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Currents April 21

To Medical Center Employees:
On April 24, our management team, including nearly all medical center supervisors with responsibility for hiring and performance evaluation, will take part in our thirteenth Leadership Development Institute (LDI). This LDI will be conducted on campus and will serve to provide an update on our MUSC Excellence goals and progress, and to focus upon best practices to create a culture of patient safety.
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 of this LDI will be “Constructing a Safe Environment.” Our guest speakers will include Wayne Frazier, Senior Safety and Mission Assurance Manager for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Rich Bluni, Studer Group speaker and author of Inspired Nurse. Frazier will discuss “Culture of Safety Benchmarking” and Bluni will address practical actions that can improve quality and safety. Our guest speakers have volunteered their time.
On another matter, at the April 21 communications meeting, Lois Kerr, Accreditation Manager, gave an update on the key issues we must thoroughly address to fulfill Joint Commission standards. The Joint Commission’s practice is to conduct unannounced surveys. We expect the Joint Commission survey team to arrive anytime between now and March 2010. Highlights of Kerr’s presentation are included in this newsletter. For additional details,  contact Terri Ellis, Joint Commission Coordinator, at 792-5106 or
Finally, the medical center will conduct its annual Employee Partnership Survey from April 27 through May 8. Press Ganey, a national survey firm, will compile the data. As in the past, the survey will be conducted through the Internet.
I will be issuing an e-mail to all medical center employees on Friday, April 24 to highlight opportunities identified in last year’s survey and to share progress made on this year’s organization-wide action plans. Managers also will be receiving a survey information packet to share with staff.
Individuals’ survey responses will be confidential and anonymous. Everyone’s participation will be greatly appreciated. We anticipate receiving the final survey reports from Press Ganey in June. The results will be widely disseminated and action plans developed.
Thank you very much.

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Meredith Strehle, Reward & Recognition team leader, recognized Employees of the Month winners.

Estelle Horlback, Environmental Services (Hollings Cancer Center), was recognized for an Applause Award for assisting and caring for a fallen patient. Horlback stayed with the patient and escorted her to her appointment.

Heather Ketchabaw, Heart & Vascular Center, was recognized for rendering assistance to a patient’s family member while visiting ART.

Mark Fennessey, Facilities Management-Central Energy Plant, was honored for providing assistance to an employee after hours.

HR update
Employee Partnership Survey— Scheduled for April 27 to May 8. Employees will receive an e-mail from Stuart Smith announcing the survey and encouraging employee participation on April 23. Managers will be receiving departmental packets and also may access survey information on the MUHA LDI Web site.

National Hospital Week (May 10-16)
  • May 11: Administrators/directors/managers greeting for morning and afternoon shifts at main entrances
  • May 12: Costco and Sam’s Wholesale visit (university hospital and ART), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • May 13: Wellness Wednesday – Staff massages in ART, Children’s Hospital lobby and IOP, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • May 13: Ice cream social for night shift (ART, university hospital and IOP), 10:30 p.m. to midnight.
  • May 14: Annual bake off—Participants must pre-register and entries should be submitted between 1:30 and 2 p.m., university hospital cafeteria. Judging is at 2:30 p.m.
  • May 15: Annual photography contest (Children’s Hospital lobby)—Entries should be submitted to MUHA HR by May 6), Judging is 2:30 p.m.
  • Additional information  for Hospital Week 2009 will be e-mailed or posted on the MUHA intranet.
Performance management process update
The kick-off meetings, which took place last week, were successful. The project will now move forward at a fast pace. System will incorporate components of the revised Performance Management Policy and new evaluation forms (as recommended by the design team). Testing in specific areas will follow. HR will continue to report on the project’s progress.

Benefit of the Month—May
MUSC Harper Wellness Center—Employees are eligible to receive a complimentary week pass during May. Employees who tour the facility can register to win a 30-minute massage or a one-month membership. Visit or call 792-5757.

