals to prevent medical errors and harm to patients. The grading system is peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Grades are updated twice annually in the fall and spring.


New Primary Stroke Center 

Provides Critical, Comprehensive Care

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital has become a certified Primary Stroke Center, a certification given by The Joint Commission to those who establish a consistent and exceptional approach to stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) patient care in their communities. The Joint Commission is a private accreditor of healthcare organizations. Its standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts, and patients. They are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help health care organizations measure, assess and improve performance.

The Stroke Center at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, now part of Hartford HealthCare’s Ayer Neuroscience Institute, offers a more patient-centric approach that provides an exceptional experience for patients and their families. In the past, someone in the region who experienced a stroke would be stabilized and transferred out to another facility with stroke certification for continued care. Now the majority of the stroke patients will be able to remain at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington.

“On behalf of our hospital, I extend our heartfelt congratulations and thanks to the entire Stroke Performance Improvement Team and the many additional colleagues and providers who have worked so diligently over the past two years in preparation for this great achievement,” stated Patel. “This recognition is a testament to the skill and dedication of our entire stroke team. It should be comforting for the community to know that they can receive world-class stroke care in their local hospital.”

To be eligible, hospitals must demonstrate compliance with stroke-related standards as a primary stroke center and meet additional requirements, including those related to advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and providing staff with the competencies to care for stroke and TIA patients.

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital prepared for the designation by offering staff stroke education, implementing stroke specific workflows and installing new equipment. Proceeds from the hospital’s 2021 golf tournament, the 19th Annual Charlotte Hungerford Golf Classic at Torrington Country Club, were utilized to help fund and purchase imaging software to help visualize strokes and determine the best treatment options for each patient.

“This was a remarkable team effort achieved by so many, and a proud moment in our history as we are now among Hartford HealthCare acute care Hospitals across the state that offer Stroke Centers,” commented Capobianco.

“We’re all very dedicated to raising the bar for stroke care at Charlotte,” said neurologist Hugh Cahill, M.D., Ph.D., the medical director of Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s stroke program. “We have been working toward this certification with our local team for over a year and it’s been very rewarding. The innovative, patient-centric approach we are now offering is better for our patients, their families, and the community, and it’s close to home.”

Having this designation for excellence in the care of stroke and TIA patients helps create and strengthen a loyal, cohesive clinical team; enhance the facility’s ability to attract top-level talent; and strengthen community confidence in the quality and safety of stroke care, treatment and services. It also demonstrates commitment to a higher standard of clinical service and provides a framework to improve patient outcomes.

“Primary Stroke Center Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” said Mark Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer for Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive at The Joint Commission. “We commend Charlotte Hungerford Hospital for using certification to reduce variation in its clinical processes and to strengthen its program structure and management framework for stroke patients.”


COPD Care Gains U.S. News 

& World Report Recognition

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital was recognized for its high level of COPD care as part of the U.S. News & World Report 2022-23 and its “Best Hospitals” rankings and ratings. The rankings and ratings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or for common elective procedures.

“We are proud to be recognized by US News & World Report for Charlotte’s excellence in treating COPD,” said Patel. “This recognition is a testament to the skill and dedication of our pulmonology providers and the entire Charlotte team. It once again demonstrates that our patients can receive the highest level of care right here in their community.”

For the 2022-23 rankings and ratings, U.S. News & World Report evaluated more than 4,750 medical centers nationwide in 15 specialties and 17 procedures and conditions. In the 15 specialty areas, 175 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care.

“We are pleased to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report in our efforts to treat COPD—a disease that affects so many in our community,” stated Capobianco. “While our team remains focused on clinical excellence in the area of COPD treatment, we are also dedicated to prevention through smoking cessation programs and ensuring that those in our community who are most at risk receive the treatment and education they need.”

The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals methodologies in most areas of care are based largely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and discharge-to-home rates, volume, and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators.

Best Hospitals was produced by U.S. News & World Report with RTI International, a research organization based in North Carolina.