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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 Jan. 4

To Medical Center Employees:
The Jan. 11 Currents newsletter (issued via mass e-mail but not in The Catalyst) highlighted the driving forces behind the medical center’s (MUHA’s) cost savings initiatives which we refer to as our “5/5 plan.” Our goal is to reduce the cost of care by 5 percent this year and 5 percent next year while continuing to improve quality of care.

Currently the medical center is facing a potential substantial shortfall in Medicaid funding. The medical center’s revenues include approximately $200 million in Medicaid funding which amounts to around 20 percent of our operating budget. To date the state has not identified Medicaid funding for the final quarter of this fiscal year which ends June 30. MUSC leadership is working with state government officials and others to offer recommendations on how to address this issue. In the best case scenario we will have to tighten our belts and operate more efficiently. Additional information will be disseminated as it becomes available.

The medical center, like other hospitals and health care providers, is also preparing for reductions in reimbursement rates in future years as a result of health care reform. These expected reductions underscore our need to be successful now with our cost reduction efforts.

On a related matter, recently a local newspaper article addressed the budgetary outlook for higher education, including medical university (academic component), as the state legislature begins deliberations on the budget for next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The university and the medical center (MUHA) both face financial challenges, but of a different nature.

On a separate matter, as the medical center enters into the middle of our formal annual performance evaluation cycle, we are asking all leaders to conduct “high, middle, low” conversations with staff. HML conversations should be 90+ percent positive. The intent is to express to high performers appreciation for a job well done; recognize middle performers (most of us) for their good work and identify one or two opportunities for improvement; and inform low performers of improvements needed. HML training sessions have been conducted and more training sessions can be scheduled if needed. Tools for use in the discussions are located on the medical center intranet. The medical center HR Department is working with several departments to pilot use of SuccessFactors for the HML process. All HML discussions should be completed by Feb. 28.

For information, contact Helena Bastian (, Karen Rankine ( or Kim Duncan (

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

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty


Melinda Rauton- Biller, R.N., nurse manager, PICU, reported that PICU has had more than 365 days without a central line associated blood stream infection.

Employee of the Month
Katy Kuder, manager, Safety & Security/Volunteer & Guest Services, introduced Lane Elsey, Safety & Security/Volunteer & Guest Services, as the Employee of the Month for December. Elsey arranged for a mother of a pediatric patient to have her hair cut and styled. The patient had been at MUSC for more than a month and didn’t want to leave her daughter. She was nominated by a nurse.

Adult Inpatient Pain Program
Lisa Langdale, R.N., manager, Center for Education and Best Practice, introduced pain resource clinicians Kathleen Price, R.N., and Jayne Quinn, R.N., as the team members for Adult Pain Management. They will cover the university hospital and Ashley River Tower. The coordinating physician is Barton Sachs, M.D., associate executive medical director, Orthopaedic Surgery.

The program focus is patient care and education.

Patient care: consultative service; collaboration with medical, nursing, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychiatric nurse liaison, behavioral health, chaplain and palliative care staff and pharmacological and alternative treatment modalities.

Education: nursing and resident staff and patient and family.

The program will continue to be rolled out by unit. Additional priorities will be a review of pain scales, a review of CATTS lessons, documentation recommendations and staff education.

For information, e-mail Quinn or Price at

Human Resources (HR) update
Helena Bastian, HR director, presented the following topics:

Hiring Justification Process
The hiring justification process guidelines were discussed and details were e-mailed to leaders Jan. 13. Any questions e-mail Lynn Campbell, employment and compensation manager, at or Bastian, at

New Hire Checklist
Leaders were reminded that prior to beginning employment, the following must be successfully completed for new hires: references, criminal background check, education verification, Excluded Parties List System website check and Office of Inspector General Inquiry website check; health and drug screening; Primary Source Verification of Licensure (if applicable); and a current CPR card by the American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers or American Red Cross Professional Rescuer card (as applicable).


  • The next Communications meeting will be held Feb. 1 in 2W Amphitheater.

Friday, Jan. 21, 2011

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.