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2011 Year in Review

HHC Board of Directors

IMSAL Becomes an Enterprise-Wide Training Resource for Safer Care

As you know, last year, HHC's newly constructed Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning (IMSAL) opened its doors and began providing state-of-the-art clinical training to individuals and clinical teams. Using high-fidelity patient mannequins, virtual reality simulators, and other advanced teaching modalities, IMSAL allows our clinical teams to practice and strengthen critical, often life-saving skills and to improve the communication and coordination dynamics that are the hallmark of high-performing teams. The nearly 3,000 employees trained by IMSAL last year are now better prepared to successfully tackle complex emergency situations with confidence.

Under the guidance of recently appointed Director Katie Walker, IMSAL is now working with HHC facilities to identify specific training needs and create additional courses to address them. IMSAL will develop rigorous metrics to evaluate the impact of its training, serving as an integral tool to continue our unyielding commitment to patient safety and quality care.

Continuing to Tailor Services to Meet Community Needs

Robust primary and preventive care, as well as early screening for incipient disease, has been an HHC priority for many years. During the past several years, HHC has pioneered making rapid HIV testing a routine service across many care settings – primary care, specialty care, the emergency department, inpatient units, and even our dental clinics. In 2011, we expanded testing yet again and improved care coordination to better manage chronic diseases that many HIV patients suffer, including hepatitis C.

This past year, HHC facilities tested 195,516 patients for HIV, more than three times the number tested just six years ago. For those patients that test positive, more than 90% are linked to appropriate medical treatment within our system. In December, we reached the milestone of performing our one millionth rapid HIV test. The CDC formally recognized us for this accomplishment and featured HHC's testing initiative on its website.

Recognizing that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals often lack access to truly patient-centered care, last May HHC launched a mandatory employee-training program. Our training program will help all staff to provide respectful, patient-centered and culturally competent healthcare services to the thousands of LGBT New Yorkers we serve each year. By focusing as well on the special clinical needs of the LGBT community, it will also help us to reduce health disparities that correlate with sexual orientation and gender identification.