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MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause


Currents July 20

To Medical Center Employees:
At the July 20 management communications meeting, Joan Herbert, director of Organizational Performance, gave an update on the medical center’s action plans for our MUSC Excellence initiatives for Fiscal Year 2010-2011. These action plans, which ultimately support our MUSC Excellence goals, were developed as a result of an organizational assessment conducted in January 2010. The assessment identified opportunities for improvement or gaps in our hardwiring of best practices.
The opportunities for improvement include global (organizationwide) and targeted (unit or service specific) priorities. Each administrator currently serves as a team champion or team member for a global or targeted priority. Progress reports on all of the priorities are being routinely made to the medical center administrative team. Highlights of these progress reports will be included in this newsletter throughout this year.
In her July 20 comments to the management team, Herbert reviewed the global priorities including: accountability; employee orientation and development; leader orientation and development; discharge phone calls; and rounding on employees. She specifically addressed the action plan for accountability
The accountability action plan creates a monthly reporting dashboard that summarizes leaders’ (coordinators, managers, directors and administrators) completion of key evidence based leadership behaviors. The dashboard includes: rounding on employees; interviews with new employees at 30 and 90 day intervals; timely completion of quarterly action plans; internal customer rounding (for leaders who have this as a goal); and for clinical areas, daily leader rounds on patients and post-discharge phone calls. Leaders are being asked to begin using the electronic posting system (LDI Database) now and to have the dashboard reporting hardwired by the end of September.
We have made good progress with our MUSC Excellence initiatives over the past four and one- half years. Our initiatives include an array of behavioral expectations and proven best practices. Our overall goal continues to be to create a great place for patients to get their care, for employees to work, and for physicians and other clinicians to practice medicine and teach.

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Employee of the Month

  • Nicole LaRose, a pediatric occupational therapist, was recognized for her dedication to a 3-year-old spinal cord injury patient by providing a custom-made bike for the child. LaRose coordinated with a charity to fund and build the bike and presented it to the child and his family (by Ann Benton).
  • Kelly Dent, R.N., Pediatric HemOnc, was recognized for her leadership and organizational skills with the Children’s Ambulatory Service’s R-3 (recruit, retention and recognition) committee. The group was formed to promote staff cohesiveness and recognize employee excellence. Dent helped organize several hospital recognition days including Dr. Seuss Day Celebration (March), Doctor’s Day (April), Pediatric Registration Staff Recognition Day (April), Nurse’s Day (May) and other activities (by Rosemarie Battaglia).
  • Ella Mae Bennett, a clinical counselor for teens at Children’s Day Treatment Program STAR North, was honored for her dedication to teens involved with this program. Bennett’s initiatives help motivate group members and make them feel cared about and successful, according to her nomination. Her ability to relate to the teens and their parents and provide them good care is a model example of Excellence (by Mary Deas).
  • Sheila Prynkiewicz, Pediatric ED, was praised for her work in developing the Peds ED Sunshine Fund recognizing coworkers and extending to patients for birthdays and other occasions. The effort is supported by area physician groups and others. Prynkiewicz also established a Sunshine Communications Board in the unit that displays news and details about employees. All these initiatives have improved patient and staff satisfaction as well as reduced employee turnover (by Julie Heckman)
  • Cameron Mitchum, R.N., 1W, was recognized for helping a homeless man who was treated and released at MUSC. Mitchum found the confused man on an MUSC bus and offered to assist and escort him to the homeless shelter. Using her own money, she aided him by providing transportation and food (by Pam Smith).
  • Fredrika Wright, Hollings Cancer Center Housekeeping staff, was praised for assisting a visiting researcher retrieve and return some lost personal items, which included some identification, money and other documents, back to a visiting researcher. The visitor was grateful and thanked Wright. This is the third time Wright has been recognized for her deeds as Employee of the Month (by Bob Hood).

HR update
Helena Bastian, MUHA HR director, and Kim Duncan, HR information systems manager and SuccessFactors project manager, reviewed the following details:

  • Performance Evaluation and Fiscal Year 2010-11 Pay Plan Education Sessions (Leaders) – 9:30 a.m., July 26, ART Auditorium; 1 p.m., July 28, 2W Classroom; and 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., 2W Classroom. Additional sessions may be available by request. Contact Bastian,
  • When interviewing internal applicants, contact current manager or contact Human Resources for reference.
  • In compliance with FLSA, hourly employees must be compensated for any work performed. No working “off the clock.” If meal breaks are interrupted, employees should complete time sheet and be compensated

SuccessFactors update

  • Market adjustment is fixed if employee hired on or after July 1, 2009.
  • Employees hired on or after April 1, 2010 will not receive a review for 2010.
  • Aug. 31 due date for reviews and planning forms 
  • User guides and online tutorials are available on Web site
  • Register for a class via CATTS
  • Save and close until pillar goals results are updated
  • Pillar goals for leader in LEM and SuccessFactors
  • Use group goals to share goals with staff
  • Sort using inbox by employee name to organize forms

