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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Currents Nov. 17

To Medical Center Employees:
Our management team, including nearly all medical center supervisors with responsibility for hiring and performance evaluation, will take part in our 15th Leadership Development Institute (LDI) on Thursday, Nov. 19. LDIs are intended to make our management team better leaders. We have full confidence in those who are managing the medical center during the LDI and greatly appreciate their work.
The theme for this LDI is “Building the Future on Firm Ground.” During the first half of the day, we’ll hear from two key speakers including Natasha Godurbun, vice president of SG2, and Don Dean, our lead Studer Group coach.
SG2 is a forward-thinking health care intelligence company. Gordurbun will speak to the “climate change” expected in our industry and health care reform options.
Don, assisted by our own Joan Herbert, will review the results of a leadership assessment survey conducted recently. Dean will give us a MUSC Excellence report card that will highlight our areas of progress as well as our continued opportunities.
Our afternoon will include a variety of break-out sessions conducted by medical center managers and directors. Topics include: patient satisfaction best practices; methods to maximize employee partnership action plans; the soon-to-be introduced new interdepartmental customer service survey; methods for improved communication; enhancing understanding of the mortality goal; dealing with inappropriate behaviors in the workplace; and other topics. 
We will be sharing the content of the LDI in the weeks ahead through newsletters, meetings and other forums. 

Thank you very much.

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
Liz Nista, MUSC Angel Tree board member, spoke about the annual Angel Tree campaign as a win for the hospital and institution. Last year, employees supported more than 1,400 angels throughout the holiday season. With a new Angel Tree board in place to help guide efforts, support and expectations are already high. Nista reported that as of Nov. 17, a total of 1,840 angels were distributed around campus. Employees can bring their tagged, unwrapped toy to the Drop-Off event at 11:30 a.m., Dec. 11 at the MUSC Horseshoe. Visit

Trident United Way
Tom Walker, campaign division director for Trident United Way (TUW), thanked MUSC employees for their continued support, volunteering and commitment in this fall’s campaign. He spoke about literacy programs and 70 other support programs available to people for assistance through the TUW.
Donations go directly to these and other programs benefiting the Tri-county community. Donors also can designate their gift to any 501(c)(3) charity of their choice including the MUSC Foundation. To give online, visit

Employees of the Month—November

  • Stacie Buckley, R.N., a hospital service coordinator, is selected as Employee of the Month for her example of family-centered care. Nominated by Sonja Muckenfuss, Children’s Services director at the Children’s Hospital, Buckley was tapped for assisting a PCICU patient family. She assisted a patient’s mother when she could no longer breast feed her child. Using her travel nursing experience and resources, Buckley found a way to allow the mother to continue breastfeeding her child who was recovering from surgery. Since then, she has collaborated with the nursery educators, lactation consultants, and physicians to establish new protocols for breastfeeding at MUSC. (by Elizabeth Perry)
  • Lamona Wilder, an ART Patient Ambassador, readily helps patients in requests and food service needs. On occasion, she has arranged for patients to recognize special days such as birthdays and anniversaries while in the hospital. Recently, she helped an elderly couple (the husband was hospitalized) celebrate an anniversary during his stay. On occasion, Wilder organizes fundraisers and other creative ideas to continue these services. (by Brad Masteller)
  • Fredrika “Freddie” Wright, has been with Environmental Services (HCC) for seven years. She was recently praised for her generosity and compassion for assisting a stranded patient following a clinical visit. She lent the patient her cellphone to make a phone call, gave her money for a meal and coordinated transportation that allowed the patient to safely arrive home. (by Bob Hood)

Meredith Strehle, chairperson, MUHA Excellence’s Awards & Recognition Team, announced a transition of MUHA’s Applause Program to Children’s Administration. All forms, stickers and cards can be found in Room 1002, North Tower (Ali Baraniak McAbee, 792-4677 or Strehle, 792-5111).

