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MUSC Rumor Mill separates fact from fiction

Women’s hospital
I heard the university has plans for a women’s hospital, or at least a new labor and delivery suite? Is it true?
Answer: At this time there is not a plan to build a women’s hospital, but there is work being done by NBBJ (architectural planning) to evaluate current space in the perinatal areas as well as the Children’s Hospital to develop a plan for the future. This would include renovating existing areas and bringing them to a standard that would enable the space to be effective through the next 15 to 20 years.

Rutledge parking garage
There needs to be some type of speeding enforcement. When employees are driving into and exiting the garage, they tend to speed. I almost got hit the other evening. Answer: During the past two years, the Department of Public Safety has randomly placed a radar cart in various garages on campus. This was done as an enforcement measure in conjunction with the Office of Parking Management’s public campaign to inform those using the garages of the posted speed limits. The intent is to have those using the garages to drive with caution, especially when entering and leaving the garages. The speed limit in the garages is seven miles an hour. The Department of Public Safety will continue to randomly deploy the radar cart in order to keep vehicles from exceeding posted limits.

Financial help
I heard there are many programs for students if they are having financial problems, but no help if employees have financial trouble. Is this true?
Answer: MUSC has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which is a confidential counseling service for its employees. While this office does not have access to funding to assist employees, it has a qualified counselor who will assist with behavioral counseling—for example: overspending as a result of depression.
This office also is able to make referrals to various agencies that may be of assistance to employees who are in crisis (consumer credit agencies, Trident United Way, etc). Employee Assistance Program may be reached at 792-2848.

Simon Web Paging System
Is there a tracking system for Simon Web pages?
Answer: Individual Simon-paged messages can be reviewed on Simonweb under personal profile with secured login and password. Paged messages are stored for seven  days. All paged messages can be reviewed via the database. They are reviewed randomly and upon request for quality management.

Valet parking
Patients have told me valet parking for handicapped patients is free at Roper Hospital, but they are charged at ART for this service despite the fact both hospitals use the same valet parking service. Is this true?
Answer: Valet parking at ART is free if a mobility- impaired person is in the vehicle. This is the same policy followed at Roper Hospital.

Golf carts
Do you think it might be possible for golf carts to pick up employees from Ashley River Tower and take them to the bus stop? If you are not out of ART on time, you must walk two blocks and then you've missed the bus.
Answer: Unfortunately, given the safety concerns that would result in putting golf carts into such a congested area, it is not feasible to provide this service.

MUSC Excellence
I am an employee, and I have heard that MUSC Excellence is going to be implemented in clinical areas outside of the hospital and College of Medicine. I hope that this is true, because the service mindset in some of the non-MUHA, non-College of Medicine clinic areas is sub-optimal.
Answer: This rumor is true. MUSC Excellence has already been implemented in MUHA, the College of Medicine, the reporting lines of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, and the Office of the CIO. Beginning in July, all of MUSC’s colleges, the library and the reporting lines for the Office of Academic Affairs/Provost began participating in the Excellence program. Roll-out will include all non-medicine clinic areas.

Internet surfing
What is the new eyeball icon with the red circle with a negative line (-) in the bottom right hand corner of some pages you see on the Internet? Is this a real time way of monitoring staff Internet usage?
Answer: First, the eyeball does not indicate someone else is watching you. Instead, it’s your browser watching out for-you (with credit to Wikipedia). Cookies are pieces of data sent by a server (the server hosting the Web site you’re accessing) to your computer and then back. They can be used for authentication and for maintaining information, such as the contents of a form you’ve filled out. Because they can be used for tracking the sites you visit, they are a privacy concern. This is where your browser comes in. You can set your browser to accept cookies from everywhere, accept no cookies from anyone, or some cookies from trusted sites. Most people use the third kind of setting, “some cookies from trusted sites.” When the eyeball or “universal ‘No’ sign” comes up in the bottom right of your browser, it means the site you are visiting is trying to send cookies your browser has been told to deny. When you click on that icon, you can decide if you want the cookies delivered or just leave them alone. Unless the blocking is causing you problems, such as you’re trying to order a book but cannot enter the data, you should leave them alone.

