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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

On April 29 we held our 19th Leadership Development Institute on campus. The LDI served to focus on changes under way in the health care industry, recognition of high performers, cost savings plans and presentations on best practices.

We reviewed progress on our fiscal year 2011 Medical Center pillar-based goals and discussed the work under way to formulate our FY 2012 goals. Dr. Pat Cawley, executive medical director, updated the participants on the Quality and Revenue Link as we posture ourselves for changes in reimbursement. Chris Rees, director, Quality & Patient Safety, and Jennifer Hooks, manager, Performance Improvement, recognized a number of individuals who have completed LEAN training during the past several months.

We had a good update on our 5 & 5 cost savings plans, which we have routinely reported on in this newsletter. Casey Liddy, director, Office of Strategic Planning, explained that our goal is to reduce the cost of care by 5 percent this year and 5 percent next year, during the FY 2009 base period, for a total reduction of $100 million while improving quality of care. For purposes of this initiative, our costs are measured by cost per adjusted discharge and our goal is an overall reduction from $16,686 to $15,018 by the end of FY 2012. To date we can document a reduction in costs of slightly more than1 percent. While our savings to date is less than we had hoped for, it is noteworthy that we absorbed normal inflationary costs and a pay adjustment since the 2009 base period. We expect to see more results from our cost savings plans in the months ahead.

At the LDI we heard 5 & 5 cost savings plan presentations from leaders who have achieved impressive cost savings to date. Karen Weaver, director, Surgical Services, and Jeff Fuller, analytics manager, discussed cost savings initiatives taken by Perioperative Services. Their success to date is attributed to physician collaboration, working specialty groups, data transparency, and an emphasis on teamwork. They described examples of two of their cost savings initiatives focused on supply chain management and instrument inventory optimization, but have seen positive outcomes in a wide variety of initiatives this fiscal year, including vendor contract renegotiation, OR efficiency (room turnover), inventory management accuracy and other tactics. They described the secret to their success as setting out to maintain or improve patient care quality while increasing efficiency and reducing waste. As a result, this year Perioperative Services has achieved a 3.4 percent cost savings to date (approximately $1 per OR Minute) and they expect to fulfill the 5 percent goal by the end of this fiscal year.

Nancy Reilly Dixon, director of Laboratory Services, emphasized two key approaches to laboratory cost savings: elimination of waste and improved utilization. For example, Laboratory Services has focused on referral testing cost containment, discontinuation of unnecessary testing, improved management of blood products and other tactics.

Laboratory Services has realized a year to date savings of $677,046 in lab supplies and has decreased lab costs per adjusted discharge by 2.4 percent compared to FY 2009. Achievement of the 5 percent goal is expected this fiscal year as blood product and test utilization strategies are implemented

We heard from two leaders who have led implementation of best practices that have improved service and quality of care. Hope Colyer, manager, Referral Services, discussed progress made to date with the pilot centralized discharge call program, which currently includes nine units. The centralized calls program has enabled calls to 100 percent of discharged patients with a "reach rate" in the 90 percent range. Key information is obtained from patients and, as needed, physicians and other care providers are contacted for follow up. The information collected from the calls is reported in the electronic medical record.

Mike Sawin, nurse manager, 10W, also presented the discharge process implemented on 10W. Sawin explained that Performance Improvement Facilitators, Stephanie Sargent and Rob Finch, were instrumental in getting the project started and with keeping the 10W team on track. The team examined all phases of the discharge process and, among other things, created a discharge board for each patient room and a checklist. The results have included significantly decreased time for discharge, more timely bed turnover, and dramatically improved HCAHPS and patient satisfaction scores. Our goal is to use 10 West's discharge process as a model and roll it out throughout the hospital(s).

Three leaders regarded as "employee engagement pacesetters" shared the methods they have used to achieve high employee partnership scores. Leah Ramos, 9E nurse manager, discussed how her focus on generational differences has enhanced communication and satisfaction. Carla Pascoe, nurse manager, 7E Pediatric Surgery, discussed initiatives taken to elevate employee engagement including recognition, teamwork and pride. Richard Smith, general manager, Environmental Services, shared with the participants an array of best practices to improve employee engagement including meaningful staff meetings, "daily energizers," EVS newsletter, Stoplight Reports and other tactics.

