MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Medical Educator Speakers Bureau Seminars and Events Research Studies Research Grants Catalyst PDF File Community Happenings Campus News

Return to Main Menu

Currents, Feb. 12

To Medical Center Employees:

The recent opening of Ashley River Tower (ART) was the result of years of planning and hard work.  As we approached the “eleventh hour” before the opening, many dedicated individuals were intensely engaged in ensuring for operational support, staffing and smooth transport of patients. I wish to commend everyone involved for your outstanding work.  In the weeks ahead, we will highlight examples of exceptional accomplishments by departments and individuals.
Since the opening of ART we are busier than ever. As of Feb. 13, our census was at an all time high of 571 including 106 ART patients. 
With an opening of a facility of the magnitude of ART, it is expected that issues with service support and other needs will surface. We will be working diligently to address these needs. 
The next medical center town hall meetings are scheduled for Feb. 25 to March 11.  All employees are encouraged to attend. Details on times and locations are included in this newsletter.
The town hall topics will include: goals update; discussion of best practices adopted by departments to achieve high patient satisfaction results; an update on plans to improve employee selection and retention methods; a brief summary of the current Leader Evaluation system and plans to adopt a pillar-based evaluation system for all employees; a “backfill” (renovation plan for the university (main) hospital); and other topics.

Thank you very much.
W. Stuart Smith
Vice President for Clinical Operations and
Executive Director, MUSC Medical Center

Town hall meeting schedule
Feb. 25, 3:30 p.m., IOP auditorium; Feb. 26, 1 p.m., 2W Amphitheater; Feb. 27, 7:30 a.m., Feb. 28, 2 p.m., 2W Amphitheater; March 3, 7:30 a.m., SEI Auditorium; March 4, 6:45 a.m., Room 100 Basic Science Building; March 5, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., SEI Auditorium; March 7, 10 a.m., SEI Auditorium; March 10, 11 a.m., IOP Auditorium; and March 11, 11 a.m., SEI Auditorium

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
Marisa McEntire, Construction & Design, unveiled the medical center’s realignment plans and what’s happening with the existing facility after Ashley River Tower's opening Feb. 4.
She reviewed long-term plans for stages one through six. Currently, construction affecting 9E, 9W, 10W, 4W, 6SW (bariatric rooms) is slated to begin. 9Center is closed. For stage 1, construction in 6SW, 9W, 9E and 10W will begin in early March.
As part of the STICU project, 9Center and 4West will undergo construction for the interim ICU location.
By April 2010, all departments are expected to occupy their final location. Throughout the renovation period, the hospital is required to upgrade to current codes and complete aesthetic renova-tions in patient rooms. A majority of the renovations will be conducted at nursing stations.

AHA award
Maggie Bobo, director of quality improvement, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate of the American Heart Association (AHA) addressed managers and presented the AHA’s Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) Program’s Performance Achievement Awards.
MUSC was recognized among 1,451 GWTG national hospitals (24 participating statewide hospitals) with three bronze awards in the areas of coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke. Christine Zensen, R.N., and Natalia Corica, M.D., representing MUSC’s Stroke Program, accepted the award.
As a result, MUSC will be featured in future scientific sessions, the International Stroke Conference, Stroke and Circulation publications and listed in the July issue of U.S. News & World Report’s annual top hospitals.

February Benefit of the Month
Mark Stimpson, HR benefits manager, introduced February’s benefit of the month: tuition assistance (HR Policy# 17).  Eligible employees may receive up to $7,500 per year in tuition assistance to further their education and meet the business needs of the institution. Fees covered include lab, programs and informatics, but not books. The manager must approve course work.
For information, visit or call 792-0819.
February Standard of the Month
Vicki Marsi, Digestive Disease Service Line administrator, re-emphasized the practice of “Managing Up,” which emphasizes the “I” component for AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank You) best practices. Managing up one’s self, coworkers, physicians and staff helps: decrease patient anxiety; improves the patient experience; increases compliance; and improves clinical outcomes.

Service—Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence
Marilyn Schaffner, Ph.D., R.N., clinical services administrator, reviewed details about shared services, a consolidation and sharing of services by different units within the organization. Examples of departments undergoing strategic development are Radiology Services, Quality, Marketing and Business Development and Clinical Business Operations. Other areas to follow include Decision Support Services, Surgical Services, Laboratory Services and Pharmacy Services.
Shared services: achieves economies of scale; empower shared services leaders and members in decision making; improves the patient experience; contributes to the success of service lines; enhances accountability for financial success; adopts research implications and applications in clinical care and generates clinical revenues to support the academic/hospital missions.
According to Schaffner, this is a systems approach where all components are interrelated and each service line affects shared services and each shared service affects the service line.
The organizational structure for service line and shared services is already aligned headed by the vice president of clinical operations (Stuart Smith) and vice president for medical affairs (Jerry Reves, M.D.), executive medical director (Pat Cawley, M.D.) who chairs the advisory committee and works with individual service lines and other committees.
The shared services organization features vice president of clinical operations (Smith), chief nursing executive (Schaffner), who chairs the advisory committee, and works with the shared services leader (plus physician leader) and subsequent committees.
Service lines update
Pat Cawley, M.D., executive medical director, reviewed specifics about the clinical service line model. Service lines allow for the alignment of care so that it results in the highest possible outcomes in quality, patient satisfaction and cost effectiveness.
Service lines are expected to accomplish the following: achieve a patient-focused care experience; fosters interdependence among interdisci-plinary providers; fosters pride of enterprise and sensed of shared destiny; brings research implications and applications directly to clinical care; aligns college and hospital objectives; generates clinical revenues to support the academic mission; and increases interdisciplinary research.
Currently, four of MUSC’s 11 service lines were activated since last July:  Children’s and Perinatal, Digestive Disease Center, Heart & Vascular Center and Transplant Center.
Others scheduled to go live in July include Hollings Cancer Center, Institute of Psychiatry, Musculoskeletal, Neurosciences, Trauma/ED/Surgical Critical and Acute Care and Medical Critical/Acute Care.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Chris Rees, interim director of quality and patient safety, reviewed changes to the Joint Commission’s 2008 National Patient Safety Goals (NPS). He reviewed a new requirement to an existing goal focusing on the safe use of anti-coagulation therapy.
He also presented new NPS goal designed to improve the recognition and response to changes in a patient’s condition.
More specifically, the goal requires hospitals to create a suitable method for staff to request additional assistance from specialty-trained individuals when a patient’s condition appears to be worsening.
Rees reviewed two changes to employee badge attachments. The term, “MUSC is safe,” will be changed to “MUSC is safer”—with the “r” standing for recognition and response to a patient’s condition.
Because of these changes, Rees distributed revised NPS posters to managers. The posters are available at the medical director’s staff office, Room 258, North Tower.

  • Nicole Painter, R.N., was named 5E nurse manager in vascular cardiology at ART. Painter comes to MUSC from El Paso, Texas.
  • Marilyn Schaffner also recognized Michael Roudabush, Medical Director’s Office, Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., Center for Professional Development & Clinical Education Resources, and Chris Fortier, Pharmacy Services, for their leadership and efforts guiding the Alaris Infusion Pump roll-out.

Friday, Feb. 15, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.