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Currents June 3

To Medical Center Employees:
One of the medical center goals under the MUSC Excellence people pillar is to improve employee satisfaction. The key measure we are using to gauge employee satisfaction is the Employee Perspectives Survey. We use the survey results to measure organizationwide progress during the past year, to measure the performance of leaders and as a baseline for next year’s goal.
During the period of June 16 through July 6, we will conduct our third annual Medical Center (Hospital Authority) Employee Perspectives survey. We will use Press Ganey Associates, a professional survey firm, to conduct the survey as we have done the past two years.
We are striving for 100 percent employee participation. Every medical center employee will have an opportunity to voice his/her opinion. Press Ganey Associates will process the data. The results will be aggregated by department and by the total organization. Individual responses will be confidential. We will roll out the results as we did last year and develop departmental and organizationwide action plans.
The survey will include approximately 80 questions and will also collect open-ended comments on “the best thing about working for MUSC” and “how improvements can be made.” All surveys will be completed online. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.
All medical center employees will be given additional details soon including a random personal identification number (PIN), instructions for survey completion and information on our accomplishments during the past year.
The computer training room(s) will be open for employees who do not have direct computer access, and assistance will be available as needed. Managers will be given a computer training room schedule to share with staff.
I want to thank everyone in advance for taking part in this survey. In the meantime, anyone who has questions concerning the Employee Perspective Survey should contact your manager or Helena Bastian (792-5098 or or Jane Scutt (792-1839 or
On another related matter, Dr. Pat Cawley, executive medical director, recently announced plans to conduct the annual Physician’s Satisfaction Survey. Improving physician satisfaction is also one of the medical center’s goals. Our physicians should be receiving notification next week of this survey which will be open for four weeks. Responses to designated questions in this survey will be used to measure the medical center’s organizationwide progress and individual leaders’ progress toward our physician satisfaction goal. Now is a good time for everyone to remind physicians of your work to make the medical center a great place for physicians to practice medicine and teach.

Thank you very much.

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
MUSC Angel Tree co-coordinators Liz Nista and Marian Taylor welcomed Salvation Army’s public relations director Charlie Hall, who presented MUSC with the 2007 Outstanding Angel Tree Award. Kim Phillips, director of MUSC Transplant Program, accepted the plaque on behalf of the institution. The award recognizes MUSC as the Lowcountry’s largest employee contributor to the program.
According to Hall, MUSC employee efforts helped approximately 3,655 children (an increase from 2006) and provided more than 9,000 toys (41 percent of the 22,175 total toys/items) for this year’s campaign. Phillips thanked the MUSC family for their continued generosity and support.

CPOE and Physician Satisfaction Survey
Pat Cawley, M.D., MUSC Medical director, updated managers regarding the Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) project and scheduled pilot from June 10-13 at 3East/ART. This also will be an opportunity to roll out other support products.
Cawley also reminded the audience of the upcoming Physician Satisfaction Survey beginning June 11. Results will help determine the medical center’s organization and leadership progress. Last year, organizers reported a 75 percent response rate from the medical center’s attending physician staff.
HR update
  • Helena Bastian, Human Resources director, reminded managers about upcoming Selecting Talent Sessions for June. There are 14 sessions remaining in June. So far, approximately 25 sessions have been completed with 407 staff trained. Registration is via CATTS. A refresher Selecting Talent training session for LDI participants who attended the  December and March LDIs is scheduled for Thursday, June 26, from 1-5 p.m. in the 2West Amphitheater. Registration is via CATTS.
  • The Employee Perspective Survey is scheduled from June 16 to July 6. The survey, which had a 74 percent participation rate in 2007, will be conducted electronically. Computer labs will be available during this period. Mangers will receive their department packets, which include an information sheet, flyers and other communication tools, during the week of June 9. All employees are encouraged to participate.
  • MUSC Hospital Week photo contest winners are Landscape/Nature—(1st) “Raindrop” Antine Stenbit, M.D., Ph.D., Pulmonary; (2nd) “Cascade on the Bay” Lynn Uber, Pharmacy; (3rd) “Beach Tree” Michael Irving, Clinical Services Administration; People – (1st) “Agony of Defeat” Priscilla Parker, Business Development & Marketing Services; (2nd) “God Shined on Jo Jo” Dana Ratliff; (3rd) “Innocence” Taylor Tucker, Children’s Hospital; Pets—(1st) “Therapy is Exhausting” Pat Votava, Medically Fragile Children’s Fund; (2) “Cooper the Golden Doodle” Amanda Farley, Children’s Hospital; and (3rd) “Stop and Smell the Roses” Angelina Warner, Heart & Vascular Center
  • Employee Bake Off winners are: Cake —(1st) Brittany Haire, Lab, carrot cake; (2nd) Iris Rosemond, Pediatrics Ambulatory Care, mandarin orange cake; (3rd) Carolyn Thiedke, M.D., Family Medicine, frozen fudge cake; Brownie/Cookie—(1st) Melissa Brown, DDC, pecan pie bars; (2nd) Sandra Zambetti, Ambulatory Care Services, chocolate chip cookies; (3rd) Gina Sanders, Radiology, Plaza Park squares; Other—(1st) Sarah de Barros, Children’s Hospital, strawberry chocolate truffle; (2nd) Claudia Powell, Surgical Services, Connie’s cherry cobbler; and (3rd) Kim Stewart, Ambulatory Care, key lime fudge
Employee Standard of the Month—June
Employees should refrain from criticizing MUSC in the workplace and in the presence of customers. Instead, employees should be willing to share offer new ideas and solutions to issues instead of making excuses and placing blame.