Short term disability insurance
Mark Stimpson, HR benefits manager, spoke to managers about a new short term disability insurance benefit to replace the current product. He reminded employees that short term disability insurance is not a standard state benefit and that MUHA HR is offering this as a one-time, open enrollment event for employees.
According to Stimpson, approximately one-third of working Americans, ages 35-65, will suffer from a 90-day disability. Short-term disability insurance provides assistance to covered employees in the event of accident or illness that extend past one week in duration. This non-taxable benefit complements the State’s long term disability plan as well as pays benefits on approved claims after a 90-day medical-related absence.
Short-term disability insurance is provided with American Fidelity, an A+ rated company by AM Best. It offers a one-time open enrollment period through the end of July allowing employees to secure up to $3,000 per month in insurance without evidence of good health. This insurance covers for a three-month period per disability (one month benefit paid on pre-existing conditions) and has a seven-day waiting period on accident and sickness.
This insurance is available to all employees officially scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week and cannot apply beyond 60 percent of an employee’s basic monthly earnings.
Definition of a disability is occupation specific—meaning the claim approval is based on an employee’s inability to perform the material duties of his/her job.
Premiums are based on three age categories, three occupation classes and the  amount of monthly benefit selected – rates do not increase with age. Example: Occupation Class 2 includes RNs, LPNs, CRNAs, nurse practitioners, medical techs, lab assistance, pharmacy techs, X-ray techs, physical therapists, paramedic, etc. Pay check deduction will be—RNs, ages 18 to 49 ($1,000 p.m. = $14.90); RNs ages 50 to 59 ($1,000 p.m. = $17.20); and RNs ages 60 plus ($1,000 p.m. =$21.60).
For information or to request a benefits coordinator, call Cindy Locklair, 792-8108 or the benefits desk, 792-0826.

Patient education awards
Patrick Cawley, M.D., Medical University Hospital executive medical director, presented the quarterly patient education award to Kelly Crowley, PharmD, Ambulatory Pharmacy Services manager. Crowley was recognized for her leadership and dedication with the Pharmacy Alert Project under the GetWell Network.
Started as a pilot project, the program questions patients regarding their medications prior to discharge and is open throughout the medical center. So far, it has generated more than $214,000 in revenue.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Joan Herbert, MUHA director of organizational performance, reviewed details of the 2010 MUSC  Excellence Work Plan. In January, leadership reviewed details of a self-assessment and feedback from patients and service teams to establish action plans and set new global initiatives. They are accountability, employee orientation and development, leader orientation and development, discharge phone calls and rounding on employees. Herbert’s talk focused on the area of accountability.


  • Pam Marek, Decision Support Services manager, reminded managers that it’s time again to submit Action O-I data for the quarter ending June 30 (2010-Q2). The data is due in the system by Aug. 15. Training on data entry for Action O-I data will occur from 1-4 p.m., July 29, University Hospital Room 271; 8-11:30 a.m., Aug. 3. For questions, contact Marek, 792-8793 or Pager ID #11821.
  • Peggy Thompson, director of Patient Accounting and Revenue Systems, updated managers about progress made with Chamberlin Edmonds, who serves as patient advocacy for uninsured and underinsured patients collaborating within her department. To date, they have assisted 750 patients and family members regarding Medicaid and disability issues. Thompson recognized the teamwork of this effort including financial counselors, case workers and others in resolving issues. 
  • Heart Walk Hustle will occur Sept. 10 at the MUSC Horseshoe and ART entrance and mezzanine. In an effort to form teams and raise funds, there will be two kick-off planning meetings from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 23, Children’s Hospital, Room 841 and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 2, ART Auditorium.
  • Employees are encouraged to support the Ronald McDonald House’s 1st annual Wear a Shirt—Provide a Place Campaign, as part of  its communitywide initiative. T-shirts ($10 each) will be on sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., July 28 and Aug. 5 at the Children’s Hospital Lobby.
  • Tom Robinson, is the new business development manager in the IOP.
  • Cindy Little, R.N., is the new nurse manager for 8E/Medical Acute Care Unit. Little joined MUSC on July 5.
  • Stephen Schaer, R.N., is the nurse manager of the Medical University Flexability (Meduflex) team, Meduflex is the former house option pool, which was renamed mid-June. Schaer, who has been with MUSC since 2007, was formerly a pediatric med-surg staff nurse in 7E.
  • Michael Sawin, R.N., 10W nurse manager, has resumed his role as 10W nurse manager with the Musculoskeletal Service Line. Sawin just returned from a military deployment in Afghanistan.
  • The next meeting is Aug. 17.

Friday, July 23, 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.