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Currents July 21

To Medical Center Employees:

MUSC has had a number of major wins recently and you probably have read about these wins in the newspaper and internal publications.
As a testimony to MUSC’s exceptional clinicians and other faculty, we were ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals by U. S. News & World Report in six categories including rheumatology, digestive diseases, kidney, ENT, gynecology and respiratory. The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources recently awarded MUSC $20 million in funding over the next five years through its Clinical Translational Science Award to support clinical trials and greater access to patients for promising new treatments. Premier Healthcare Alliance chose MUSC as one of 23 top hospitals for its Quality Award which recognizes superior quality and operational efficiency. The American Hospital Association selected MUSC as one of 27 hospitals receiving the Triple Performance Award for Stroke, Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Failure. (MUSC received the gold award in each of the three categories). Finally, the 2009/2010 listing of Best Doctors in America includes more than 100 MUSC physicians.
On July 28 our management team, including nearly all medical center supervisors with responsibility for hiring and performance evaluation, will take part in our 14th Leadership Development Institute (LDI). 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 “Recipe for Excellence.” Our guest speakers will include Faye Sullivan, Studer Group coach, and Lisa Daul, principal consultant, Press Ganey. Sullivan has been working with us for nearly four years, knows our organization well and is regarded as a top Studer Group coach. Daul has been our key Press Ganey contact for our employee partnership survey during the past two years and we have been highly impressed with her ability to explain the survey results and to help us focus on opportunities for improvement.
Sullivan will discuss methods to enhance communication. This is a topic that our leaders have requested. Key points will include methods to deliver messages, seeking input, coaching and recognition.
Daul’s presentation will include an explanation of the partnership philosophy including employee satisfaction and employee engagement. She will discuss changes to the survey instrument made by Press Ganey this year.
In the weeks following the LDI, managers will be presenting the Employee Partnership Survey results to their respective departments and will involve everyone in development of department-based action plans for improvements. We will also be discussing the survey results at future medical center town hall meetings.
In the meantime, I have been reading Employee Partnership Survey narrative comments. The survey enables comments concerning “best thing about working for this organization” and “how we can improve working conditions.” Survey participants made 2,325 comments (some multiple comments) on the best things and 2,257 comments (some multiple comments) on how we can improve. Improvements suggested include a range of topics such as cafeteria matters, computer issues, equipment needs, supplies, housekeeping, funding for continued education. I take these comments seriously and will follow up as best possible.
At MUSC we have much to be proud of as indicated by some of the wins noted above. We have gotten off to a good start in fiscal year 2009/2010 and I am optimistic about the future. Thanks to all for your dedication and hard work.

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Meredith Strehle, chairperson for MUHA Excellence’s Rewards and Recognition team, introduced the MUHA Employees of the Month:

Ron McKinney, Hospital Security, helped a hospital patient from Greenville by giving him $5 from his own pocket to purchase coffee and a newspaper during his hospital stay. His wife mistakenly left him without any money. The patient was grateful for McKinney’s generosity.

Nathaniel Williams, Central Energy Plant, assisted a visitor who had dropped her cell phone under the conservatory stairs. Williams tried a number of items before successfully using a broom handle to retrieve the phone.

Strehle reminded managers that final voting for MUSC Medical Center Employee of the Year concludes July 22. Rewards & Recognition team members will coordinate the final tally from intranet votes. A ceremony to recognize the winner and nominees will take place at 2 p.m., Aug. 5, Colbert Education Center & Library.

Lot G closure
Melinda Anderson, director of the Office of Parking Management, reviewed details with the closure of patient parking lot G. Anderson thanked hospital employees for their cooperation and help in the recent transition relating to patient, staff and student parking on campus. Employee after-hours parking was moved to Rutledge Tower garage.
Student after-hour parking also relocated to the President Street employee garage with the Rutledge Tower garage as alternate. Parking management will continue to monitor any issues related to parking in this area throughout the construction of MUSC’s new Drug Discovery and Biomedical Research buildings. Anderson also is encouraging any employee feedback. The department is now working to accommodate oversized vehicles (6 foot, 8-inches and taller) within patient parking garages.