Benefit of the Month—June
Mark Stimpson, HR benefits manager, reviewed details about retiree insurance with the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS). Rarely offered by employers today, retirees within the SRCS have an opportunity of taking medical and dental insurance coverage into retirement for life. Additionally, the fund may continue to insure qualified dependents. Retirees who qualify for this funded insurance will share the same premiums as active employees.
Employees must meet specific criteria to qualify for funded insurance:
  • Employees must have 10 years of earned service credit with SCRS. (*Individuals employed after May 2 or later must have 25 years of earned service credit to qualify for funded insurance.)
  • Must be eligible to retire either with a pension or, for the ORP, age 59-1/2. (*Does not apply to retiring at age 55 with 25 years.)
  • Five years prior to retirement an employee must have consecutive service in a benefits eligible position.
Retirees with 15 years service will receive a subsidy of 50 percent of the employer share of premiums.
For information, visit

Education roll-out update
Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., manager, Center for Professional Development and Clinical Education Resources, recognized 17 members of the new Education Roll-out Committee (EROC) Oversight Committee. The group, which meets at 11 a.m. on the first and third Mondays of every month, reviews and approves topic requests to be presented to the EROC Committee. Staff can request a presentation and submit a education topic request (due Noon, Fridays prior to the next EROC Oversight Committee meeting)
Zone-Smith also reviewed the group’s agenda items for meetings held April 17, May 1 and May 15 meetings. Topics included Hazardous Drug Handling and Disposal; MDI Administration for Revised Sitter Policy (Sitter Policy); Respiratory Therapy to Deliver and ClinDoc Updates.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Wayne Brannan, director of University Risk Management, announced two achievements in workplace safety by MUSC. For the ninth consecutive year, MUSC was recognized with the Commendation of Excellence Award and the South Carolina Occupational  Safety Council’s 2007 Safety Performance Award. Both awards recognize employers who have the least amount of lost days due to a work-related illness or injury. The medical center achieved a .28 rating, while the university attained a .16 lost-day rating.

TB testing
Pam Fogle, R.N., infection control, reviewed details about tuberculosis skin tests for new hires. The TB (PPD) test is conducted to screen for presence of tuberculosis infection. A two-step test is required on all new hires that cannot provide past history of a negative PPD within one year of hire; otherwise a single test is required. S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) also requires that one of the tests be conducted within three months of hire. The first test is conducted during pre-hire with a second booster test conducted approximately two weeks later. Only completion of a single negative test is required to begin employment. If a positive TB test is found, Employee Health refers the person to DHEC for a X-Ray, the presence of active disease, and treatment as indicated. Managers are reminded to insure that new employees complete their second test if needed. These requirements are based on CDC recommendations and DHEC requirements.
Employees can receive the test weekdays, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., at Employee Health on a walk-in basis. Call 792-1200. Visit

Finance—Providing the highest value to patients while ensuring financial stability
Emily Ferraro, YES Campaign coordinator, reminded managers of the ongoing 2008 Yearly Employee Support (YES) Campaign, the institution’s annual internal fundraising campaign continues throughout June. The yearly program directly supports the university and its programs.
Since 1988, more  than $5 million has been contributed to the campaign by employees. This year’s 2008 goal is $320,000.
More than 600 funds are supported by the YES Campaign and employees may choose which fund(s) they want their gift to support. One of the funds, the MUSC Family Fund, has distributed more than $166,000 to 80 projects on campus. Some of these projects include the Sickle Cell Sisters, Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Project, Pharmacy Services, SAFE Kids, MUSC CARES Clinic and more.
Gifts are tax-deductible and can be made via check, credit card, pledge, payroll dedication on as an online gift. Visit

Financial update
Steve Hargett, medical center controller, presented his report on MUHA’s unrestricted cash balance and day’s cash on hand as of April 30. A graph shows a continued decline in the cash balance from a high of $68.7 million and 35.2 days, in May 2007 to the current $18 million and 8.2 days cash. Hargett provided a comparison of the three month period ending April 2007 to the same three months ending April 30 to show the impact of the February’s opening of Ashley River Tower. The average daily census for both three month periods is the same at 505.  However, opening ART has increased depreciation, interest expense and salary costs at a rate much greater than the increase in patient revenue. Volume in May, and so far in June, is much higher than the same months last year. This increase in volume will help MUHA grow out of the current cash and income positions.

The next communications meeting is June 17.

Friday, June 6, 2008
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