MUSC The Catalyst
MUSC arial view


MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsCatalyst PDF FileMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause

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


Currents Aug. 18

To Medical Center Employees:
At the Aug. 18 Communications meeting, Lois Kerr, accreditation manager, updated the management team on the results of the Joint Commission recertification survey of our Stroke Program. The survey was conducted Aug. 17 and 18.
According to Kerr, the preliminary survey results as reported by the Joint Commission surveyor indicated “no requirements for improvement.” The surveyor stated we have a “strong program” led by exceptional physicians and clinical staff. Our Stroke Program leaders and staff, according to the surveyor, have done an exceptional job of caring for stroke patients, incorporating the National Patient Safety Goals, and improving performance to drive excellence. Congratulations to the leadership and staff of our Stroke Program.
On another matter, over the past year outpatient services and Heart and Vascular Services continued to achieve exceptional patient satisfaction scores while some other areas observed a need for improvement. During the past several months we refocused our efforts to achieve our overall 80th percentile patient satisfaction score goal through emphasis upon hourly nurse rounding, daily nurse manager rounding on every patient, discharge phone calls and other “Must Haves” including AIDET.  To date this fiscal year, those efforts are making a positive difference and we are seeing improvements. For adult patients discharged from the University Hospital and ART since July 1 their level of satisfaction has shifted from the 41st to the 95th percentile. 
Other examples of exceptional patient satisfaction results include the Pediatric Emergency Room which ended the fourth quarter (June 30) with a 99th percentile patient satisfaction score, and their July 1 to date rank remains at the 99th percentile. Congratulations to Julie Heckman, nurse manager, and her staff.  Also, Ray Manigault, radiology director, and the radiology managers and staff have done a great job with taking their outpatient patient satisfaction results to a new level for this highly competitive service with a 68th percentile rank (mean score 92.7) for July 1 to date. 
I ask that everyone focus upon the patient satisfaction results for your particular clinical or support service. 
Finally, plans are being made to conduct medical center town hall meetings in September and early October. The schedule is indicated below except for department-based town hall sessions scheduled separately. Additional details concerning the agenda will be issued soon.
Thank you very much.

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

Town Hall Meetings
Sept. 16:
7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., SEI Auditorium; Sept. 18: 11 a.m., 2W Amphitheater; Sept. 25: 10 a.m., IOP Auditorium; Sept. 28: 2 p.m., SEI Auditorium; Sept. 29: 3 p.m., ART Auditorium; Sept. 30: 11 a.m., ART Auditorium; Oct. 1: 3:30 p.m. IOP Auditorium; Oct. 2, 11 a.m., SEI Auditorium

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Colleen Corish, R.N., clinical services director, Oncology and Medical Surgical Services, recognized 7W nurse manager Kathy Wanstall and staff relating to a Wins letter written by the family of an oncology patient who received care at MUSC this spring. The family thanked 7W staff for their outstanding care, superior sense of compassion and family-like concern for their family member who recently died.

Employee of the Month – August

  • Jason Santana, Pre-Op Surgery patient representative, helped ease the anxieties connected with surgery for a patient and his family. He was attentive, kind and responsive to all of our needs and treated us like family, wrote the patient in a thank you letter. (by Peggy Anthony, nurse manager of ART surgical services)
  • Cindy Plutro, LSW, a social worker at IOP’s STAR Ladson Day Treatment Program, was recognized for providing the highest quality care and service for her patients. Plutro helped an anxious STAR patient who was hospitalized by visiting her daily after her workdays. She’s also helped patients receive YMCA summer scholarships, therapeutic horseback riding lessons and other activities. Since 2006, the STAR facility has recognized two employees of the year nominees and multiple employees/physician of the month awards. (by Harriet Cooney, IOP interim administrator)
Conflict of Interest disclosure

Reece Smith, medical center compliance officer, reviewed details with Conflict of Interest disclosure process for MUHA employees. MUSC’s Board of Trustees mandated the disclosure within the past year. The disclosure process has already has been rolled out to the University and UMA and will be rolled out to MUHA in September. The disclosure process will be available via a training module in CATTS that will lead users to a disclosure survey. The training module reviews the institutional policy on conflicts,  defines terms and provides guidance on appropriate disclosures. Disclosure surveys will be reviewed to determine if there is a need for further action. Employees should not report any salary from the MUSC enterprise on the disclosure survey. Questions regarding this process should be directed to the compliance office, 792-7795.

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


  • Signed Planning Stage Acknowledgement forms are due Aug. 31. Currently, 17 percent have already been completed.
  • SuccessFactors Employee Drop-In Sessions: Noon to 3 p.m., CSB Rm. 220, Friday, Aug. 21; 8 a.m. to12:30 p.m., Aug. 25; Noon to 3 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27. We will not be presenting formal training at the employee drop-in sessions. Instead, employees will be assisted with log in and  viewing/signing the Planning Stage Acknowledgement form. If your employees would like to attend a session, please make sure to verify and send the form to the employee in SuccessFactors prior to attending so that the form will be available for them to view. We also are distributing instructions to the employee at the sessions on using the Notes feature to track progress throughout the year using SuccessFactors.

