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


Currents Feb. 17

To Medical Center Employees:
MUSC President, Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., explained in his latest e-mail to all employees that the economic stimulus bill (now signed into law as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) is a complicated piece of legislation. The State of South Carolina will receive $860 million in Medicaid match funds. Each state has its own plan on how to apply Medicaid funding and it will likely be a couple of months before our State Department of Health and Human Services irons out the details.
Our financial team is now in the process of wrapping up a report on our January financial performance. Details will be reported at next week’s management communication meeting and included in the next issue of this newsletter. We also will discuss our financial performance and status of cost savings initiatives during the March town hall meetings. We know that we will need to continue our diligent efforts to control costs while providing compassionate and quality care.
As mentioned in previous newsletters, we know that many hospitals have observed decreasing patient satisfaction results as staff morale has been affected by cost containment initiatives or other organizational change. We continue to have impressive patient satisfaction scores in some areas, but we need to improve in other areas. Our goal is to reach the 80th percentile. Here is a summary of the patient satisfaction results, as indicated by the Press Ganey survey, for Jan. 1 through Feb. 17.

Patient Satisfaction Results
Jan. 1 – Feb. 17
Service                                    Percentile               Mean
Adult Hospitals                        61 (N 494)                86.1
Pediatric Inpatient                    75 (N 97)                  87.9
Pediatric Emergency Room      70 (N 79)                  86.5
Ambulatory Care                     79 (2,174)                 91.6
Outpatient Behavioral Health    84 (N 375)                92.7

 While not indicated above, the Digestive Diseases inpatient areas scored the 84th percentile and the Heart & Vascular inpatient area scored the 95th percentile. In the near future we will be reporting percentile ranks and mean scores by all service lines in this newsletter.
Also, I want to highlight the outstanding work done by HCC Mammography second and third floor during the first quarter of this calendar year. Survey questions related to “Test or Treatment” including friendliness of staff; skill of staff; and concern for comfort ranked at and above the 90th percentile. This underscores the great job they do with AIDET and with demonstrating their exceptional patient care skills. Congratulations to the HCC Mammography team for their great work.
On a related matter, Chris Rees, quality and patient safety director, shared highlights of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) results at the Feb. 12 MUSC Board of Trustees meeting. The HCAHPS measures adult patients’ perception of quality care and is regarded as the “public report card.” Rees explained that among the hospitals reporting, MUSC scored second highest in the state. Also, among University Hospital Consortium members, MUSC ranked third out of 52 academic medical centers. We are pleased with our progress and will provide additional details at the March town hall meetings.

Thank you very much.

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Sarah deBarros, peri-natal administration, introduced Meredith Repik, executive director of the S.C. Lowcountry Chapter of the March of Dimes, who spoke about the March for Babies Campaign, April 25. Details about the campaign will be posted via Broadcast Messages and The Catalyst.

Repik thanked employees for their continued help of previous March for Babies Campaign through donations and active support, which has provided advances in care so that more babies are born healthy and support for families, plus funding for research and programs. Since 2007, MUSC has received funds to support several pre-term birth prevention clinics and post pregnancy programs (Department of OB/GYN), a pregnancy model of care (College of Nursing), plus other national funds to support research grants amounting to almost $624,000.
Repik noted that the Lowcountry Chapter of the March of Dimes is only capable of providing this level of support through successful fundraising with its March for Babies campaigns.
Organizers of this family-friendly event are promoting individual walkers who are encouraged to raise $150 per person in sponsorships. Walkers receive an event T-shirt and other event items.
Repik also spoke about the success of the 2001 March of Dimes Folic Acid research campaign, which is now followed by the premature birth campaign now extended to 2020.
In South Carolina, it’s estimated that 1:6 babies is born prematurely (about 173 babies per week). Many of these babies are born and cared for at MUSC’s NNICU.
Repik introduced Maggie Thompson, Ambulatory Care Service Excellence manager, whose own twins were born prematurely at MUSC in 2003. Thanks to the help of a qualified team of physicians, nurses and specialists and support from the March of Dimes, Thompson’s twins, Sam and Ellie, are healthy, active four-year-olds.
For campaign information, visit or contact de Barros at 792-8431 or

HR update
Helena Bastian, MUHA HR director, reminded managers that all licensed personnel are required to have their cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) card by the American Heart Association or American Red Cross prior to orientation. Bastain thanked managers for submitting their PEER forms on time.

