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Currents Sept. 2

To Medical Center Employees:
I want to thank everyone for your cooperation and support during this busy hurricane season. The incident command and administrative team closely monitors the status of approaching storms with the goal of being thoroughly prepared, but also organizationally nimble so that we can implement the least disruptive staffing plan based upon conditions.
As indicated by our policy, managers are to designate a primary response team (often called Team A or designated employees) to provide direct care and support immediately before, during and after the storm. Managers also designate a relief team (often called Team B) which includes staff who report and provide care and service following the storm.
Nondesignated employees include those not expected to report to work during hazardous weather or emergency conditions. However, nondesignated employees are expected to communicate with their respective departments to stay abreast of possible status changes in emergency conditions.
If the full emergency/disaster plan is declared:
  • Employees should bring personal items including food, water, clothes, blanket and any other personal items needed to remain at the medical center for two to three days.
  • Employees should not bring family members to work, except in cases in which child care cannot be otherwise obtained.
  • Child care will be provided on a very limited basis—concerned staff are asked to make other arrangements if possible.
  • Pet care will be provided on a very limited basis—concerned staff are asked to make other arrangements if possible.
  • Employees will be paid for time worked but not sleep time.
  • During the full emergency/disaster plan meal tickets will be provided.
To address changing conditions of an approaching storm, an “Intermediate Weather Alert Plan” may be put into effect. The intermediate plan may be used when tropical conditions (high wind and rain) are expected. Under the intermediate plan staff may be asked to arrive early and/or remain after normally scheduled hours.
During the full emergency or intermediate plan alert, employees who report to work may park in designated garages. Employees will need to present an employee ID to park in restricted garages.
Employees should display “Emergency Worker” placards in vehicles while traveling to work during emergency periods. Managers have been provided placards for distribution. (Visit room 201 MUH if additional placards are needed).
Also, employees should be familiar with the weather emergency (Green Card) which can be used for work-related instructions. These cards have been issued to managers and can be located on the medical center intranet staff toolbox.
Thank you very much.
W. Stuart Smith
Vice President for Clinical Operations
and Executive Director, MUSC Medical Center

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
Al Nesmith, director of Safety, Security and Volunteer Services, shared the latest update on Hanna.   Nesmith urged managers to review the medical center’s disaster preparedness plan. Updated emergency weather information also can be found at the hot button of MUSC’s main Web page.
Managers were asked to review plans with employees and their status on work teams A and B. Designated employees are reminded that they may be required to remain at work for up to 72 hours during a disaster/emergency and should remain in contact with their supervisor/manager. Employees should prepare items their own personal disaster preparedness supply kit which includes personal medications, water, food (canned items), bread, crackers, sleeping bag/materials, change of clothing, hygiene items, employee identification and emergency worker hang tag.
In addition, Nesmith asked hospital employees to review the 2008 Medical Center Employees General/Emergency Information “green card.”
All designated employees are encouraged to finalize plans and make necessary arrangements to prepare family and pets for evacuation as necessary.

PEACH form
Pam Marek, Decision Support Services, reminded managers of the successful roll out of the Planning, Establishing and Activating Clinical Housing (PEACH) form. Marek praised managers for their proper use of the PEACH form, especially in preparation for ART’s opening. As management prepares for a planned November backfill, efforts to communicate these changes within a 45 day window continue. Staff can find the PEACH form under the MUHA intranet tools toolbox.
Employees should complete the “reason/date/approval” drop-down box and “reason/purpose of change” area of the form to help manage changes/charges properly.
Employees may contact Pam Marek, 792-8792; Nancy Hendry, 792-7057; or Sherrie Spencer, 792-9030, with questions. The next training class is scheduled for Sept. 12. Personalized training is also available.

CMS survey outcome
Kim Phillips, transplant service line administrator, reviewed the outcome from the mid-August on-site Medicare CMS Survey of the medical center’s transplant-related process.
MUSC received seven standard deficiencies, with no condition level deficiencies, which is considered good. Findings focused on improvements to documenting interdisciplinary partici-pation of care, patient and dialysis unit notification, donor and recipient blood type verification, and maintaining minimum volume criteria of 10 transplant /year for the heart transplant program.
Phillips thanked all staff who participated throughout the survey, especially Joint Commission coordina-tors Lois Kerr and Terri Ellis, for their cooperation and support. He cited that good preparation, focusing on the initial survey preparation, helped establish good first impressions for the survey.