 People Admin Online Process

  • The new People Admin Online posting process has cut the turnaround time from request to posting from 16 days down to nine days.

 Management orientation

  • Required for LDI attendees within six months of hire (includes interim positions).
  • Session 1 (Aug. 21), 8:30 to 3:30 p.m., 2West Classroom; Session 2 (Aug. 27) and Session 3 (Sept. 3), 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Library, Rm. 437.

Service – Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence
Pam Pride, M.D., interim director of hospital medicine, reviewed details for MUSC’s private hospitalist service. The program is an inpatient service run exclusively by attending physicians and unlike typical general services. This service was established to help meet the needs of general medicine patients throughout all areas of the hospital.

 MUSC’s hospitalist team includes 10 physicians. In September, the team will welcome Rogers Kyle, M.D., as the new program director and newcomer Leigh Vaughan, M.D.

The service uses the same attending physician on days (from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Monday to Sunday. A different physician will cross-cover the service at night (7 p.m. to midnight). An attending is available 24 hours a day through the paging operator or Simon Web. Hospitalist physicians expect to be called at any time regarding urgent patient care issue and are prepared to return to the hospital whenever necessary.

Because this service takes many calls/pages throughout the hospital, Pride reminded managers to verify if patients are assigned to either the general medicine or private service care. Bed control or the attending physician should know this information. Finally, Pride encouraged staff to continue using the SBAR model for communications. She recognized TCU nurse manager Polly Guffin and her staff who have worked closely with this service and may possibly answer any questions. Contact Guffin at or 792-8014.

Quality – Providing quality patient care in a safe environment

Kathie L. Hermayer, M.D., medical director of the Diabetes Management  Service and chair of the hospital’s Diabetes Task Force, and Pam Arnold,  APRN, diabetes management program director, spoke to managers about progress of the hospital’s inpatient diabetes certification efforts. Upon certification, MUSC would be the first academic medical institution to receive Joint Commission inpatient certification for diabetes care. Hermayer shared stats from a Diabetes Care Journal (December 2009) reports that diabetes care costs are projected to escalate from $132 billion (2002) to $351 billion (2025) in the United States, that’s 1 million Americans per year new diagnosis of the disease per year. Additionally, the estimated cost of diabetes in 2007 is $174 billion, of which half is attributed to hospital care.

There are six disease-specific specialty (advanced) certification programs: primary stroke center, inpatient diabetes, COPD, chronic kidney disease, VAD for DT (destination therapy) and lung volume reduction surgery. As part of inpatient diabetes certification, MUSC (main hospital, ART, IOP and Peds) must: designate a program champion/champion team; staff education in diabetes management; medical record identifies diabetes (existing or newly diagnosed), plus meet other criteria.

Benefits of certification will: improve quality of patient care; provides an objective assessment of clinical excellence; requires a systematic approach to clinical care; creates a loyal, cohesive clinical team; promotes a culture of excellence across organization and facilitates marketing, contracting and reimbursement.

MUSC has submitted the initial application to the JC and is preparing to submit second phase of the application (performance measures) in preparation for a sight visit in December or January.

Arnold recognized a multidisciplinary inpatient diabetes certification team, which involves nursing, dietary, pharmacy, laboratory, patient safety, administrative support and other department.

Chest Pain Center awning
Sandy Gould, R.N., Adult ED and Chest Pain Center nurse manager, updated employees about the ART awning/overhang to accommodate ambulances. The project should be completed by the end of August/September for DHEC licensing and approval. All EMS ambulance calls will continue to be received by 1W Trauma ED and appropriately directed to either the main ED or Chest Pain/ART ED.

Joint Commission Jeopardy
Linda Formby, R.N., Infection Prevention and Control manager and Carl Kennedy, Outcomes & Quality Management/Patient Safety, reviewed both JC infection control and 2009 National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) questions featuring a fun, interactive Jeopardy quiz.

This week’s game challenged the audience with questions about hand hygiene, isolation, patient food refrigerators and supplies. Other questions reviewed NPSG Goals #13 – encourage patient’s engagement in their care; Goal #15 – Reduce the risk of suicide; and Goal #16 – Medical Emergency Team calls, 792-2333.

To review the 2009 NPSGs visit

Christine Williamson, information services/infrastructure information group, presented material about using SecureMail for e-mails outside of campus.

SecureMail does not require additional software or a pass phrase or key to access secure files. To read secure messages, the recipient will create an account on MUSC’s IronPort server and use an account to see any MUSC secure message. 

To send a message, a user will:

  • Enter the words, [SEND SECURE] (including brackets), in the subject line of a message.
  • Or go to the “” and use your NetID to log in.
  • Can send attachments (encrypted), as well.
  • Send a warning to the recipient (first-time) that they will receive a SecureMail message, although it is not required.

 Recipients will:

  • Need to adjust the browser (i.e. change security settings to “medium” or “enable cookies for third parties”).
  • Open the attachment.
  • Establish the account or log in, if account exists.

 Recipients can reply to the user from within the system, but cannot forward the message. Recipients cannot add people to the reply. The message is sent only to the recipient. Users will receive a message confirming sent messages in the Exchange in-box or go to SecureMail to manage messages sent. For information, visit

The next meeting is Sept. 1.

Friday, Aug. 21, 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.