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


Currents  March 16

To Medical Center Employees:
Thanks to all who attended the recent town hall meetings. We had 16 sessions from Feb. 18 until March 9 and 1,003 individuals attended. The March 5 issue of The Catalyst included a summary of the town hall presentations. We expect to kick off another series of town hall meetings in mid-June and hope to improve attendance. 
The town hall evaluations included a number of positive comments concerning the format and content of the meetings. Clearly having adequate time to wrap up the meeting with questions and answers is an improvement. Anyone who has suggestions for continued improvement to the town hall meetings should contact Joan Herbert (
On another matter, at a recent medical center Leadership Development Institute, I recapped our four years of accomplishments with our MUSC Excellence initiatives and discussed next steps. The MUSC Excellence plan for the remainder of this calendar year will include continued focus upon the work of the Service Excellence Teams; accomplishment of our pillar-based goals ( or; sustaining high quality LDIs while conducting additional in-house training; and addressing priorities identified by an organizational assessment and our patient satisfaction results. These priorities include:
Global priorities

  • Development of new and existing leaders: Reintroduce Evidenced-Based Leadership tactics and strategies to leaders; Enhance training including  quality-related training
  • Accountability: Leaders’ Monthly Meeting Model ; Interdepartmental Survey Process; Renewed focus upon everyone’s goals; High/Middle/Low Conversations and Follow up
  • Front-line Staff Education
  • Discharge Calls
  • Rounding on Employees/Link Rounding to Recognition and Education on Burning Issues
  • Enhance Education and focus upon HCAHPS
  • Focus upon Reducing Readmissions
  • Improve Inpatient Discharge Process

Targeted priorities

  • Unit/Department Specific: Focus on areas with low patient satisfaction results; Develop action plans and hold accountable
  • IV Issues (address poor patient satisfaction results)
  • Others as needed

We have done a good job in sustaining progress with our MUSC Excellence goals and initiatives. This is all about creating a great place for patient care, for physicians and other clinicians to practice medicine and teach and for you to work. 

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Jamie Nettles, R.N., Rutledge Tower Team 1 Clinics, was praised as the March Employee of the Month for her job commitment and 100 percent attendance since beginning her employment at MUSC last May. (by Rosemarie Battaglia, R.N.)

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

KRONOS update
It is the manager’s responsibility to verify in/out time for all home and transfer in employees (using the time clock). There is a new Genie program on KRONOS screen for this. As a reminder, it may take a few minutes for the employee list to populate on the screen prior to using this option. Managers should check information at least once during the pay period, especially before the biweekly payroll cut-off time. For more information, call 876-8744.

Primary Source Verification
Primary Source Verification (PSV) must be obtained on or prior to the expiration date. (i.e. South Carolina R.N. license expires April 30. PSV must be obtained prior to this date).
Expiration dates for R.N.s with compact state licenses may be different from South Carolina.
A copy of the online verification or copy of the current license with verification info documented on the copy must be maintained in the unit/department file.
Verification info is entered into staff qualifications database.

Employee Partnership Survey (April 12-23)
E-mail from Stuart Smith announcing the survey (April 8); Packets available (April 9); Information posted on LDI Web site; Utilize your department’s action plan Stop Light (staff accomplishments); Encourage staff participation and survey confidentiality

Employer of Choice Service Team—Nicole Bernier and Tammy Rapp, co-chairs; Kelly Cave, Shirley Dias, Sarah deBarros, Contrenia Haynes, Octavia McLeod, Joyce Rivers Miller, Jacquie McRinna, Annie Steele, Audrey Wilder, Meredith Woods, Yvonne Martin, Ali McAbee and  Meredith Strehle

New Hire Reception (celebrating 90 days at MUHA) occurred March 10. Next reception from 1 to 2:30 p.m., June 16, ART Auditorium

Other initiatives—MUHA HR newsletter (located at MUHA HR Web page and MUHA intranet); Welcome postcards to new hires; rounding on new hires; 2010 Hospital Week Activities (May 9-15)

Fit Test training
MUSC Occupational Safety conducts training for MUHA Fit Testing trainers; Managers with employees are required to be fit tested to recommend individual for training; Upcoming sessions (also available via CATTS): 9 a.m., March 22, 2W Classroom; 1 p.m., March 25, Room 2408, ART; 9 a.m., March 26, 2W Classroom. To register, call 792-1260

New HR e-mail addresses—For inquiries, employees may use

Turning a Battleship Crisis
Marilyn Schaffner, Ph.D., R.N., clinical services administrator and chief nursing officer, and Casey Liddy, director of MUHA Strategic Planning, presented at March 9 at the University Health System Consortium and again at the meeting.
Schaffner spoke about how hospitals are focused on cost control and that it is a leadership focus. An American Hospital Association survey reports that 90 percent of U.S. hospitals made financial cutbacks to address economic concerns.
Liddy reviewed MUSC’s situation and the need for growth. In 2008, Ashley River Tower opened with 156 new adult medical/surgical beds. The recession hit at the same time. South Carolina was in transition with its Medicaid program  from a fee-for-service to an HMO model. In 2008, the hospital experienced a financial loss due to new capacity and expenses, unexpected flat growth and no revenue leading to projected losses for 2009.
To turn things around, hospital leaders focused on standardization to decrease costs. A leadership team was formed to meet daily to examine the situation and adopt a strategy to move forward. Leaders examined staffing, agreed on definitions, metrics to measure success, etc.
The team needed to provide data and tools for staff to use. Leaders provided data using a 12-week report of staffing variance to areas; reviewed productivity reports, ancillary services, etc. They also used an 8 & 10 percent budget reduction plan. Hospital leaders also closed the emergency room at Charleston Memorial Hospital and relocated hematology and oncology to ART and the Transitional Care Unit to the main hospital allowing for growth in the organization.
Throughout this crisis, MUSC remained focused on the patient and improving the quality and delivery of excellent patient care. Meanwhile, the hospital will continue to focus on patient satisfaction, quality and finances, plus evaluate other issues including the nurse manager work loads, etc.

Friday, March 19, 2010

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.