April 23, 1998
The MUSC Board of Trustees met recently and approved a number of purchases,
including funding for information systems upgrades, renovation projects
and a debt collection service. Our board is very interested in the various
renovation and construction projects, and we will continue to keep its
members well-informed of our plans.
I also reported to the board our plans to begin the clinical enterprise
strategic planning initiative. Our board has indicated its desire to be
involved in all stages of the strategic planning process, and I am very
grateful for the members’ interest and support.
In order to enable the Medical Center management team and the medical
staff an opportunity to participate in this planning process, we have distributed
a survey. I will continue to keep you informed of our progress with strategic
Finally, as communicated in a recent Currents, we must continue our
focus on cost control—while providing the highest quality of care —as the
health care market becomes increasingly competitive. I recently received
some suggestions for cost control from individuals throughout MUSC, and
our administrative team is in the process of assessing how to best address
cost control. I believe the foundation for cost control lies in further
developing our understanding and use of operations improvement strategies
throughout our organization. We must think in terms of “cost per unit,”
data-driven decision making, benchmarking and identification of cost-saving
W. Stuart Smith Interim Vice President for
Clinical Operations Interim CEO, MUSC Medical Center
- Pam Cipriano, Ph.D., administrator for Clinical Services, recognized
and congratulated Jennifer Hebra, nurse manager for the Heart Center, and
Sara Paul, nurse practitioner for the Heart Failure Clinic and clinical
assistant professor of nursing, on the publication of their book, “The
Nurse’s Guide to Cardiac Rhythm Interpretation—Implications for Patient
Care.” Other contributing writers of the publication include: Pamela Allison,
nurse manager for PC/CTICU, CCU, ACU; Sylvia Odom, Cardiothoracic Transplant
coordinator; Elizabeth Steadman, acute care nurse practitioner for Vascular
Surgery; and Vicki Zeigler, a former clinical nurse in Pediatric Cardiology.
- Lisa Montgomery, administrator for Financial Services, reminded everyone
of the May 1 deadline for turning in rosters from employee compliance training.
“Compliance Alert” posters are available through her office by calling
MUSC Rutledge Tower Nears Completion
- Hal Currey, associate dean for operations, College of Medicine, Sandra
Wade, director of Facilities Management, and Dave Neff, administrator for
Ambulatory Care Services, presented an update on the completion schedule
for MUSC Rutledge Tower.
- Currey indicated that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Rutledge
Tower should be operational by mid- to late summer.
- As with any construction or renovation project, there have been some
setbacks. For example, unanticipated work included: the need for an additional
elevator; adjustment of ceilings in the operating rooms; replacement of
the entire medical gas system and upgrades for fire safety; and replacement
of heating-ventilation-air conditioning and electrical systems to ensure
compliance with Department of Health and Environmental Control and Joint
Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations standards. Heavy
rain also has made work difficult. However, things are beginning to move
quickly now and the pace (as well as the tension and stress levels) has
- While the move to the tower actually takes place, clinics will be closed
for several days. More information concerning staffing levels and patient
appointments is forthcoming.
- Wade explained that a great deal of work has been going on behind the
scenes to prepare for operational support. For example, work is under way
on communication systems, bus routes, furniture and equipment, building
maintenance and training plans.
- Neff reported that several committees involving a great many people
have overseen this project. Neff thanked everyone involved, giving special
recognition to Currey for his leadership and management of this project.
- Grand opening ceremonies have been set and will include:
- Grand opening ceremony on July 22.
- Physician drop-in on July 23.
- Open house for MUSC students and employees on July 24.
- Open house for patients and the public on July 25.
- Everyone is encouraged to attend these various functions. Additional
information can be found in the TimeLine publication. CCIT Service and
- Dave Northrup, director for Healthcare Information Services, reported
that after some Center for Computing and Information Technology staffing
adjustments, the work station installation and repair backlog is improving.
- Currently, a Windows/95 trial project is under way that includes approximately
30 work stations. Plans are under way for the Medical Center to switch
from the current ClinLAN to Windows/95 beginning in mid-summer and continuing
through mid-1999. There are some training concerns which will be addressed
through a “train the trainer” process. The current plan calls for Rutledge
Tower to use the new Windows/95 configuration (called ClinLAN95).
- Northrup and Michael Irving, manager of Patient Care Systems, highlighted
the operational issues for the eventual transition to the electronic medical
record system, called EMERALD. Various stages of training will begin this
- EMERALD will bring accessibility, completeness of information, legibility
of information and improved security.
- More than 150 people—physicians, nurses, technicians, administrators,
researchers, support staff and educators from areas throughout MUSC are
working on EMERALD. q Long needed, EMERALD was spurred by the College of
Medicine’s strategic plan, which mandates a 90-plus percent complete electronic
medical record by Dec. 31, and by efforts of the Medical Records Committee.
- The time line for implementation spans the next five years: q Phase
I: EMERALD will be implemented on campus as defined by the Medical Records
Institute (Dec. 31)
- Phase II: House staff ordering, clinical documentation and expansion
to Carolina Family Care (beginning in 1999 and continuing)
- Phase III: Attending physician ordering (end of 2000) q By Dec. 31,
EMERALD will provide electronic access to:
- Laboratory and pathology results.
- Radiology results.
- Inpatient pharmacy information.
- Discharge summaries.
- Operative notes.
- Clinical Notes and referral letters (90 percent availability).
- Operating room schedules.
- Orders for laboratory, radiology and dietary (clinical documentation
and other orderable services in 1999).
- Ambulatory appointment schedules.
- Scanned images from inpatient medical record (for example, handwritten
Employee Appreciation - May 1 through May 14
The President’s Office and Hospital Administration are sponsoring “Employee
Appreciation Weeks” from Friday, May 1, through Thursday, May 14.
Each employee will receive a meal ticket valued at up to $4 with paychecks
or through manager. Tickets may be used toward the purchase of food available
in MUSC cafeterias, including Gil’s Grill, Harborview Office Tower and
the Basic Science Building.
The Gift Shop will be offering a 10 percent discount for purchases more
than $5 (MUSC ID badge required). In addition there will also be a drawing
for a Extend-A-Phone 25-channel cordless telephone and a 24-inch, white,
oversized stuffed teddy bear.