To Medical Center Employees:
As we close out fiscal year (FY) 2008/2009 I want to thank you for your
dedication and hard work. We began the year with a financial loss of
almost $4 million for the month of July 2008 after being in the red at
the end of FY 2007/2008. Due to the efforts of many, we turned around
our monthly deficits, reduced costs in the neighborhood of $40 million
and increased patient volume. Preliminary financial reports indicate we
will end FY 2008/2009 with a positive bottom line and we are optimistic
about continued progress during FY 2009/2010.
During the year, a number of accomplishments led to our improved
performance. I would like to share some examples of how we have
enhanced our financial performance and operational practices.
We employed a large number of contract staff (e.g., travel nurses) last
year as we staffed the new Ashley River Tower (ART). As of June there
were no contract nursing positions. Our intent is to limit contract
staff to 10 or less in FY 2009/2010.
We adopted new staffing ratios in clinical and other areas to achieve
improved standardization and decrease variance. While this was a very
difficult process, we have improved our scheduling process while also
increasing patient census.
reduced duplication of emergency rooms by closing CMH. This was done
without a significant disruption of emergency services at the
university hospital. We have nearly completed necessary arrangements
with DHEC to soon accept ambulatory patients at ART chest pain center.
During FY 2008/2009 we also focused on medical/surgical supply cost
reduction. Through improved standardization, inventory control and
price negotiations, we are projecting a savings of $5 million in this
Our average census improved with the opening and staffing of all 156
beds in ART. Also, in the university hospital we fully renovated and
reopened 10W, 9W and 9E to provide additional inpatient
medical/surgical capacity. In FY 2008/2009, we observed a 12.8 percent
growth in operating room cases. During FY 2009/2010, renovations will
be completed on 7E in the university hospital to provide much needed
expansion of pediatric beds.
Thanks to the hard work of OCIO, we made significant improvements with
implementation of clinical IT systems within the medical center. Major
progress was observed with nursing clinical documentation, the pharmacy
closed-loop medications applications and the provider order entry
systems. By the end of this summer all of these applications are
scheduled to be implemented in ART. The PICIS peri-operative system is
scheduled to be operational in all operating rooms by the end of
Currently we are in the process of implementing a new employee
evaluation system and compensation plan that will serve us well into
the future. Also, we have gained more experience with our MUSC
Excellence initiatives and this will continue to serve as the framework
for our goal setting, communication and accountability mechanisms.
There were numerous other accomplishments that cannot reasonably be
covered in this report. Suffice to say everyone continued to provide
compassionate and quality care while focusing on opportunities to
improve operational efficiency and control costs.
Finally, on another matter, we continue to receive results from Press
Ganey, our survey firm, on the Employee Partnership Survey. Our overall
participation rate was 66 percent and the mean score was 71.5. At the
July 28 Leadership Development Institute (LDI) a presentation will be
made to the management team on the results. The LDI presentation will
include an explanation of survey format changes made by Press Ganey and
how to interpret the information. We will then make plans to conduct
department-based meetings to roll out the results and develop action
plans. We will also, as in the past, develop an organizationwide action
plan to discuss at future town hall meetings.
Thanks again to all for a job well done.
W. Stuart Smith
Vice President for Clinical Operations
and Executive Director, MUSC Medical Center
People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
Newton, program director at the MUSC Harper Wellness Center, shared
details about the 2009 Fall MUSC Healthy Charleston Challenge, Sept. 10
to Nov. 19. She’s currently recruiting MUHA employees to form teams.
This will be the fourth consecutive challenge managed by MUSC to help
participants achieve weight loss and adopt healthier lifestyles.
far, the program has hosted 260 total participants (from MUSC and the
Lowcountry community) for a cumulative weight loss of almost 5,000
pounds. The 2009 Spring HCC had 11 teams of 10-12 participants and
recorded a total 1,827 pounds lost.
Newton introduced seven MUSC-HCC graduates who talked about their weight loss successes: Katy
Kuder, Tom Hubbard, Christ Murray, Joan Herbert, Pam Smith, Cindy Abole and Yvonne Martin.
Applicants must be 25-plus pound overweight and ready to commit to a weight loss and lifestyle change.
Applications are available at the Wellness Center or registering at http://www.musc.edu/hsc/programs/challenge08app.html. Call 792-4141 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Implementation of compensation program
Bastian, MUHA HR director, addressed managers on the following: PTO
Cash-in incentive will not be available in July, however, it may be
reconsidered for December. Eligible employees will have the option to
request PTO conversion to ESL; in July and December, an eligible
employee may choose to convert up to 40 hours of PTO to ESL; in
order for an employee to convert to PTO to ESL, the PTO conversion form
must be completed and submitted to the respective supervisor/manager;
request forms may be accessed at
request forms should be submitted to payroll by July 17 to be reflected
in the July 22 pay check. For information, contact MUHA Payroll or
July 5, MUHA implemented a new compensation program which is comprised
of market-based competitive pay grades; benchmark jobs have been
assigned to pay ranges based on market pay levels. Non-benchmark jobs
will be assigned through comparison to benchmark jobs in each job
family; MUHA HR has met with directors to review pay grades;
compensation Policy #15 has been modified to reflect the new program.