HR update 
Employee Perspective Roll out Training has been rescheduled for 2:30 p.m., Sept. 10, ART Auditorium; 11:30 a.m., Sept. 11, Room 628, CSB; 1 p.m., Sept. 12, Room 628, CSB.

Changes were made to MUHA HR Policy #5—Competency Assessment and Maintenance
(Section B-1)—General orientation is now known as “organizational orientation.” and “All employees including contract employees will complete an organizational and unit/department orientation.”
(Section B-2)—Revised patient age groups to reflect Medical Center policy A-69, Age Criteria for Patients Treated at MUSC – Neonate (0-28 days); infants (29 days –12 months); pediatric (13 months-12 years); adolescent (13 years-17 years); adult (18 years-60 years); and Geriatric (61-plus years)
(Section C)—(#1) All employees will have an annual review.
(Section C)—(#2) The authority determines the annual organizational competencies.
Section C)—(#3) All staff will complete annual and ongoing unit/department competency assessment on time.
(Section C)—(#4) Each unit/department will use qualified individuals for competency assessment.
(Section D)—Modified to be more concise.
  • Organization Education and Training Request—MUHA Education and Training Steering Committee is looking at standardizing staff education and training. The committee has developed a process in which new/modified education/training programs that affect more than two units/departments must be reviewed by the committee. An education/training request form for new/modifications to organizational wide orientation/education program is available on the HR Web  site and must be completed and e-mailed to Lindsay Perry, The owner of the training presents information to the committee and if approved reports back on the effectiveness of the training using specific metrics. For information call 792-5098
  • Review of standardized unit file folders. The medical center is considering standard file folders that will be utilized by all units/departments. A grid will be developed to assist managers with filing documents in designated sections. Access to unit/departmental files should be limited to the manager and administrative assistant (if applicable). Separate education files should be maintained as necessary.
  • Benefits annual enrollment (October) —Employees may make changes to their health plan during this time.
Employees can also make changes/renew their flexible spending account (Money Plus); Long-term care insurance: Employees must arrange for premium deductions. Payroll deduction will no longer be available. (More information to come); Purchase optional life insurance: employees can enroll or increase optional life up to $50,000 not to exceed the maximum of $500,000; Dependent life spouse may enroll or increase with medical underwriting; dependent life (children) can enroll without medical underwriting for $1,500; Health Plans—MUSC Options will not be offered beginning January 2009; (No changes) SHP Savings Plan and SHP Standard Plan; Blue Choice Health Plan of SC (premium increase); and CIGNA (premium increase). Additional information will be forthcoming.

Benefit of the MonthSeptember
Medical Spending Accounts—Allows eligible employees to pay for many out-of-pocket medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. Eligible expenses include dental, vision, medical insurance and prescription drug co-pays and deductions, experimental treatments that are medically necessary.
In October, employees should estimate their anticipated expenses for 2009 (up to a maximum of $5,000). Employees can enroll or renew the amount deducted from their paycheck in October. Claims are submitted for reimbursement through a State contracted vendor, FBMC. Participants also can use the EZ reimburse MasterCard to pay for expenses up front.
Employees are reminded that the program has a use or lose provision.

Education roll out
Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., manager, Center for Professional Development and Clinical Education Resources, reviewed the group’s agenda for the meeting held July 17, Aug. 7 and Aug. 31. The next meeting will be at 9 a.m., Sept. 18, 2W Amphitheater.

Standard of Behavior – September
Meredith S. Strehle, Children’s Services Administration, presented September’s Standard of the Month: Taking pride in yourself and your workplace.
Strehle reminded employees to take pride in the workplace and help keep the work area clean by cleaning up liter, debris and spills promptly.

Finance—Providing the highest value to patients while ensuring financial stability
Steve Hargett presented the July 2008 income statement and day’s cash on hand. For July 2008, the average daily census was 498 compared to 500 for the same period last year. Salaries and benefits are up $6 million during  last year, while other operating expenses have increased by $5 million. Non-operating expenses are up by $1.5 million from increased deprecation expense. The loss for July is $3.8 million compared to a budgeted profit of $1 million and a $2.4 million profit for July of last year. Operating cash is $13.9 million or 5.6 days cash on hand.

  • Sandra Gould, R.N., is the new Adult ED (1 West) manager.
  • Polly Guffin, R.N., also was named TCU Manager in the medical center.
  • Sally Potts, R.N., was named the director of Therapeutic Services.


Friday, Sept. 5, 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.