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


Currents Aug. 4

To Medical Center Employees:
There has been a good deal of internal communication concerning the medical center’s new performance evaluation policy and system. Our Employee Partnership Survey results during a three year period have indicated improving the evaluation is a top priority. One of our organizationwide action plans included an overhaul of the performance evaluation policy and tool.
At this time we are making the conversion from the old policy to the new policy and system. More than 350 supervisors and super users have completed training on how to use the new system. Instructions have been issued to supervisors to complete all staff evaluations due and to prepare the new evaluation planning stages by the end of August. This is a labor intensive process and everyone’s cooperation is needed.
The new policy and evaluation form were developed with the help of a design team consisting of key representatives from medical center divisions. The new policy includes some aspects of the “old” form, but there are some significant changes. The policy includes emphasis on behavioral standards, job-specific competencies, job responsibilities and pillar goals for everyone. For staff evaluations, behavioral standards will be weighted 50 percent, job responsibilities 25 percent (plus a minimum score of 2.5 will be needed) and pillar goals 25 percent.
One significant change to the evaluation will be that all staff will have two goals. The staff goals should be related to their supervisor’s service, quality or finance pillar goals. We expect to do a better job of frequently communicating and sharing of progress toward achieving unit and organization-wide goals.
Another significant change is all evaluations, including planning stages, will be on-line. A new system, called Success Factors, is now live and supervisors are to load planning stages by the end of August. Employees will be asked to verify their planning stages. 
We will have a universal fiscal year review period for all staff, from July 1 until June 30. Supervisors will have approximately sixty days to complete evaluations, but should be knowledgeable of performance throughout the year. Performance (merit) increases will be given, when funding is available, in October each year. The policy includes instructions on cut off dates (evaluation periods) for employees in their initial year of employment. The fiscal year 2009/2010 pay for performance plan provides additional details (see reference below) concerning performance pay for employees in their initial year of employment.
Last year due to our financial constraints the medical center was unable to fund performance related increases. (The university or academic division was required to award some merit adjustments at that time as mandated by the state plan). This year, as we prepare for conversion to the new policy, the performance ratings and associated increases will be based on the “old” policy and evaluation form. Plans are to award performance increases to medical center employees effective the pay period beginning Oct. 11 (Nov. 4 pay date) at 2 percent (meets), 3 percent (exceeds) and 4 percent (substantially exceeds). For additional details, see the fiscal year 2009/2010 pay for performance plan link in the HR Compensation Policy #15 on the medical center intranet.
Casual drop in sessions have been scheduled as indicated below to give employees a chance to check out the new evaluation form and system. An example of the new form is now posted on the Human Resources Web site at Also, you will soon be able to check out your evaluation planning stage acknowledgment by going to My Records on the medical center intranet. 
The recently revised H R Performance Management policy # 16 can be located in the policies section of the medical center intranet at No substantive changes are planned for this recently revised policy, but some fine tuning to certain terminology is planned to relate specifically to the most recently installed Success Factors system.

Moving into this new evaluation process will involve a learning curve, but I am confident it will greatly improve communication and accountability. As we move forward, we will also be rolling out additional Success Factor tools that will supplement the evaluation system and improve recordkeeping.

Thank you very much.

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

SuccessFactors Employee Training and Drop In Sessions
Aug. 17, 8 a.m. – noon; Aug. 19, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.; Aug. 21, Noon – 3:30 p.m.; Aug. 25, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; and Aug. 27, Noon – 3:30 p.m. All sessions are in Room 220, Clinical Sciences Building.

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Erica Rouvalis, Physical Therapy manager, recog-nized Carolyn Cuttino, R.N., a retired wound ostomy nurse, for her significant contributions for advancing the knowledge of wound care. Cuttino, who works temporarily with Physical Therapy, recently published an article in Supplement to Ostomy Wound Management and received the Yvonne Fowler Founder’s Award at the Symposium for Advanced Wound Care. She is recognized as a founding member of this organization According to Rouvalis, Cuttino has been responsible for educating more than 40,000 health care professionals in the U.S. in the area of wound care and is described by her peers as a dynamic, passionate presenter and excellent educator and mentor.

Trident United Way
Sally Burnette, Trident United Way (TUW) Day of Caring coordinator, praised MUSC employees for their commitment with TUW’s Day of Caring projects. For several years now, MUSC employees have contributed to the Charleston community by supporting the environment, homelessness and housing, safety and disaster preparedness, domestic violence, education, abuse and neglected children, basic needs, hunger, community development, elderly, youth, literacy and wildlife. Burnette recognized employees from more than a dozen MUSC departments as participants with the Day of Caring.
In 2008, MUSC was among 5,500 people from Tri-county businesses to help with Tri-county Day of Caring projects. For 2009, the Day of Caring is Sept. 11 and Burnette encouraged employees to join one of sponsor two teams. Registration is Aug. 18. Visit