The outstanding presentations at this LDI speak to our collective efforts to achieve cost savings, improve quality of care and enhance employee engagement. The presentations can be found at
. Thanks to everyone for a job well done.

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

People–Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Regine Honore, director of the Supply Chain, and Robin Graham, Ascent Healthcare Solutions, presented MUHA with the 2011 Healthy Hospital Gold Award for utilizing reprocessed devices with a cost savings $1,070,063. MUSC's efforts diverted more than 10, 623 pounds of waste from area landfills. HBC/ART represented 49 percent of overall savings.

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

HR Policy #34, Position Elimination (formerly Reduction in Force) – Streamlined the policy and procedure. HR Policy #34 may access on the HR Web site at

Completing the PEAR Form in UMS Training Class
May 18 -- 9 to 11 a.m., Library, Room 438

HRIS will guide participants in a step-by-step thorough completion of the Pair Form, Universal Management System

Main topics targeted for discussion – new hires, hours/fund changes, transfers, & separations/terminations
Sign up via CATTS

For information, contact Tyrish Page, 792-0838,

Employees are reminded to complete the 2011 Employee Partnership Survey, until
May 13

Benefit of the Month – May
Employee Perks & Discounts – MUSC Employees receive discounts from many vendors including Charleston County Parks, Riverbanks Zoo, South Carolina and Georgia Aquariums, Cruise Planners, car and hotel rentals, Carowinds, Biltmore Estates and much more. See the complete list via the MUHA intranet.

Working Well Program
Susan L. Johnson, Ph.D., MUSC Employee Wellness, and Jen Wright, South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA), spoke about a three-year, statewide hospital employee wellness project involving MUSC and other hospitals, called Working Well.

The $1.2 million grant, awarded last December, is sponsored by the S.C. Hospital Association, Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina and and North Carolina Prevention Partners (NCPP) and funded by the Duke Endowment. Working Well began with an assessment of all hospitals, sharing of executive summary report cards, survey results and introduced at the SCHA's February annual meeting. The survey focused on policies, environments and benefits related to physical activity, nutrition and tobacco prevention.

MUSC's overall grades were compared to other statewide hospitals: physical activity- F, (statewide, C-); nutrition-A, (statewide, C); and tobacco, D (statewide, B-). The program now focuses on creating a physically active workplace, healthy food environments and comprehensive tobacco cessation programs.

To help track MUSC's progress, program organizers will utilize surveys, survey results and assessment tools from WorkHealthy America, NCPP and SCHA. Work committees will be formed and an action plan being designed.

OCIO downtime
Dave Northrup, director of Clinical Systems-OCIO, announced an upcoming main data center planned downtime beginning at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 14, to 7 a.m., Sunday, May 15. The downtime is needed to repair, test and rectify the campus' main data center's battery back-up system. During this 12-hour campuswide computer system downtime period, all clinical and non-clinical information systems will be unavailable with some exceptions. Systems that will be available during the downtime: all phone systems (except wireless IP phones), fax machines, Internet (using a different Web browser), wireless network, will have an info maintenance page only, SIMON Paging Services and OCIO help desk, 792-9700. All hospital areas must be prepared with downtime procedures. The Red Coat team will distribute inpatient downtime reports prior to outage. Once the power is restored, time will be needed before systems are fully operable.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Erica Rouvalis, chair of the patient safety and mobility committee, recognized excellence through the Firm Ground Fall Prevention program's WOOF (With Out One Fall) Awards The quarterly award recognizes units with the fewest falls in the past three months, year and most improved for preventing falls. The winners were honored April 11 -- 5West, fewest falls (four quarters), 2TCU, fewest injuries associated with falls, and ART 6EX, most improved.

Mark Lyles, M.D., returns to MUSC to assume the new role of chief strategic officer for the MUSC Clinical Enterprise. Lyles will work with MUHA leadership working with the College of Medicine and University Medical Associates leadership in managing all aspects of MUHA affiliations with other health care systems and hospitals. He previously worked at the American Association of Medical Colleges as senior director of health care affairs.

The next meeting is May 17.



Friday, May 6, 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.