Human Resources update
Helena Bastian, MUHA HR director, reviewed the following reminders:

  • HR conducts  background checks on all applicants, which includes references, criminal background check, education verification and OIG check on medical center's new hires.
  • A hiring department may conduct a supplemental reference check (in addition to the checks required by HR). However, all supplemental references conducted by a department should be documented and forwarded to Human Resources.

2009 Employee Partnership Survey results

  • Press Ganey will send an e-mail to managers/directors during the week of July 20 to instruct them how to access workgroup results. Managers/directors may have already received their report from their department/unit Super User.
  • 2009 Press Ganey will present the Employee Partnership Organizational results at  the July 28 LDI. A breakout session is scheduled to address department/unit rollout and action plans.

July Benefit of the Month—SuccessFactors
MUSC has revamped the Performance Management Process and implementing the new online performance management system called Success-Factors.
SuccessFactors will:

  • Increase fairness and consistency of reviews so that everyone will be reviewed at the same time, using the same format, in one system.
  • Create a strong connection between MUSC goals, leader goals and employee goals so that everyone is working to achieve the same outcomes.
  • Give MUSC the ability to clearly differentiate between low and high performers, so that high-performing employees can be rewarded.
  • Reinforce the importance of the Standards of Behavior—all employees should be evaluated on the same standards.

Performance Evaluations—Transition to Universal Review Period reminders

  • 2009 staff evaluations are due Aug. 31 (for all employees hired prior to April.
  • Completed (electronically signed) Planning Stage Acknowledgement forms in SuccessFactors are due Aug. 31.
  • Leadership evaluations are due Sept. 30.

Data Requests process
Casey Liddy, manager, Business Development, discussed details with a new MUHA Data Request Process to help centralize requests for information and data among departments and units.
This project is led by a six-member Data Request Workgroup, which includes Liddy. The effort builds upon MUHA’s quality process that’s already in place. It routes all requests through a central mechanism—Web-based request tool (no more phone calls); database of all requests (helps identify need for standard reports) and prioritizes requests by organizational need.
Liddy reviewed the criteria for prioritization which includes hospital-wide initiative/issues, significant financial and patient impact, evaluation of time/resources necessary to complete project; level of request and executive discretion. Data resources that currently use the system: Finance & Administration, Business Development, Quality & Patient Safety, clinical services (operating room, pharmacy, radiology lab, etc.).
A committee will review requests. Requests will be routed electronically to the appropriate department. Users can track requests as it moves through the process.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Karen Weaver, R.N., director of surgical services, introduced Lee Moody, with Ascent Healthcare Solutions, who recognized MUSC with their 2009 Healthy Hospital Gold. Moody presented MUHA Stuart Smith with the award plaque. Each year, Ascent Healthcare Solutions recognizes hospitals for achieving outstanding sustainability results relating to supply cost savings and reductions in environmental impact through remanufacturing/reprocessing. MUSC reduced its supply costs by $753,118 and kept a total of 1,845 pounds out of local landfills.

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 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) and best practices featuring a Jeopardy format Patient Safety quiz.
Kennedy conducted a comprehensive review of NPSG to date starting with Goal #1—Improve the accuracy of patient information; Goal #2—Improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers (hands-off communications); Goal #3—Improve the safety of using medications (medication safety and anticoagulation therapy) and; Goal #7— Reduce the risk of health  care associated infections (proper handwashing and implement best practices).
Kennedy thanked Nancy Tassin and Stacey Seipel for sharing the Jeopardy format to conduct this review.
To review the 2009 NPSGs visit


  • Marilyn Schaffner, Ph.D., R.N., clinical services administrator, thanked John Frankliln, director of support services, for following up on the MUSC Rumor Mill request to place blankets in all patient rooms.
  • Barrie Tyler, respiratory therapist, is the new manager of the Bronchoscopy Lab, Sleep Lab and PICC Lab. Tyler has served in several roles in the respiratory department and was previously interim manager.
  • Lisa M. Langdale, R.N., was named the manager of MUHA’s Center for Professional Development and Clinical Educational Resources. Langdale replaces Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., who is now the associate chief nursing officer at NCH Healthcare Systems in Naples, Fla.
  • The next meeting is Aug. 4.

Friday, July 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.