To Medical Center Employees:
Recently we held six town hall meetings attended by approximately 800
employees and three more sessions are planned. Several town hall
sessions will also be held for the convenience of large
departments. Additional general town hall sessions will be scheduled if
needed. I have been pleased with the good attendance.
The medical center and university are facing financial challenges at
this time, as discussed in the town hall meetings. Highlights of the
meetings will be in the Oct. 31 issue of The Catalyst.
Our objective is to control costs, enhance revenue and preserve
employment. Since our cost savings initiatives began in July, we have
made good progress in controlling costs by aligning staffing with
patient volume and other cost control measures. Through minimizing
hiring, the reduction of travel nurses, and careful use of overtime, we
have reduced the equivalent of 300 positions since July.
While controlling costs, we are committed to high quality and
compassionate patient care. Patient care and safety will not be
compromised. The staffing model we use is aligned with best practices
and is carefully monitored.
During this challenging period of time we will take our communication
up another notch. The management communication meeting will be
held weekly instead of every two weeks and highlights will be
disseminated through this newsletter. Also, I expect leaders to keep up
their rounding and I plan to issue more frequent medical centerwide
e-mails and communicate more often through other methods.
On another matter, for 11 years in a row, MUSC has been the recipient
of the National Research Corporation’s (NRC) 2008 Consumer Choice
Award. Each year, NRC identifies hospitals that health care consumers
chose as facilities that possess the highest quality and image within
180 markets around the United States. The annual survey is focused on
the Tri-county area and was submitted to consumers via the Internet in
The survey evaluated several categories. MUSC led the market in: best
overall quality, best image and reputation, most preferred for all
health needs, best doctors, best nurses, highest patient safety, best
community health programs, latest health technology and equipment,
widest range of health services, best accommodations/amenities and
hospital web site used most often.
In clinical areas, MUSC also obtained the highest score in cancer
treatment, heart care, bariatric surgery, pediatric services, Women’s
GYN, neurology, mental health, orthopaedic treatment/surgery, hospital
emergency room, imaging services and outpatient/same day surgery.
Congratulations to everyone for helping MUSC receive this prestigious
award. Your hard work and dedication continues to make this a great
place for patients to receive care, employees to work and physicians to
Finally, to date we have been pleased with the number of employees who
have received the flu vaccine. If you haven’t had the vaccine, please
take advantage of this benefit. Check out http://mcintranet.musc.edu/ehs/flu_2008.htm
or click on Flu Vaccine Information on the MUSC home Web page for
dates, times and locations. Evening shift employees should note the
locations the vaccine is available beginning at 4 a.m.
Thank you very much.
W. Stuart Smith
Vice President for Clinical Operations
and Executive Director, MUSC Medical Center
People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
the Oct. 7 Hospital Communications meeting, Trident United Way (TUW)
spokesman Tom Walker stated that about 86 cents out of every dollar
pledged to the TUW stays locally to help fund various programs. MUSC
and the Trident United Way have teamed up to conduct the 2008 campaign.
Each year, the TUW continually brings people, businesses, government
and agencies together to help identify service problems and solutions
to assist needy Lowcountry families.
This year’s campaign goal is $215,000. MUSC employees and donors may
submit their gift via pledge card or give electronically via payroll
deduction, credit card, or cash/check until Dec. 15. Visit https://donor.united-e-way.org. The campaign code is MUSC; username is MUSC and the password is MUSC2008.
Pamela Smith, R.N., Chest Pain Center (CPC)/ART and CMH ED nurse
manager, shared results from August’s CPC accreditation visit by the
Society of Chest Pain Centers. The CPC met qualifications for Cycle 2
accreditation as a Chest Pain Center with PCI. Accreditors met and
visited with Charleston County EMS, Adult ED, CPC, Meducare and Cath
Lab. Smith thanked all members of the ACS Quality Committee for their
commitment in this effort. Reviewers also named MUSC as a best practice
site for the collaboration between the CPC, ED and Cath Lab. Smith
formally presented the accreditation certificate to Sharon DeGrace,
R.N., Surgery Acute Critical Care Service Line administrator.
Standard of the Month—November
Kim Phillips, service line coordinator for Transplant Services and
co-chair of the MUHA Excellence Standards Committee, announced that
November’s standard of the month is the MUSC Angel Tree Project. Liz
Nista, Blood and Marrow Transplant, reminded employees that 2008 marks
the fifth year MUSC has supported this program on behalf of the
Salvation Army. Eligible families/individuals are assured to receive
support through a Thanksgiving and December holiday meal, plus
children, ages 12 and under, will receive a toy or present on Christmas
morning. She distributed a Salvation Army Angel Tree flyer promoting
application deadlines to assist Tri-county needy families. MUSC has the distinction of being
the program’s single largest contributor in both the Charleston area
and Southeast. Nista and her team plan to distribute MUSC Angel Tree
tags to employees and departments starting mid-November. For
information, contact either The Salvation Army, 763-9881, or Liz Nista,
Helena Bastian, MUHA HR director, announced the following updates:
- Secondary Employment
Policy (#38) —A review and confirmation of what is considered secondary
employment. Defined as employment and compensation for services
rendered which clearly do not fall under the employee’s primary job; an
exempt employee who works a shift in a non-exempt role (limited to 12
hour in one week); an hourly employee working additional shifts is not
considered secondary employment (OT would be paid according to Fair
Labor Standards Act regulations and to be paid by outside of the home
department); a university employee who is also a MUHA employee is not
considered secondary employment; two new forms (Secondary Employment
and Certification form and a MUHA Employee Secondary Employment time
sheet) are available on the HR Web site.
- CATTS deadline is Dec. 1. For information, contact Latonia Allen, 792-2805.
notices—Managers are reminded to use the updated, fillable forms at the
HR Web site. The original, completed form should be sent to HR with a
copy sent to Payroll. Payroll is responsible for processing separations
in the system.
- Parking discounts—The
MUHA employee parking discount was effective as of the Oct. 12 pay
period. Discounts will not be reflective until the Nov. 5 paycheck.
Also, MUHA employees who are eligible to receive the S.C. Aquarium
parking bonus will be paid out Oct. 29.
Education rollout update
Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., manager for the Center for Professional
Development and Clinical Education Resources and interim manager,
Dialysis and Hemapheresis, reviewed outcomes from the Oct. 16 meeting
and savings project updates. Topics discussed include usage of the Bard
Implanted PowerPort, medication reconciliation transfer order form,
Aspart insulin and poster revision. Zone-Smith also reviewed the three
savings projects approved by MUHA administration. They include the BLS
prior-to- hire savings project; nurse new graduate nurse education
(NGNE) project; and Standardization of Patient Care Technicians
(PCT)/Student Tech project.
Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Kerr, accreditation manager, shared results from the Oct. 16-17 Joint
Commission’s recent interdisciplinary readi-ness extension survey at
ART and Mount Pleasant Outpatient Eye Surgery Clinic.
The survey resulted in three recommendations for improvement in the
areas of endoscopy infection control, management/completion of
post-operative notes (estimation of blood loss) and patient safety
(time outs/team affirmation). Next, the hospital must submit an action
plan for improvements on each recommendation to the Joint Commission
within 45 days. The hospital is then required to measure effectiveness
and conduct audits over a four-month period. This survey concludes all
extension surveys for the medical center.
Tom Hubbard, R.N., is the new director of the Surgery Acute and
Medicine Acute Critical Care Service Lines. Hubbard, who has worked at
the medical center for two and one-half years, was previously
Surgical/Trauma ICU manager and interim nurse manager at the STICU,
NSICU and Adult ED.
Friday, Oct. 24, 2008