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MUSC Rumor Mill separates fact from fiction
Medical University Hospital Authority
In June Medical University Hospital Authority employees received an
e-mail from Stuart Smith stating the following: In an effort to
recognize the competitiveness of the local health care market, MUSC
Medical Center is pleased to be able to offer discounted parking for
its employees who are in the MUSC parking system. When the Bee Street
garage opens in the fall, Medical Center employees who park in the MUSC
parking system will see their parking rate lowered by one half the
routine charge. Recently, I was offered a spot in the new Bee Street
garage, but the price quoted to me was $55 a month, not $27.50. Which
University Hospital Authority employees who park in the MUSC parking
system will see their parking rate lowered by one half the routine
charge. This should be reflected in the check employees receive Nov. 5.
I heard that the pizza shop that is open until 3 a.m. for night
staff will be offering more nutritious dinner options such as different
salads, grilled meats, vegetables, and more fruit. Is this true?
Answer: The pizza
shop is offering more salads and pasta dishes at night and will
continue to try new items as sales warrant. The only approved cooking
equipment in A la Carte is a pizza oven so the options for hot
items are limited.
I heard that MUSC purposely overinflated the cost of MUSC Options
during the past few years with the intent of coaxing employees to
Answer: The State
Employee Insurance Program has been overseeing the MUSC Options HMO
medical insurance from its inception in 1998. MUSC Options is a
self-funded plan, which means that the premiums are not inflated to
generate any profits. Recently, however, the money paid out in claims
has been exceeding the premiums collected, and MUSC Options ran into
financial problems resulting in last year’s significant increase in
employee premiums. As a result, the number of employees electing this
coverage dropped from 2,148 to 761 beginning 2008. Unfortunately, this
state of affairs has not improved during the past two years and, for
this reason, the State Employee Insurance Program will discontinue
offering MUSC Options effective Jan. 1, 2009.
Artwork at Ashley River
“The artwork is an essential part of the Ashley River Tower building,
its design and its function, in much the same way that natural lighting
and family relaxation areas are provided.” You supplied that in your
response to the artwork at ART. How in the world is artwork an
essential part of the building and its function? Seems to me, and
probably many others, that other items are essential to its function.
Unless that money was specifically designated to purchase artwork for
ART, then it should have been put to better use. I cannot be the only
person who thinks the same way.
Answer: The money was
raised specifically for the purchase of the artwork at Ashley River
Tower. To use this money for other purposes would be inappropriate.
I know that MUSC employees ride the bus for free if they show their
badges, but one of the bus drivers said that MUSC employees really
don’t ride for free, but that it comes out of our paychecks. Is this
Answer: This is not
Are there any plans for CARTA to have a stop at the corner of
Ashley/Calhoun or maybe even Rutledge/Calhoun to make it easier on the
employees that work in Rutledge Tower, who barely make it to the bus
stop, in the afternoon?
Answer: CARTA makes
all decisions regarding its schedules and stops. At this time CARTA
does not plan to make additional stops in the MUSC area.
I have heard that if the employee surveys were not favorable for a
department, the management is reducing the percentage-weight
given to the survey on their performance planning documents.
Answer: This rumor
is not true. The evaluation weight is set in advance of the survey.
I’m afraid that supervisors will give employees lower EPMS (Employee
Performance Management Systems) ratings than they deserve due to their
knowledge of their area’s budget and the auto-implementation of raises
based on the EPMS score, especially in light of the recent state budget
cuts. What checks and balances are in place to prevent this and what
grievance procedures do employees have should they believe this has
evaluation ratings should be directly aligned with actual performance
and behaviors demonstrated. The immediate supervisor is responsible for
discussing the evaluation with an employee. In the event an employee
feels there are specific elements of the evaluation that warrant
further explanation or consideration then he/she may discuss it with
the reviewer (i.e. the next level supervisor).
I heard that even though AIDET (AIDET— Acknowledge the patient;
Introduce yourself, your skill set, your professional credentials and
your training; Duration with an explanation of the test and how long it
will be to complete; Explanation of the test and what to expect; Thank
you for choosing MUSC) is in place, we still do not allow for
educational designation along with primary role identification, or
additional specializations to be recognized on name badges. When I had
my name badge made, they did not allow me to place R.N., BSN. They also
do not allow CCRN, etc. recognition on name badges. Wouldn't this help
support the AIDET culture we are striving toward?