HR update
Helena Bastian, MUHA HR director, reviewed the following wins and information:

  • PTO Cash in-Conversion deadline is Nov. 20. Request forms can be accessed on the HR Web site under “forms.” To be eligible, employees must have a balance of 120 hours of PTO after cash in or conversion. PTO cash in payout is scheduled for Dec. 9 and will be paid via direct deposit.
  • CATTS lessons are due Dec. 1.  For information, contact Latonia Allen, or Tish Hyland,
  • People Admin Enhancement—A new field in PeopleAdmin has been added so that departments may distinguish between internal/external postings. An external posting is listed as a “general posting” in the system and will be the default. Departments will need to change to “internal posting” as appropriate.
  • Work Hours— Non-exempt (hourly) employees must be paid for all worked hours. Employees should not clock out and return to work (they must be paid if work is performed); meal breaks are not considered worked hours provided they are uninterrupted; other breaks are not guaranteed, however if staffing permits, they are considered work hours.
  • Separation notice form—When processing separations, managers must ensure that the separation notice form, located on the HR Web site under forms, is utilized and fully completed.

MUHA Joint Commission HR Standards Plans Action Follow Up

  • HR.01.02.05—The organization verifies staff qualifications.

Organization findings—Documenta-tion is not consistent in unit files. Tracking of expiration dates is currently a very manual and cumbersome process throughout the organization.
Plan of action—Develop standardized process to track qualifications and requirements (background checks, certification, education, licensure and expiration dates). Develop a standardized form and reviewed by MUHA Education and Steering group; Initiate implementation of new online system to enhance tracking capabilities. Tracking information—LDI tracking database will be utilized to track information. Due date for loading data is Dec. 1.

  • HR.01.06.01:  Staff are competent to perform their responsibilities.

Organizational findings—Docu-mentation of required orientation is not consistent in unit/department files. Forms are not standardized throughout organization.
Plan of action—HR Education and Training staff is collaborating with Clinical Education staff and educators and revising orientation tools to use hospitalwide for assessment.

  • Standardized orientation forms—Orientation forms for clinical/non-clinical staff are located on MUHA HR Web site under forms and orientation. New forms should be used staff hired/transferred by Nov. 8 pay period.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Mo Sheakley, PharmD, Department of Pharmacy Services, spoke about medication security issues. Her talk was part of the hospital’s ongoing action plan for staff re-education and monitoring in conjunction with the twice-weekly Joint Commission (JC) survey readiness rounds. Sheakley used the analogy of safeguarding medications much like the valuing of a diamond ring or cash. Would anyone leave a $100 bill at a location and walk away? Sheakley believes that same attention should be given to medications throughout the hospital.
JC defines medications as any product designed by the FDA as a drug, prescriptive drugs, samples, vaccines and other definitions and categories—this makes it challenging.
The policy “Medication Security in Non-pharmacy Areas” (MUSC Policy C134 [MM-20]) is currently online. The policy states that medications will be secured so that unauthorized persons cannot obtain unmonitored access to them. In summary, the policy focuses on proper access and who can have access to medications.
It is important for staff to follow medication security for several reasons, including patient safety, emergency access and prevention of diversion/theft. Finally when medications are not secured, MUSC may lose money through theft and waste (expired medications).
Medication security is audited twice weekly on the Patient First rounds. Terri Ellis, JC accreditation coordinator, coordinates the Patient First rounds throughout the medical center. Areas are reviewed for medication room access, medication carts, medication at the bedside (with/without the patient), medications in empty exam rooms, orange tackle boxes (non-code cart) and other mobile carts.
The presentation included three posters that can be used by the managers to remind staff of how to assess if a medication is secure, situational security issues (patient acuity ), and self-assessment questions.


  • Bobbi Marks, R.N., was named the new Oncology Service Line administrator. Marks, originally from Milwaukee, came to MUSC on Nov. 9 and has worked in oncology nursing and business for about 40 years.
  • The next meeting is Dec. 15.

Friday, Nov. 20, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The 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.