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


To Medical Center Employees:
Earlier this week we kicked off the annual Medical Center Employee Perspectives Survey. The survey will run for a three week period until July 6 and we are seeking 100 percent participation. The survey results will be used to measure our progress toward making the medical center a great place to work and to set goals for the future. The survey results will be widely communicated and action plans to address opportunities for improvement will be developed.
Press Ganey Associates, a national survey firm, is conducting the survey for us. Managers have been given survey instructions and random personal identification or PIN numbers for employees to use in completing the Internet-based survey. The computer training rooms have been reserved for employees who do not have direct computer access, and assistance will be on hand as needed. 
Completed surveys will be anonymous. Individual responses will not be reported. The data will be analyzed by department or group level and organizational level. Findings from small departments (less than three) will be combined into larger work groups to provide added confidentiality.
During the next two weeks Press Ganey will be routinely reporting to us the number of surveys received and this information will be disseminated to departments to keep us abreast of our participation rates. Again, our goal is 100 percent participation. Anyone who has questions about the survey should contact their manager or Jane Scutt at 792-1839 or
On another matter, at the June 17 management communication meeting Helena Bastian, director, Medical Center Human Resources, discussed our need to be mindful of the MUSC computer use policy. An audit of computer use revealed a substantial amount of Internet bandwidth is consumed MUSCwide by individuals who routinely log on to streaming audio and video sites.  When there are many devices around campus connected to streaming audio and video sites, required bandwidth is unavailable for business-related needs. Visit
to access the article in The Catalyst.  Everyone’s cooperation is needed to ensure we use our computer resources appropriately and comply with the policy.
Finally, we are now into hurricane season. Everyone should be familiar with Medical Center Weather Emergency Plan Policy A-64, Staffing During Emergencies and Disasters Policy A-42 and department-based plans.
At the June 17 communications meeting Al Nesmith, director, Safety, Security, Volunteer & Guest Services, and Brian Fletcher, clinical disaster preparedness coordinator, reviewed elements of our emergency preparedness plan and issued the 2008 General/Emergency Information cards (known as green card) which provides information to obtain work-related instructions during emergencies. Managers were asked to disseminate the green cards to employees.
In the near future Rob Fowler, chief meteorologist for Channel 2, will attend a management communication meeting to present the outlook for this year’s hurricane season as he has done in years past. We are very grateful for the close relationship we have with Mr. Fowler and his Channel 2 associates and for all the up-to-the-minute weather information he has shared with us during the years as storms have developed.

Thank you very much.

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
Disaster preparedness
Al Nesmith, director of Safety, Security and Volunteer Services, shared details of the medical center’s disaster preparedness plan for hurricane season. Nesmith reminded managers to check their department’s emergency supply cabinet inventory. Managers should list needed items on an IIT form and bring the signed, completed form, along with a cart, to the Equipment Distribution Center (EDC), first floor, Children’s Hospital. The EDC staff will assist in filling supply orders and processing IITs.
During hurricane season, managers are reminded to post the designated employee list somewhere within the department/unit area to inform all employees. All employees should be aware of their status and assignment to respective work teams (i.e. Teams A, B or C). Nesmith reminded managers to protect all office equipment by covering computers and devices with plastic, unplug all equipment and verify that all windows are closed and secured.
All medical center employees will receive a 2008 Medical Center Employees General/Emergency Information “green card” and magnet. Emergency worker hang tags may be picked up in the Safety Office, Room 201, main hospital, 792-6902. Designated employees are reminded that they may be required to remain at work for up to 72 hours during a disaster/emergency and that they must check in with their supervisor/manager. Each employee is responsible for assembling the items listed on the designated employee item/supply list. The items included are:  personal medications, water, food—canned foods, bread (loaf), crackers, sleeping bag/materials, employee identification and other items.
General MUSC and emergency information can be found at 792-MUSC. Departments also may use this information system for general communications as needed. The “green cards” will be revised after July to include new MUHA Service Line Leadership.
Visit the disaster resources toolbox, to gain access to valuable disaster preparedness and response information.
Steve Paterniti, Business Development and Marketing Services, explained details about accessing weather emergency information/topics via the Internet. Managers should pre-plan the content of their departmental, operational and current status information prior to recording. Basic information should include name, dates/time of record, nature of weather emergency, and other expectations. Full instructions for using this system will be distributed at a later date.
On July 1Rob Fowler of WCBD TV-2 will provide hurricane season predictions and other information for the MUSC Medical Center Communications group.

Clinical disaster call tree
Brian Fletcher, clinical services disaster preparedness coordinator, spoke about the clinical disaster call tree. Fletcher reminded managers that there are two MUSC clinical disaster call trees, the medical university hospital and ART. Call trees will be activated during a confirmed disaster or emergency as secondary form of communications supporting the hospital’s admit transfer center staff as they inform clinical departments about an emergency. The system also can be used to immediately confirm hospital bed and census counts, plus evacuation planning. The Clinical Disaster Call Tree also serves as a reference for System Fail Phone telephone numbers specifically for clinical departments. Fletcher urged all managers to print a hard copy of both clinical disaster call trees and place in the departmental emergency response plan notebooks. Call trees, departmental call trees and other time-sensitive information should be reviewed and updated on a monthly basis, but at least quarterly, to ensure accurate information in preparation for Joint Commission surveys.