Online Posting Process
postings were discontinued as of July 1 (with exception to HOP
positions); approval for hire by vice president for clinical operations
and executive director, MUSC Medical Center was discontinued as of July
Policy updates (http://mcintranet.musc.edu/hr/hrpolicies/index.htm)
#4—Employment procedure was revised to reflect the medical center’s new
employment procedures; HR Policy #6—Licensure, registration and
certification verification; HR Policy #32—Visitor and career
exploration program (new).
Thompson, service excellence manager, updated managers on the
implementation. Currently, 339 employees have completed training (62
super-users also were trained and are assisting with employee
Login to be added to MyRecords. By visiting the SuccessFactors Web site
(link on intranet under News You Can Use) employees can view online
training calendar for schedule of remaining classes and drop-in
sessions as well as a goal library achievement guide for help in
entering pillar goals.
Reminders—All employees must have a 2009 performance evaluation on the
“old form” (with exception to employees hired after April 1); employee
position descriptions must be loaded into SuccessFactors by Aug. 31;
all employees must have reviewed/signed their planning stages
acknowledgement forms in SuccessFactors by Aug. 31.
Best work place campaign
Schaffner, Ph.D., R.N., clinical services administrator, and Allison
Livingston, medical center administrative resident, reviewed details
about MUSC’s involvement in the 2009 Modern Healthcare’s 100 Best
Places to Work in Healthcare campaign.
For the second year, Modern Healthcare and the Best Companies Group
initiated this program to recognize national employers in the health
care industry. Benefits for involvement include attracting/retaining
top talent and enhancement of reputation, plus its free to register.
Schaffner helped organize a task force to help guide this effort. There
are two parts to the application: employer benefits and policies
questionnaire; and an employee engagement and satisfaction survey. The
survey will be sent to 400 randomly selected employees for completion.
Livingston urged managers to help promote the surveys and employee
participation. Communication of the survey is being finalized.
To help promote MUSC’s effort, organizers are launching an “I’m Proud”
campaign. Everyone is asked to share why they like working at MUSC and
what makes it one of the best places to work. Participants may share
their thoughts in a 15-30 second recorded testimonials. The videos will
be shared and posted on the MUSC Excellence Web site and possibly used
in employee orientation. Filming will take place in the next few weeks
and at the July 28 LDI meeting.
Standard of the Month—July
Reece Smith, medical center compliance officer, shared the July
Standard of the Month: Confidentiality and Privacy. Employees are
reminded to not share passwords, discuss patient/confidential
information in public areas, place patient information in confidential
shred bins, etc.
Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Haynes, Web resources manager in Business Development & Marketing
Services, spoke about the features and missions of MUSC’s two Web
sites: MUSChealth.com and MUSC.edu.
MUSChealth.com (Business Development & Marketing Services) is the
hospital’s Web site designed for patients, consumers and referring
Goals: increase patient referrals, appointments and revenue for MUSC
Health; secure position as regional leader for Web-based health
information and services; extend care management process; provide
online tools and resources for patients/families; simplify processes
for patient referrals.
MUSC.edu (Linda Austin, M.D., and Mary Mauldin, Ed.D.) serves students,
faculty, employees, researchers, general public, educators, health care
professionals, patients, regulators, news media, etc.
Goals: Recruit students, employees, research and clinical faculty;
promote continuing education opportunities through multiple programs;
improve communications throughout institution; promote statewide
collaborations/partnerships; support research funding/patient
recruitment for research studies; and streamline research
administration operations and support services.
National Patient Safety Goals
Carl Kennedy, Outcomes & Quality Management/Patient Safety and a
member of the Joint Commission Survey Readiness Rounds team, continued
his review of the 2009 NPSGs and best practices. He reviewed elements
of performance goals related to National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) #3:
Improve the safety of using medications.
Elements of Performance: 3.03.01—The hospital identifies a list of
look-alike/sound-alike medications used by the hospital. The list
includes a minimum of 10 look-alike/sound-alike medication combinations
selected from the tables of look-alike/sound-alike medications posted
on The Joint Commission Web site, http://www.jointcommission.org.
The hospital reviews the list of look-alike/sound-alike medications at least annually.
The hospital takes action to prevent errors involving the interchange
of the medications on the list of look-alike/sound-alike medications.
3.04.01—Medications and solutions both on and off the sterile field are
labeled even if there is only one medication being used. Labeling
occurs when any medication/solution is transferred from the original
packaging to another container.
3.05.01—Hospital implements a defined anticoagulation management
program to individualize the care provided to each patient receiving
anticoagulant therapy. To reduce compounding/ labeling errors, the
hospital uses oral unit dose products, pre-filled syringes or pre-mixed
infusion bags when these products are available.
Contact Kennedy, email@example.com or 792-2719.
Altman, MUHA Clinical and Support Services, reminded managers about
proper disposition of expired medical supplies from their respective
areas and costs involved. Altman reminded managers that the removal of
expired medical supply items by clinical staff or any purpose (medical
mission projects, transfer, personal use, etc.) from a facility within
MUHA by anyone other than properly designated Materials Management
staff is a violation of policy. Furthermore, the only cost involved
with expired products is the cost of replacing them with usable
product. Staff are reminded to contact appropriate Central Supply
Departments to arrange pickup and proper disposition of expired medical
supplies – University Hospital/Children’s Hospital Central Supply,
792-3091; Ashley River Tower, 876-7287; and Rutledge Tower, 792-4005.
- The next meeting is July 21.
Friday, July 10, 2009