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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



To Medical Center Employees

We are continuing to make progress with drilling down on our 5 & 5 plans as discussed in previous Currents newsletters and the town hall meetings. The plans are intended to reduce the cost of care by 5 percent this year and 5 percent next year while improving quality of care. We are using our IMPROVE performance improvement tool to structure and track our cost savings plans. Our goal is to reduce cost within two years by 10 percent, which amounts to approximately $100 million, while providing quality care and protecting jobs. We are compelled to reduce costs of care due to Medicaid funding reductions expected in the immediate future and because it is anticipated that health care reform at the national level could adversely affect reimbursement levels later.

Of significance is Medicare's public report card of hospitals' core clinical measures and HCAHPS (consumer assessment) results which will have a direct bearing on our reimbursement levels in the future. While all details have not been resolved, it is expected that hospitals' performance beginning July 2011 and later will impact their Medicare reimbursement levels.

On a related note, we continue to make progress with an array of MUSC Excellence-related initiatives which complement and support our efforts to reduce costs while improving quality of care. We are now in the process of updating our yearly MUSC Excellence work plan and priorities. In the near future this newsletter will include updates on the various teams. We have more than 15 active Service Excellence teams in place and numerous other work groups that are doing very impressive work.

For example, the centralized discharge call program pilot project involves seven clinical units and is doing an excellent job. The discharge call program has achieved a 99.8 percent call rate and 86.4 percent reach rate for discharged patients, with documentation and follow up on clinical issues identified. Also, a First Impressions Team was created several months ago to implement training and standards to ensure for an excellent patient and visitor experience. This team consists of employees from a number of service areas which play key roles in creating first and lasting impressions including: patient transportation, outreach clinic receptionists, parking attendants, valet parkers, information desk, patient and family shuttles, retail dietetic services, environmental services and other areas.

Finally, I want to thank everyone for your work toward enhancing our HCAHPS results. For the period of October 2010 to January 2011 our overall HCAHPS (inpatient adults) rating, as reported through the AVATAR patient satisfaction survey, indicated 81 percent of survey respondents rated the Medical Center a 9 or 10 on the ten point rating scale. We have opportunities for improvement within the various categories of the survey, but our overall results have improved from a 77 since the April 2009 to March 2010 time frame. Our current results position us very favorably compared to other hospitals throughout the state and nation, but we realize all hospitals are improving.

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

People–Fostering employee pride and loyalty

pillarEmployees of the Month

Michael Townsend, Neurophysiology Lab, went the extra mile in preparing an exam room and equipment for a last-minute patient. His extra efforts saved time for both the patient and practitioner and led to an overall positive patient experience. Nominated by Adam Kornegay.

Vanessa Stewart, Volunteer & Guest Services, was praised for helping a Rutledge Tower patient replace the lens on a pair of glasses. Stewart escorted the visitor to Storm Eye Institute and stayed with the visitor until the glasses were repaired. Nominated by Katie Kuder.

Renotia Fludd, Volunteer & Guest Services, was recognized for her work as a house concierge helping patients and their families. Recently, she helped a family locate special parking their Winnebago van. After calling the City of Charleston's mayor's office, she was able to locate parking within the vicinity of the hospital. Nominated by Contrenia Hayes.

Infection Prevention Awards
Linda Formby, R.N., manager for Infection Prevention and Control, and Cassandra Salgado, M.D., hospital epidemiologist, joined the hospital's infection preventionists – Mary Allen, Wanda Beardsley, Bernadette Garry, Pam Fogle and Beth Rhoton -- in recognizing excellence in reduced infection rates for 2010. Units were evaluated using specific criteria in their areas for reductions in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) infection rates and central line associated blood stream infection rates (CLABSI). Awards were presented to HCC—7West; MSK—10West and 2JRU; SACC—6West and STICU (reductions in four areas); Children's—PICU, PCICU, 7East and 7A; Neurosciences—9West and NSICU; MACC—8W and MSICU; Heart & Vascular—A3WX, CCICU, CTICU, A5EX; and DDC—A6EX and A6WX.

AHA Stroke Gold Award
Maggie Bobo, director of quality improvement for the American Heart Association (AHA), shared achievements with the AHA's Get with the Guidelines (GWTG) Program's 2011 Performance Achievement Awards. MUSC achieved the AHA's Gold Sustained Plus Achievement Award in stroke, the program's highest level. In 2006, MUSC began with the GWTG stroke program guided by then stroke program manager Chris Zensen, R.N. The hospital won the bronze award in 2007, a silver award in 2008 and gold plus award in 2009. Last year, MUSC won the triple-gold plus award for care in coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure patients.

MUSC's performance and best practices will be recognized in U.S. News and World Report magazine's best hospitals edition.

Additionally, MUSC began new GWTG programs in target strokes and resuscitation to help track in-house cardiac arrest, rapid response team activation and acute respiratory compromise.

Bobo presented the award to the stroke program team and praised MUSC's teamwork and dedication as they continue to provide excellent, quality care for patients.

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

Kronos Timekeeping –
Managers and/or timekeepers need to review "transfer in" reports in Kronos to ensure that employees entered correct cost center numbers when working additional shifts in other departments
• Visit the link in the payroll Web site under "timekeeping procedures" and review with timekeepers how to check for employees transferring into their departments
• For information, contact Vickie Nash, 876-8744

SuccessFactors Training
360 Peer/Staff Review – March 22, 1-2 p.m., Room 440 and April 4, 10-11 a.m., Library, Room 436

2011 Employee Partnership Survey—May 2-13
MUHA is preparing for the survey and anticipates packets to be available the week of April 24.
• Survey letters will be sent to all employees hired on or before Jan. 31.

March for Babies Campaign
Deb Browning, R.N., Perinatal Service Line clinical director, introduced Meredith Repik, March of Dimes Lowcountry Chapter executive director, who spoke about fundraising and the 2011 March for Babies Charleston campaign. Since 2008, the March of Dimes has donated about $950,000 to MUSC to help fund research. This year's event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. April 30, Cannon Park. Registration is at 8 a.m. with the walk and stroller parade to follow. Visit

• Volunteer & Guest Services will feature its vendor sale on MUSC's portico, March 21-23The next meeting is April 5.
• Next meeting is April 5.



Friday, March 18, 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.