HR update
Helena Bastian, HR director, gave the following report:

Selecting Talent Sessions are available through the end of June. Registration is via CATTS. Any questions should be directed to Karen Rankine, 792-7690.

Primary Source Verification of required credentials is due at the time of renewal. Department managers are responsible for documenting verification, which should be maintained in the unit/department file and information entered into CATTS.   Questions regarding primary source verification, call Latonia Allen, 792-2805. Visit

In preparation for the Joint Commission’s upcoming surveys, Human Resources will be conducting departmental file reviews beginning June 23. HR will schedule dates with managers.  
Quality & Patient Safety interim director Chris Rees also announced that his team is currently working with hospital leadership to support a plan to conduct more hospital rounding, especially in ART, in preparation for Joint Commission visits. Recommen-dations from rounding will be immediately shared with managers and staff in order to meet compliance.

Employee Perspective Surveys—The survey has opened and will continue until to July 6.  Managers are to encourage staff participation. Computer labs, Room 220, Clinical Sciences Building, and Room 271, main hospital will be open throughout the survey period. See schedule at
Employees also can access the survey online at

Inappropriate Internet usage—A recent OCIO audit found that a significant amount of Internet bandwidth has been consumed by employees who routinely log on to streaming audio/video sites that do not directly support the MUSC mission. 
When hundreds of devices are connected, the significant amount of bandwidth is unavailable for legitimate communications needs—slowing all systems.
Continued usage would be considered inappropriate use of MUHA equipment and thus a violation of MUHA policy.

to access the article in The Catalyst.

Service—Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence
Melissa Forinash, director, Support  Services, Office of OCIO,  and project leader of the Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), gave a project update. CPOE is one of the remaining core modules in the medical center’s suite of clinical products  focused on enhancing patient safety , which includes ClinDoc, AdminRX and the Pharmacy System.
CPOE provides the functionality for physicians  and other care providers to enter orders directly  into the system. The program is designed to improve patient safety by eliminating the ineligibility of hand-written orders and providing alerts that can prevent physicians from entering duplicate orders or orders that are in conflict with patient conditions or allergies.
A pilot go-live and parallel test of CPOE pilot was conducted on 3W/ART from June 11-14.  A physician rounding team served at the core of the test, entering orders on the system and on paper for all of their new admissions for the first day, then carrying out the test for the remainder of the period. Nursing staff managed the orders using the Care Organizer tool - eliminating use of paper kardex at the time.  Participants were pleased with the pilot outcome. A post assessment meeting with all pilot participants was conducted June 17. Results will be compiled and shared with the eCareNet Steering Committee on June 25. Forinash thanked Jennifer Minick and Melissa Meara and the 3W/ART nurses for their leadership and active engagement in the project.

Finance—Providing the highest value to patients while ensuring financial stability
Joe Logan, Purchasing/Accounts Payable manager, reviewed details relating to changes with MUHA’s P-Card program. Logan implemented the P-Card Program to MUSC in 1998 for small dollar transactions. When the hospital authority was created in July 2000, an authority card program was implemented for small dollar transactions and blanket order transactions. The authority card program grew to be the largest program in the State of South Carolina. The P-Cards have been credited for dramatically helping to reduce paperwork, save time, and to expedite hospital supplies. There was one draw-back to having supplies purchased via P-Cards. It was difficult to capture the item details for the supplies being purchased on P-cards. This information is critical to achieving cost savings for the authority.
In an effort to reduce costs, MUHA introduced the Pathways Materials Management (PMM) system to allow departments to order supplies via Web-based transactions and the Internet. PMM led to the development of the medical center’s item master list, which provides the details of hospital items ordered. As a result, there is now an item master list, which is proving to be a valuable resource for making good business decisions. PMM has provided the tools to create a Just-in-Time inventory using Cardinal’s Valuelink Program. As a result, automated patient charges and automated inventory replenishment can be fully implemented. Since July, 2006 the item master list has grown to  more than 24,000 items. Use of these new systems has reduced the reliance on P-Cards for supplies by more than 70 percent while still maintaining the same level of service.
Other PMM benefits being realized include: increase of buying power; verification and reduction of supply costs, increased standardization; improved inventory tracking/history, contract management; electronic ordering/receiving/invoicing. PMM also greatly improves interfacing with various other MUHA systems.
PMM has been implemented in Central Supply, Main OR, Ambulatory Care OR; Lab Services; Radiology, DDC, Equipment Distribution Center; Critical Care and the Heart Center. Departments currently involved in implementing PMM include: the Storm Eye Institute (Mount Pleasant) OR Equipment and Sterile Processing. Other areas that will be added are: Peds Cardiology, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy.
Logan emphasized that the plan is not to eliminate MUHA’s use of P-Cards, but to identify supply items that should be ordered via PMM, thus reducing overall costs. 

  • Alan Edwards is the new business manager in Oncology Medical-Surgical Services. Edwards will support the reorganized department, which will be known as of July 1, as Oncology and Professional Services.
  • The next communications meeting is July 1.

Friday, June 20, 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.