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Currents April 15

To Medical Center Employees:
We have rolled out a number of best practices (referred to as Must Haves) associated with MUSC Excellence over the past two years.  These best practices serve to align our behaviors and operational procedures with our values and goals. Efforts are ongoing to roll out the final Must Haves as explained in this newsletter. After we have implemented all of these best practices, our plan will be to fine tune or “hardwire” over time.
Much effort was devoted during the past several months to implement Hourly Rounding and we are seeing excellent results to date. Another Must Have, Discharge Phone Calls, has been piloted in the Emergency Room and 8 West and a training plan has been developed to enable full implementation in the months ahead. Training plans for Discharge Phone Calls have been or will soon be disseminated to concerned clinical departments.
Training is also underway for implementation of Selecting Talent. Approximately 400 leaders have completed Selecting Talent training. Plans are to conduct training sessions for approximately 600 individuals over the next three months with the goal of implementation of this best practice this summer. Unfortunately a number of individuals have reported to Selecting Talent training sessions without a clear understanding of the purpose of this training.
Selecting Talent involves using behavioral interviewing techniques to get solid information about job candidates’ past experiences, (not hypothetical answers), because past performance is the best indicator of future success. Selecting Talent includes peer interviewing to enable greater involvement of staff in decision making and to ensure the candidates selected embrace our standards of behavior and values. Through peer interviewing and other tactics we expect to improve retention.
Leaders were asked to designate high performing employees from their areas to take part in Selecting Talent training and to serve on peer interview teams. Directors and managers are being asked to ensure that everyone involved in Selecting Talent training understand the purpose. Anyone who has questions about this training should contact their manager or Karen Rankine, Education and Development manager ( or 792-7690).
As the Must Haves are hardwired we will continue to make the MUSC medical center a great place for patient care, a great place for physicians and other clinicians to practice medicine and teach and a great place to work. Thanks to everyone for all of your efforts.

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

Excellence win
Bill Spring, Heart & Vascular Center administrator, shared a Post and Courier Letter to the Editor submitted March 26 recognizing and thanking MUSC and staff for their excellence of care during a recent liver transplant operation. John Ballenger of Hilton Head has undergone two liver transplants in his lifetime and reflected on the positive experience he received while at MUSC.
“The care I received at MUSC from the minute I walked in the door and through surgery to follow-up care has been far superior to anything I experienced at any hospital…I would like to thank all of the doctors, nurses, staff and employees of MUSC for their exemplary care for me during my recent transplant operation. They treated me and my family like their family,” wrote Ballenger.

March of Dimes
Sarah deBarros, Pediatrics Perinatal administration, and Vicki Elliott, executive director of the March of Dimes Lowcountry Chapter, spoke about MUSC’s commitment to the 2008 March of Dimes March for Babies campaign (formerly known as WalkAmerica). The march is scheduled April 26 at Cannon Park with registration at 8 a.m., with the walk to follow at 9 a.m. MUSC’s goal is to raise $37,000. Employees interested in joining or forming a team can contact deBarros, 792-8431 or visit

HR update
Helena Bastian, Human Resources director, presented the following:
  • Primary Source Verification—A reminder to department/unit managers to secure required certification, licensure and registration of staff prior to the time of renewal. Documentation must be submitted via CATTS and maintained in the unit file. Contact Latonia Allen, 792-2805 or visit
  • National Hospital Week is scheduled May 11-17. Flyers promoting event activities at both the main hospital and ART will be distributed.
Benefit of the Month—April
Health 1st Wellness Program —Worksite   Health Screenings: April 24 (Harborview Office Tower); May 8, Cannon Place; July 24, Education Center/Library Building; Oct. 23, Education Center/Library Building.   The screenings, a $200 value, is available to employees for a $15 co-payment. Employees without insurance pay a $38 fee. The screening includes height, weight, blood pressure check, chemistry and blood lipid profiles, plus hemogram. All participants receive a written report.
Contact Annie Lovering, 792-1245 or

Standard of the Month—April
April’s Standard of the Month: Focusing on Solutions
Employees are reminded that great teams focus on identifying solutions rather than placing blame or looking for excuses.

Action O-I report
Pam Marek, Decision Support Services, reminded managers to submit their Action O-I data for third quarter of fiscal year 2008 (January to March). Marek also invited managers, working in newly established areas at ART (as of Feb. 4), to meet with her prior to the data collection module deadline (May 20) to review information.  
Last quarter reports (fourth quarter) also are available on both the Horizon Business Insights (HBI) server and Action O-I database.
Marek will be available for assistance 2-4 p.m., April 29, and 8-11 a.m., May 2, Computer Training Room, Room 271, main hospital. For information, call 792-8793.

Education roll-out
Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., manager, Center for Professional Development and Clinical Education Resources, reviewed agenda items for meetings held March 6, March 20 and April 3.
Topics included IV Diltiazem Education, SCD Tubing, STAT Medication Administration, Medication Recon-ciliation Form Update  and new vaccination campaign for flu and pneumonia.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Joint Commission update
Lois Kerr, accreditation manager, reviewed information with managers about identifying and avoiding frequently cited Joint Commission requirements for improvement (RFI).
Kerr reminded employees at IOP’s Seasons (partial hospitalization program at McClennan-Banks), McGill Laser Center, ART, West Ashley GI Clinic to be prepared for an upcoming Joint Commission visit, featuring a life safety specialist,  as part of a one-day extension surveys prior to the full survey.
Kerr focused on the top 21 (2007) recommendations for improvement: 15 standards and six national patient safety goals (NSPGs) cited across the country and in at least 5 percent of surveyed hospitals. These RFIs reflect the easy “low hanging fruit” that is regularly communicated and can be corrected. One of the hospital’s primary strategies for continued survey readiness is managing these top RFIs. The top three standard RFIs include medical storage and security (43 percent); life safety code (27 percent); medical records dating, authorization and DC summaries (24 percent).
The top Joint Commission NSPGs include improving accuracy of patient identification; reducing infections-hand hygiene; hand-off communication; drug safety; medication reconciliation; and reduce the risk of falls.

Service—Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence
Chris Rees, interim director for Quality and Patient Safety, and Natalie Carr spoke about the formation of  new committee as part of the Get Well Network. This group, which includes staff from IT and hospitalwide physicians and nursing staff, is charged with assessing the program, prioritizing  and reviewing efforts of the program, plus prepare educational materials to support patients.
The network was originally designed as a tool to help improve clinical outcomes and quality of care by getting patients involved in their care and encouraging them as members of their health care team. It is also used by clinicians to provide education and information to patients.
To improve service and quality, the group developed an online request form to help manage employee ideas and recommendations. The committee’s priority will be to focus on ideas pertaining to quality, patient safety and service.
The form is available via the GetWell Network Web page and MUHA intranet and forms toolbox at
All forms will be submitted to the group’s executive committee for action.

  • Patty Burn, Authority Payroll coordinator, informed employees of a change in submitting a Correction of Leave Record form. Completed forms, along with the KRONOS support form, are no longer submitted to MUHA Human Resources but directly to the Authority Payroll Office, Room 221, Clinical Sciences Building. Forms are available at HR forms in the intranet. Visit
  • Nancy Hendry, Patient Access Services, announced the opening of a new Discharge Lounge for patients now located in the lobby of the main hospital. Hours are from noon to 8:30 p.m. Call 792-0582
  • The next hospital communications meeting is May 6.

Friday, April 18, 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.