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Currents Aug. 5

To Medical Center Employees:
During the fiscal year (FY) 2007-2008 which ended June 30, we had a number of major accomplishments including:
  • Completed and staffed ART 
  • Continued work to implement new clinical information systems
  • Implemented the service lines 
  • Sustained progress with MUSC Excellence
  • Met our patient satisfaction goals
However, our financial performance did not meet budget projections which called for a small positive margin. It appears that once our audit is completed, the hospital will end with a loss for FY 2007-2008.
There are several significant reasons for this loss. One is that our projected increase in patient activity did not materialize. While we closed a number of units in the university hospital for renovation, we still anticipated a 7 percent growth in admissions with the opening of ART; however, there was no growth. This slowdown in inpatient activity is consistent with regional and national trends, which we believe is a direct result of the sluggish economy. The second major reason for our financial performance is the change in payment methodology for Medicaid. The dollars received in FY 07-08 on Medicaid and unfunded patients was substantially below what was budgeted. Unfortunately this downward trend in Medicaid reimbursement is expected to continue.
We are addressing our financial situation in the following ways:
  • Staffing levels are being examined, but patient care will not be compromised
  • Alignment of staffing with the number of patients we treat
  • Reduction of travel nurses and replacement with regular nursing staff as needed
  • Investigation of supply costs and methods to reduce expenditures
  • Investigation of construction work that can be delayed
We expect to grow our volume this year, but we need everyone’s support to control our costs. By controlling costs and increasing volume, we will meet our goals and continue to make the medical center a great place to get patient care, a great place to work, and a great place for our professional staff to practice.

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

People—fostering employee pride and loyalty
Melinda Anderson, Office of Parking Manage-ment director, and John Runyon, Business Services director, gave an update on MUSC’s current parking situation and offered new solutions to offset the expected parking congestion that will occur after Aug.18 and expected return of students on campus. 
Anderson confirmed that the new Bee Street Garage, located at the corner of Bee Street and Courtenay Drive, is scheduled to open the end of September. Meanwhile, OPM has proposed several short-term parking alternatives to help alleviate parking challenges, especially among users of the Hagood Park-and-Ride system.
Anderson announced that effective Aug. 22, OPM has leased 72 spaces at the Joe Riley stadium/Charleston RiverDogs VIP parking lot to help support overflow parking at Hagood during this two-month period.
Additionally, MUSC has teamed with the City of Charleston and CARTA to lease 300 spaces in the South Carolina Aquarium Parking Garage (located between Calhoun and East Bay streets) until the Bee Street Garage opens.
MUHA employees, who currently park in the Hagood Park-and-Ride system, hold full-time positions and work day shift on weekdays, will have first priority to take temporary parking with this Aquarium parking plan. Aquarium plan participants will ride a designated CARTA bus route that will shuttle them to and from campus (dropping off riders at Vanderhorst and Rutledge Avenue in front of the College of Health Professions).
To help offset the inconvenience this plan offers to participants, MUHA has offered to pay Aquarium plan riders $50 net pay bonus per week (not to exceed $300 for six weeks). MUHA employees, who meet this criteria and are interested in the plan, should e-mail MUHA employees need not include a message, but simply communicate in the e-mail subject line of their interest in the Aquarium plan. If more than 300 volunteers are identified, a random selection of applicants will take place.
OPM also offers an alternative solution with the revised MUSC Carpool Program open to employees.
Starting Aug. 11, Parking Management also will be offering assignments and registering employees who will be parking in the Bee Street Garage.

Interdisciplinary survey readiness rounds
Lois Kerr, accreditation manager, recognized a team of exceptional volunteers who’ve been committed to the medical center’s interdisciplinary rounding, tracer management and readiness. They are Terri Ellis, Carl Kennedy, Al Nesmith, Mary Stoll, Chris Summers, Brian Fletcher, Ray Shingler, Dave Dement, Rick Elder, Jason Beers, Maureen Sheakley, Christine Lewis, Helena Bastian, Karen Rankine, Linda Formby, Dan Altman, Michael Andrews, Hugh Farris, Tony Harrell, Joe Avant, Stan Trojanowski, Dave McDonald, Sharron Dunning, Annette Smith, Cindy Teeter, Darcy Kalles and Allison Livingston.
Kerr reviewed several key issues identified during interdisciplinary rounds: Mayday carts; National Patient Safety Goals; use of look-alike, sound-alike posters; critical values documentation; improper use of prohibited abbreviations; pain reassessments; documentation of verbal orders; documentation of history and physicals; electronic/paper records-different locations and modes; infection control findings; and staff consistency issues.
Joint Commission may conduct a full hospital or Behavioral Health Extension survey at any time. Surveys also are due for IOP’s Seasons Psychiatric Intensive Outpatient and PHP, Suite 201, McClennan-Banks Building and Hospital Extension Survey—ART, West Ashley Pediatric GI, Storm Eye Ambulatory Procedures—Mount Pleasant and CMS Transplant Program Certification. Additionally, MUSC will be meeting with Joint Commission surveyors Aug. 11 at the Stroke Intracycle Conference.
Joint Commission schedules unannounced surveys between 18 and 39 months following the last full survey (MUHA’s survey was September 2006).

HR update
CATTS system upgrade was completed (Version 5) on Aug. 1. Key improvements for learners include a new login, homepage layout, easier system navigation and improved help features.
For administrators, CATTS features the use of the “enter” key for searches; ability to look up learners by name, learner ID and verification code; improved listing of learners by name, learner ID or verification code; easy sorting of department list by name or department code; plus, enhanced reporting abilities.  
For information, contact Latonia Allen, 792-2805,
To access CATTS Learner quick reference guide, visit; CATTS Administrator quick reference guide at
Scheduled HR Training for August (Register via CATTS): Aug. 7, Aug 12 and Aug. 14, 9-11 a.m., Room 436, Education Center/Library Building.

HR training update—Changes to HR Policy #2:  relating to orientation training Day One (first Monday) of orientation will now be known as Organizational Orientation.Change in the orientation schedule effective Aug. 18 (posted later this week); ART Central Orientation—CATTS lesson (departments assign a lesson to new hires).

Unit File Audits—Reminder for back to the basics
Managers are responsible for ensuring that department/unit files are in compliance and current to all regulatory standards.
Personnel file review guide can be accessed on the HR intranet Web site.

Employee perspective results
MUHA is expecting final results from Press Ganey during the week of Aug. 11.
Press Ganey will be on site Aug. 26 to present the organization’s results and assist in preparing quality action plans. Several hour-long sessions will be scheduled for director and managers to attend on Aug. 26, between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Additional information will be forthcoming.

August Benefit of the Month 
The Generic Medication Pricing Program offers special pricing to all patients and employee who fill their prescription at any of MUSC’s Ambulatory pharmacies.
A list of generic medications can be found online at or by calling any of the MUSC pharmacies.
Any MUSC pharmacy can transfer prescriptions for any eligible patient. Contact Heather Koko, PharmD, at 792-1009.

  • Anita Harriett is the new Financial Officer for the Musculoskeletal and Neuroscience Service Line. Harriett came to MUSC from Pitt County Hospital in Greenville, N.C. She recently completed the hospital administration program and residency at MUSC.
  • Betty Mitchell is the new operations coordinator at 1West in the Emergency Department.
  • Pat Votava, Medically Fragile Children’s Program, invited employees to help celebrate the program’s third anniversary Aug. 13. All are welcome to attend the celebration 3 p.m., at the old Baker Hospital in North Charleston.


Friday, Aug. 8, 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.