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Currents July 1

To Medical Center Employees:
At the July 1 management communications meeting, Rob Fowler, chief meteorologist for Channel 2, updated the management team on the outlook for the hurricane season. Mr. Fowler reported that the outlook is “not really encouraging.” The prediction is for 15 named storms including eight hurricanes, four of which are predicted to be major hurricanes. He explained there is a 45 percent chance of a major hurricane hitting the east coast somewhere between Florida and Maine.
Mr. Fowler stated that now is the time to get prepared. We are a month into the hurricane season and both work and family plans need to be in place.
Over the years, Mr. Fowler and his Channel 2 associates provided our Incident Command Team with the most up-to-date weather details as storms have developed. We are most appreciative for this valuable service that he and others at Channel 2 have provided.
On another matter, Helena Bastian, Medical Center Human Resources Director, informed the management team that Press Ganey Associates reports that 66 percent of Medical Center employees completed the employee perspectives survey as of July 1. I want to thank everyone who has taken the 15 minutes needed to complete the survey, but we need to improve the response rate. In view of the holiday this week and our need to achieve a higher response rate, we have asked Press Ganey to keep the survey open one more week until Sunday, July 13.
All managers are asked to encourage employees to complete the survey. The survey results will be widely communicated. We will use the survey findings to develop department-based and organizationwide action plans to continue our efforts to make the medical center a great place to work. Anyone who has questions about the survey should contact their manager or Jane Scutt at 792-1839 or
Finally, Helena Bastian discussed the FY 08/09 pay plan at the communications meeting. Our leadership team and Human Resources have worked hard to develop a competitive pay plan. Additional details are outlined in this newsletter.

Thank you very much.

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
WCBD-TV 2 chief meteorologist Rob Fowler provided a forecast for Lowcountry weather and the 2008 hurricane season for coastal South Carolina. According to Fowler, the Tri-county has already experienced inclimate weather with hail, high winds and tornadoes. Fowler shared his 2008 findings predicting 15 named storms, eight of them will develop to be hurricanes, and four as major hurricanes (categories 3 to 5 in strength or 111 mph winds or greater)
Last year, NOAA and the U.S.Weather Service recorded 15 named storms, six of them hurricanes. This year, reports indicate a 45 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall somewhere along the Eastern United States (between Maine to Florida). Fowler stressed the importance of early preparation to the MUSC family. He reassured managers of today’s advantages of newer technology to help improve forecasting and data accuracy. He concluded by distributing the 2008 Storm Team 2 Hurricane Ready Guide.

HR Update
Employee Perspective Survey
The Medical Center is currently conducting the 2008 Employee Perspective Survey. As of July 1, the medical center reported a 66.7 percent response rate. The organization has set a 100 percent for participation. Employees are encouraged to respond to the survey as the medical center determines its action plans based on employee feedback.
The survey period is extended to July 13. Additional PIN letters are available if needed. Contact Jane Scutt ( or Helena Bastian (

FY 2008-2009 Performance Pay Plan   Performance increases will be based on an employee’s 2008 evaluation. Performance ratings will remain the same as last year.  Increases will be effective Dec. 21 and reflected upon in the Jan. 14 paycheck.
Probationary employees employed on/before Nov. 30 are eligible for a pro-rated meets performance rating. HR should be notified if an increase should be withheld due to poor performance. 

PTO conversion to ESL
Eligible employees may choose to convert up to 40 hours of Paid Time Off (PTO) to Extended Sick Leave (ESL) in July and December. To convert PTO to ESL, a PTO conversion form must be completed and submitted to the employee’s respective supervisor/manager. Request forms for the July conversion must be received at Payroll by July 21 and will be reflected in the ESL bank as of July 30.

Market and equity adjustments   
Market and equity adjustments are implemented to ensure that the medical center’s benchmark positions (jobs difficult to fill & critical of need) remain market competitive with comparable organizations.
The intent of the market pay rate adjustment methodology is to bring salaries to the market rate (i.e., hiring curves) and to differentiate previous high performance ratings (i.e., exceeds and substantially exceeds).
FY 08/09 market /equity adjustments will be awarded to designated classifications in October.
High performing employees will be compensated at an elevated level based on the 2007 performance rating.

Implementation of new compensation program
Effective Jan. 4, MUHA will implement a new compensation program of market-based competitive pay grades. 
Benchmark jobs will be assigned to pay ranges based on market pay levels. Non-benchmark jobs will be assigned through comparison to benchmark jobs in each job family. HR will schedule meetings with directors to review new pay grade structures.
Under the new program, market and merit pay (i.e. pay for performance) will be combined. Compensation Policy #15 will be modified to reflect the new program.

Joint Commission readiness
  • Documentation must be completed with dates and signature
  • Primary Source verification documentation (renewal) must be in unit/dept file.
  • Traveler file is the responsibility of the assigned unit

Implementation of new performance management program
Effective January 1, 2009, MUHA will implement a new performance management program. Key elements of the program will include:
Universal performance evaluation criteria including:
  • Pillar goal attainment for all employees (selected goals)
  • Performance of job responsibilities; behavioral standards
  • Universal common review date of June 30
For additional information, refer to the Performance Pay Plan link in HR Compensation Policy #15, Section E or contact Lynn Campbell

Modification to EPMS and Report in Impromptu Web reports
Medical Center managers’ EPMS Due and Overdue report will now run Tuesday nights in addition to Saturdays. This increase in frequency is an effort to keep up with demand. 
Employees whose reviews are the most days overdue will appear in the first group of the report, and reviews due in the next 90 days will be in the last group of the report. 
Human Resources also is evaluating the data entry process to improve turnaround time.

New drug screening process
Employee Health Services implemented instant read drug screens on June 23. This process should expedite the health screening process.
Only tests that are undetermined will be shipped to the contracted laboratory for further confirmation testing. Last week, 148 drug screenings were conducted with 140 individuals cleared for drug testing.

Benefit of the Month - July
Free CARTA / CARTA Express
Starting July 1, all MUSC employees will have free access to ride Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) Express as well as the CARTA system routes.
This service is a $64 per month benefit per person for MUSC participants.
Employees only need to show their MUSC ID badge to ride. This benefit provides employees with a money-saving, stress-free solution for their weekday work commute.

Standard of the Month – July
Eric Frisch, employee relations manager, reminded managers of the personal appearance and dress code (MUHA Policy A-04) and the importance of taking pride in one’s overall appearance. This includes employees wearing their MUSC ID, dress and grooming. Frisch reminded personnel that first impressions make a lasting impression. Staff should wear appropriate and professional clothing that meets departmental standards and image policies.

  • Tamela J. Sill, R.N., is the new 7West nurse manager.
  • Carol Corbin, R.N., will serve as interim nurse manager for Radiology  Nursing
  • The next communications meeting is July 15.

Friday, July 4, 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.