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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Currents, Dec. 9

To Medical Center Employees:
We have seen a substantial increase in patient activity the past two months. For instance the average inpatient census for November was 535 and for the first nine days of December was 568. In addition, our outpatient volume has increased slightly more than 10 percent from November of last year.
Our physicians, nurses, therapists, support staff and others have all been very busy. While we have increased activity, we have also implemented a number of cost control measures to operate more efficiently. Many of you have risen to the cause and your dedicated work in providing high quality and compassionate care is greatly appreciated.
Our patient satisfaction scores are very good in a number of key areas. The following patient satisfaction results are based upon surveys received from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.
                                                           Patient Satisfaction Results
Service                                           Percentile                                                Mean
Adult Inpatient                                77 (N 547)                                               87.1
Pediatric Inpatient                           96 (N 132)                                               89.3
Pediatric Emergency Room             89 (N 141)                                               87.8
Ambulatory Care                            88 (N 2827)                                             92.2
Outpatient Behavioral Health           87 (N 396)                                               92.7

We have opportunities for improvement in other areas and will continue to work with leaders to do a better job of hardwiring MUSC Excellence best practices.
On another matter, as previously communicated, a cost savings idea survey was conducted from Sept. 26 to Oct. 17. More than 700 ideas were received. Steve Hargett, medical center controller, led the efforts of a team that reviewed all ideas. Some of the ideas have already been implemented and progress is being made on others. Feedback is being or will be given to those who submitted the ideas. A summary of the results will be posted in the future.
Plans are being made to routinely continue the solicitation of cost savings ideas. Also, we will be examining how to make the Rumor Mill more useful.
Thank you very much.
W. Stuart Smith
Vice President for Clinical Operations
and Executive Director, MUSC Medical Center

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
Joe Avant, Occupational Safety and Health Programs director, spoke to leadership about recommended OSHA requirement policy changes with Personal Protective Equipment policy (PPE) and completion of hazard determination records within units. Employee reports should be updated and filed regularly to confirm compliance. Avant confirmed that he will provide a confirmed method and more comprehensive hazard determination list for managers and units to use. Additional information will be communicated at a later time.

HR update
Helena Bastian, MUHA human resources director, presented details about the following topics:
Employee request to reduce their FTE
Approval is at manager’s discretion based on staffing needs; employees must be given seven days written notice prior to change; employee should be notified of implications in: change in accrual rate; change in benefit status; transferring to temporary role—employee gives up grievance rights or benefits; may be required to change status in future to meet staffing needs; paid time off modification; employee has the option to request scheduled time off without pay; approval is at manager’s discretion and should take into consideration staffing needs; the option will be reevaluated in June 2009.

CATTS will not be available on Dec. 15-16 as the medical center prepares for NetID login; effective Dec. 17, NetID will be used as the CATTS login; as of Dec. 9, about 95 MUHA employees have completed CATTS training. It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure that staff have completed their lessons.

Education roll out update
Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., manager for the Center for Professional Development and Clinical Education Resources and Education Roll Out Committee (EROC) Oversight chairman, reviewed five topics from the Dec. 4 meeting agenda: Trexim closed male luer tips added to pharmacy chemotherapy (effective Dec. 15); medication management risk points; 2009 MUHA HR orientation schedule (effective Jan. 6); and patient alert band changes (effective in January). Other announcements include Pleurex catheter training, Jan. 20-21 and GetWell Network pneumovax and influenza pathways were launched as of Dec. 8.
Staff are invited to attend the EROC Oversight meetings at 11 a.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month. Deadline for submission of an education topic request is noon, Friday prior to the scheduled EROC Oversight meeting.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Ray Shingler, Depart-ment of Radiology and Joint Commission Inter-disciplinary Survey Read-iness Rounds Committee representative, reviewed details with the medical center’s ongoing clinical safety checklist relating to Mayday cart inspections. Out of 20 patient units surveyed since August, IOP was recognized for staying in compliance with their carts.
Shingler urged managers to communicate the following information with staff to help meet compliance.

  • Some of the findings and trends identified with the inspections were missed daily inspections or checks.
  • MUHA Clinical Policy C-14 requires units to conduct inspections, two times a day within a 24-hours in operational areas and once during standard business hours.
  • No checklist attached to cart.
  • Attached AED pads (expires every two months).
  • Expired supplies (i.e. tracheostomy tubes, cricothyrotomy sets, etc.).
  • Carts used inadequately as supply storage. Carts should only possess items approved by the Mayday Committee with list attached to cart.
  • No bariatric items (high cuff) on carts.

  Information can be found on the intranet under Staff Toolbox/Mayday at

Joint Commission changes
Lois Kerr, accreditation manager, discussed new changes in the Joint Commission’s scoring standards and new chapters for 2009. Kerr reminded managers that the Joint Commission has adopted more robust processes to improve patient safety and quality, plus increased confidence in measures and compliance with standards to improve patient health outcomes.
She reviewed details with the new organization standards, which are more logically outlined. All chapters are formatted under three categories: planning, implementation and evaluation.
New chapters include emergency management, documentation of care, life safety code, transplant safety and waived testing.
She also explained the 2009 scoring changes, new symbols for standards, the Joint Commission’s critically based scoring decision model and details about scoring and situational decisions.


  • Elizabeth Perry, R.N., manager of the MUHA staffing office, hospital supervisors and HOP staff, was named interim manager of radiology nurses. Colleen Corish, R.N., Oncology and Professional Support Services director, thanked Carol Corbin, R.N. for serving as interim manager in this capacity since July.
  • Kathi Lubert, R.N., is the new interim coordinator for Dialysis, and Stephanie Severance, R.N., is interim coordinator for Hemapheresis. Corish also thanked Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., for her time as interim manager of Hemapheresis and Dialysis since July.
  • The next meeting is Dec. 16.

Friday, Dec. 5, 2008

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