Why aren’t unit secretaries able to wear scrubs? Shouldn’t they at least have the option of wearing scrubs if they want to? Most secretaries come in contact with patients and other hazards. They also get to wear scrubs at pretty much all doctors’ offices and such. Can’t they just get assigned a specific color like all of the other groups?
Answer: Scrubs are designated for clinical staff that provide hands-on patient care. The unit secretaries dress code is ceil blue lab coat/warm-up jacket with business attire to designate their role as a non-care giver.

Four 10-hour days
I’ve heard some people talk about four, 10-hour days a week work schedules instead of five eight-hour days. Is this true? Is this going to happen to people who work for the university?
Answer: Individual departments have the ability to set schedules that result in employees working four-day, 10-hour shifts. Generally, these departments must ensure adequate coverage for the normal operating hours of the university. There is no current plan to adopt a four-day, 10-hour shift working schedule for the university as a whole.

New ICU beds
With a financial situation now arising, why was so much money allotted for the expensive ICU beds in the MICU area? It might be nice for some patients but to pay approximately $30,000 for each bed that chirps like crickets or plays Mozart seems hefty.
Answer: MICU purchased new beds to deliver optimal care to their critically ill patients. Multiple studies have shown that music therapy is beneficial to patients in that it reduces anxiety, delirium, and length of stay. The beds are motorized to make transporting easier. Staff transporting patients have expressed ease of use as they become more familiar with the beds.

The new location of the condiments in the cafeteria is awful. It causes a lot of congestion. Also, are we so low on budget that we can’t afford the single packets anymore? The mass dispensers are tacky.
Answer: Management of the cafeteria changed to the bulk condiment dispensers because it is a cost-saver to the hospital over the individual packets, which are more expensive and have a high degree of waste. In addition, the bulk units are more environmentally friendly. The new location actually causes less congestion than having condiments in the  busy servery.

Curtains for ART
I understand that curtains are being installed in ART's atrium for the west facing glass wall. The gentleman installing the computer routing said a program was being written for the different seasons/sun path. I am curious if this will be a program based on the arc of the sun or will it include temperature demands that vary at different times of the year. Also what are the shades made of and how will it be controlled?
Answer: Shades are being installed in the ART Conservatory.  The entire west wall of the conservatory is glass, which means a lot of sunlight throughout the day. At various times of the day, the sun can be both blinding and hot to visitors and staff in the conservatory and in adjacent rooms with windows on the conservatory. The shades will help reduce the glare and reduce the heat gain inside that the rays introduce. You may be surprised to learn that the floor absorbs heat from the sun’s rays and can be 10-20 degrees warmer than the surrounding areas. That sometimes translates into a warm environment in some parts of the conservatory. The shades are just like the other shades throughout ART. Woven from vinyl coated polyester yarns, the shades have a density to match our needs. The amount of light that can pass through them is managed by perforations in the shade. When you look up, you’ll see some light and it should be pleasing to the eye both inside and outside the conservatory. How will they be controlled? The shades are very high up and will need to be mechanized and controllable. Pulling cords won’t work in this area. In simple terms, a computerized control will predict the path of the sun in the sky each day of the year and help decide when the shades need to be lowered. The program is essentially a simple almanac database that knows the path of the sun. The data is used to predict where the sun will be in the sky throughout the day when looking out ART's Conservatory West wall windows. It considers sunny, cloudy, and overcast skies during the day. It raises shades on summer nights to help with cooling and lowers them in winter to reduce heat loss in the conservatory.

Aquarium parking
Could you please clear up the rumors I keep hearing about the aquarium parking for those that are involved. I have heard a lot of stories about how the pay is going to be broken down for the time spent in the aquarium garage. I have heard that $2 per day will be deducted for each day missed. I have heard you get a base pay and every day you park there increases your pay up to $300. Could you put the rumors to rest?
Answer: The aquarium parking bonus will be paid out as follows: five-day times, eight hour employees: $10 net per day parked; four-day times, 10-hour employees: $12.50 per day parked. Usage will be verified through each individual’s aquarium parking facility entry and exit record. The Office of Parking Management will provide MUHA Human Resources a parking verification report at the end of the program for final payout calculation. Payout will be in the second pay period in October.

Saving money
Every night I look at Harborview Office Tower and every single room is lit up. Why doesn't MUSC try to conserve some energy by turning off these lights?
Answer: Both hallways and rooms have a minimum amount of emergency lighting for safety reasons, and at night even these emergency lights will illuminate enough to light up the windows. It is also necessary to have lighting in the building at night in order for environmental services to maintain the building.  

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.