Health 1st
Annie Lovering, Health 1st coordinator, reported on the progress of the StairWell Project, an effort funded by a grant and originated from a Centers for Disease Control & Prevention project that renovated workplace stairwells that promotes more active healthy behaviors such as employees using the stairs instead of elevators. This effort helped renovate the Parking Garage II stairwell (President and Bee streets) by enlisting the talent of two Lowcountry artists, Jordan Petri, a College of Charleston student and Marv Pontiff, a community artist. Both painted murals promoting healthy daily activities. A part of the project allowed the monitoring of stair usage. In eight weeks, employee activity in the stair wells increased by 390 percent.
Lovering collaborated with Business Development/Marketing Services staff to prepare an online registration tool via to support the Aug. 27 Employee Worksite Screening (blood draws for blood chemistry profile, lipid profile, hemogram and other test options) from 7 to 11 a.m., Ashley River Tower.  Employees can register at, then connect to Worksite Screening. Registration deadline is Aug. 24. Contact Lovering, 792-1245.

HR update
Helena Bastian, MUHA HR director, reviewed the following reminders:
  • Evaluations for all employees hired prior to April 2009 is due Aug. 31.
  • Signed planning acknowledgment forms (SuccessFactors) for all employees are due Aug. 31.
  • Good communications is key in educating staff on this new evaluation tool.
Separation notices
  • Original form, with supporting documentation, should be sent to HR.
  • A copy of the form should be sent to payroll for processing. Payroll separates employees from the system.
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., 2W Classroom; Session 2 (Aug. 27) and Session 3 (Sept. 3), 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Library, Room 437.
Tobacco Use Certification
  • Must be completed/submitted to state’s Employee Insurance Program (EIP) by Nov. 15.
  • Employees may complete certification online via My Benefits on the EIP Web site.
  • EIP updates My Benefits program when certifications are completed.
  • Failure to submit a completed form by deadline will result in a $25/month surcharge effective Jan. 1.
  • Questions, contact Mark Stimpson, 792-0320 or Cindy Locklair. 792-8108
August Benefit of the Month— MedUNurse
MedUNurse is available to answer an employee’s health-related questions on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Users can call Health Connections, 792-1414 or 1-800-424-MUSC or re-mitt their questions to

LEM direct result entry
Joan Herbert, organizational performance director and coach, spoke about an LEM pilot. New version of LEM has a new functionality that allows data owners to enter results in leader report cards from a central point.
Quality department will pilot this new functionality for the next six months. Organizers will evaluate leader satisfaction, nature of calls for assistance and time demands on data owners.
Data entered during pilot project is any quality data generated centrally (i.e. infection rates, CMS indicator compliance rates, glycemic control, PSN occurrence reporting and fall reduction numbers. The quality department will input this data on a quarterly basis, although some info is submitted on a monthly basis. Departments will will need to continue entering data generated from their own areas themselves. Additionally, inter-departmental service survey data will be input by the quality department.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Maggie Bobo, quality improvement director, Mid-Atlantic affiliate of the American Heart Association (AHA), recognized MUSC with the AHA’s Get with The Guidelines (GWTG) Gold Performance Achievement Awards for coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart failure. GWTG was established to empower health care providers in saving lives; reduce health care costs and empower patients to take responsibility for their own health.  GWTG tracks evidence-based medicine data used for saving the lives of patients who’ve had a heart attack, stroke or heart failure. For 25 consecutive months, MUSC has maintained data and achieved an 85 percent or greater compliance on every evidence-based measure for heart failure, stroke and CAD.
Stuart Smith accepts the AHA's Get with The Guidelines Gold Awards from Maggie Bobo Aug. 4.

Bobo presented the awards to MUSC Medical Center executive director Stuart Smith. Bobo also cited that in July’s US News & World Report edition, MUSC was among 25 hospitals in the state recognized for continually using all three AHA GWTG modules, plus achieved in the top performance level.
In 2009, MUSC received more than $2 million in funding support. Smith reminded managers that AHA also receives help through fundraising including the proceeds from their national Heart Walk program (scheduled for the Lowcountry in 2009 on Sept. 26). Contact Karen McAllister at 876-4568.
Joint Commission Jeopardy
Marilyn Schaffner, Ph.D., R.N., chief nursing officer and clinical services administrator, and Carl Kennedy, Outcomes & Quality Management/Patient Safety, reviewed both the Joint Commission nursing standards and 2009 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) using a fun, interactive Jeopardy quiz. Participants answered questions about the hospital’s nurse executive, plus that individual’s role with the medical executive committee and quality council. Schaffner reminded managers that many of the nursing standards may overlap into some of the Joint Commission’s leadership standards.
Kennedy challenged the audience with a review of NPSG goals featuring Goal #8—medication reconciliation; Goal #7 —Reduce the risk of health care associated infections (proper hand washing and implement best practices); Goal #3—Improve the safety of using medications (medication safety and anticoagulation therapy); and Goal #9— Reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls.
To review the 2009 NPSGs visit

The next meeting is Aug. 18.

Friday, Aug. 7, 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.