Answer: The new
badges were designed primarily with the Lewis Blackman Hospital Patient
Safety Act in mind. The act requires that the position of the employee
be indicated on the badge in terms that a lay person can understand and
that the font be large enough to be easily read. For this reason it was
decided to identify an R.N. as registered nurse, and a physician
as attending physician rather than using multiple
degrees/certifications that may not be understood by the lay public.
Hollings Cancer Center
Has the healing garden at Hollings Cancer Center become open to the
public (patients, families, etc)?
Answer: It is hoped
that the Hollings Cancer Center Healing Garden will be open by the end
Bee Street garage
I was excited to get a parking space in the new garage only to go to
leave yesterday and find both exits under a couple feet of water. I
also had to walk through water to even get to the garage. There was no
rain, just high tide. I hear people say that Bee Street has always
flooded that way. Why would they build a garage in the middle of a
Answer: The tidal
flooding that is occurring in and around Bee Street is a relatively new
challenge that is unrelated to the construction of the Bee Street
garage. MUSC affiliated and City of Charleston engineers believe that
the flooding is likely caused by a failure of tidal valves in the
underground drainage system located on or near V.A. property. Engineers
are working diligently to determine the problem and develop appropriate
and timely solutions. Anyone wishing to cancel his/her parking in the
Bee Street garage and return to a former parking location because of
the flooding conditions is welcome to do so. We would ask that you stop
in the parking office located in the President’s Street garage to
complete the transfer. While we cannot hold a space for those who
cancel assignments in the new garage, we will place his/her name at the
top of the waiting list so that when the problem is resolved
reassignment to the garage will be prompt.
The Aquarium Bus has been stopping at Rutledge Tower, which is great.
We often take it across downtown for lunch. CARTA states that the bus
stopped coming to Rutledge Tower on Sept. 22. I still see the bus
coming by (and it is past Sept. 22). How much longer will we benefit
from this route change?
at close of business on Friday, Oct. 3, the MUSC Aquarium
Parking program will end. At the same time the CARTA Aquarium Route 210
stop on Rutledge Avenue will be discontinued and Route 210 will revert
to its normal route-schedule. The opening of the Bee Street parking
garage provides the campus with sufficient parking options such that
the special Aquarium Parking arrangement is no longer needed at this
time. Staff members from the Office of Parking Management will be
communicating directly with the MUSC employees who participated in the
Aquarium Parking program to discuss the parking options for next week
and beyond. If you have any questions or concerns about your
participation in the program, call the Office of Parking Management at
I’ve heard that MUSC is not going to be giving merit raises due to the
financial problems at Ashley River Tower.
Answer: This rumor
is not true. However, Medical University Hospital Authority leaders and
others are working to control costs and improve revenues. A
decision on the timing of merit raises will be made during the next
couple of months.
Weekend Work Option (WWO)
Rumors are flying that the WWO program will be discontinued. Is this
true, and if so what is the time table, since most if not all weekend
staff would probably make alternative employment decisions.
Answer: Like all
forms of premium pay, WWO is being examined. No decision has been
reached. The options may be to do nothing, limit the number of
participants, revisit the premium pay rates, or phase down over time.
Again, no decision has been made.
CARTA Route-Johns Island
I’ve heard from several employees that CARTA is planning on getting a
route that comes on Johns Island. In The Catalyst, they have the Johns
Island Park and Ride listed at Citadel Mall but that is so out of the
way for many of us. Is there or are there any plans in the works to
actually bring a bus physically on Johns Island for MUSC employees?
Answer: Based on the
agreements that CARTA has with local municipalities, CARTA is not
chartered to provide service to Johns Island. CARTA’s service
responsibility stops at or near the Stono River. The Rural
Transportation Management Authority (RTMA) serves Johns Island. The
RTMA provides service to the Citadel Mall where employees can
transfer to CARTA Express service.
I have heard complaints about not having enough parking spaces
available in the Super K-Mart (Rivers Avenue) parking lot for riders,
and that CARTA claims this is not true. Who’s responsible for
Answer: CARTA is
responsible for the contracts with the owners of the property where its
park-and-ride services originate. Any questions about the parking areas
that CARTA uses can be directed to Peter Tecklenberg, CARTA route
planner, at 724-7195.
I heard that Hagood parking lot was going to be paved and it would no
longer be free to park there. Is this true?
Answer: There is no
truth to this rumor.
Reproduced from http://www.musc.edu/rumor/.
Friday, Oct. 3, 2008
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