Service—Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence
Melissa Feather, R.N., manager for Meducare, related several sugges-tions relating to MUSC’s Patient/Family Shuttle operations. One idea suggested cutting the wait time for employees and patients who use the shuttle. Feather will confirm this. To report any issues, contact Feather at 792-1169.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Linda Formby, R.N., manager for Infection Prevention and Control and a member of the Joint Commission Interdisci-plinary Survey Readiness Rounds team, updated managers about readiness relating to infection control. Non compliance continues and will be observed and noted by JC surveyors.

Hand hygiene—Within the last year, the medical center has increased the number of hand hygiene dispensers available throughout the medical center.
Nails and hand jewelry—Any artificial nails are prohibited by direct patient caregivers. Artificial and long nails may be one area where organisms can harbor putting both the staff member and patient at risk for infection. Natural nail length should be trimmed to no longer than a quarter inch. Formby also reminded staff about jewelry guidelines.

Direct patient caregivers should not wear more than three rings.
q  Non-compliance within contact precautions rooms—These areas require that anyone entering a designated room wear a gown and gloves. An alternative option for a rounding team is for two-to-three people to be gowned and gloved to enter the room versus having the entire group enter the room.
q  Visitors/family compliance within contact precautions rooms—Those who enter a contact precautions room, including visitors, should use gowns and gloves. Yellow gowns are available and are appropriate for most encounters for both staff and visitors. Dietary personnel should follow specific guidelines for their department.
q  Precautions rooms’ signage on doors and charts—Staff should use proper signage with patient doors and charts for isolation patients. Appropriate isolation cards on the doors, an unmarked label on the outside of the chart and a label marked with the type of isolation precautions on the inside of the chart.
q  Reuse of unused/non-contaminated isolation supplies—Isolation supplies within a door caddy that are unused/non-contaminated can be placed in another caddy or be reused. Used and contaminated items should be discarded.
q  Identifying clean items and proper disposal of expired items—Staff should designate equipment as clean/disinfected by storing in a designated area, bagging, etc. Please contact Infection Prevention and Control for assistance. Staff should pay particular notice to used/expired items stored out of place and discard them. Often these items are found in out-of-the-way places and not rotated in the same manner as other supplies.
q  Uncovered linen and storage recommendations for patient foods— Linens should always be covered. Policy C-60 states that stored food taken from a patient’s tray or food brought in from home should be labeled with the patient’s name and date. Patients are allowed to store food for up to 72-hours.

Reporting challenge
Sharon Dunning, R.N., MUHA risk manager, gave an update on the occurrence reporting challenge using the UHC Patient Safety Net (PSN) system between Feb. 8 to March 14.
The effort was created to recognize units and individuals who actively use the PSN system to report medical events—concerns, occurrences, issues or potential errors.
According to Dunning, within the last six years, events with no harm actually accounted for about 40 percent of total reported events. Reporting helps to identify opportunities for improvement (such as systems issues, communication or coordination between department or services) even if there was no actual event or if the event did not reach the patient due to active recovery efforts by staff.
Since the Feb. 8 challenge kick off, organizers have seen a 15 percent increase in reporting from staff. So far, the top reporting units in this challenge are: HCC, ART DDICU, RT Pediatrics Ambulatory Care, MH 9West and IOP 3North. The top reporting individual is: Amy Allen, RT Pediatrics Ambulatory Care.
Second place are: Alice Harris, MH 10East; Annette McCall, IOP; Bonnie Vasenda, HCC; and Catherine Sailors, ART DDICU.
Final winners for both unit and individual reporting will be recognized during Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 8-14.

The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Town hall meetings
The town hall meetings will be held Monday, March 9, 3:30 p.m., IOP auditorium; Tuesday, March 10, 2 p.m., 2W amphitheater; Wednesday, March 11, 7:30 a.m., 2W amphitheater; Friday, March 13, 10 a.m., ART Auditorium; Monday, March 16, 11 a.m., SEI Auditorium; Tuesday, March 17, 11 a.m., ART Auditorium; Wednesday, March 18, 11 a.m., SEI Auditorium; Thursday, March 19, 3 p.m. SEI Auditorium, Monday, March 23, 3 p.m., ART Auditorium; and Tuesday, March 24, 11 a.m. IOP Auditorium.

Friday, Feb. 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.