Islet Cell Transplant program
Amanda Budak, R.N., Digestive Disease Center Islet Autotransplantation program coordinator, reviewed details of MUSC’s breakthrough with the state’s first autologous islet cell transplant for a patient with chronic pancreatitis. The patient, a woman from Aiken, had a total removal of her pancreas and isolation of the insulin-producing islet cells, which were then transplanted into her liver on March 9.
The procedure benefits patients diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, an inflammatory disease that renders severe, chronic intractable pain. One option for treatment of the disease is a total pancreatectomy. The disease affects eight to 10 new patients per 100,000 people per year; incidence rate has quadrupled in the last 30 years; occurs more in males than females (2:1 ratio); and shortens life expectancy (5-year survival rate, 65 to 80 percent). Candidates for pancreatectomy surgery are individuals with severe, intractable pain from chronic pancreatitis that is unresponsive to medical management.
A challenge with total pancreatectomy is that it renders the patient as a brittle diabetic, leaving the patient with no glucose control and severe type 1 diabetes. The islet cell transplant prevents this since the islet cells, which are responsible for producing insulin, are extracted from the patient’s own pancreas, which is surgically removed. Next, an interventional radiologist, using fluoroscopy, reintroduces them into the liver where they lodge into blood vessels and begin producing and releasing insulin, providing the patient with some level of glucose control.
To date, MUSC has successfully treated three patients.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Lois Kerr, accreditation manager, unveiled results from March’s mock survey and identified key issues in preparation for the next Joint Commission survey visit. Specifics included mayday carts and adult/peds strength dosing; HR competency files; electronic documenta-tion-systems downtown procedures; medication management processes (high alert medications; medication verification process; meds labeling and safe administration of meds); 2009 National Patient Safety Goals (patient identification; handoff communication; time out/universal protocol and handwashing); Provision of care (initial assessment, reassessment, plan of care, restraints, pain management, operative/procedural progress notes and continuity of care); environment of care (safety/security risks, managing risk, fire risk and free/unobstructive access to exits), documentation (verbal orders time/dated, informed consents, updated history/physicals, MR entries time/dated, illegible handwriting and discharge planning) and patient confidentiality.

Joint Commission survey readiness rounds—patient safety
Carl Kennedy, Outcomes & Quality Management/Patient Safety, reviewed specifics about patient safety as part of the Joint Commission Survey Readiness rounds. He reviewed recent actions across the enterprise relating to patient safety: posting of 2009 NPSG posters (bright yellow); implementation of American Hospital Association’s patient wristbands system (yellow-fall risk, red-allergy, and purple-advanced directives/DNR); collaboration with infections prevention projects and anticoagulation treatment (recent hiring of Charles S. Greenberg, M.D., Division of Hematology/Oncology and consult team leader for coagulation problems).
Kennedy also emphasized the benefits of hand hygiene and its origins with Hungarian-born physician Ignaz Semmelweis, M.D., who discovered hand washing as a way to prevent the spread of disease and infection, especially in patient care areas.
Critical Testing/Critical Values was identified as a centerwide issue by the Joint Commission. When information is documented, both time and date information should be recorded. This is needed to help track compliance and ensure that necessary treatments are performed. Reporting Patient info—ensure that systems and back-up practices are in place; medication safety—ensure that time and date are listed in a medication label; reconcile medications; time out— conduct pre-procedure verification process.
Finally, Kennedy reminded all medical center staff to attend the “Culture of Safety” presentation featuring National Aeronautics and Space Administration staff who were involved in quality/safety issues following the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia disasters. The talk reviews lessons learned and how it can apply to health care. Presentations are 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. and 2:30 to 3 p.m., April 23, Baruch Auditorium. For information, call 792-2719 or e-mail

Norma Jean Cole, R.N., is the new assistant nurse manager in 1W Adult Emergency Department. Cole worked previously at the Chest Pain Center at ART.

The next meeting is April 28.

Friday, April 24, 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.