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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 19

To Medical Center Employees

One of the medical center’s MUSC Excellence guiding principles is to communicate with everyone throughout the organization. In an article on powerful communication tips, Quint Studer, CEO & Founder of Studer Group, stated that “communication” separates high performing individuals and groups from lower performers. Timely communication is essential.

We use a number of methods to promote communication including this Currents newsletter. This newsletter serves to highlight information presented at the biweekly medical center management communication meetings. All managers are expected to follow up and share relevant information discussed at the management communication meetings during their departmental meetings and in other forums.

In the past we have posted the communication meeting presentations on medical center Intranet Managers’ Toolbox. In the near future we will begin posting this material on the medical center MUSC Excellence website for easy access by everyone. 

At the July 19 communication meeting, Helena Bastian, medical center HR director, updated the management team on the performance (“merit”) pay plan. Through the dedicated efforts of employees throughout the medical center we have made reasonable progress on our overall organizational performance, while feeling the strain from the economy at work and in our personal lives. Most recently our board of trustees approved funding, amounting to approximately $5 million, to enable modest but market-competitive performance pay adjustments which will mirror the university’s plan.  Details are included in this newsletter. It is my hope that next year we can construct a performance pay plan closely connected to accomplishment of our goals, including performance pay rates directly tied to pre-determined financial thresholds.  

I want to congratulate the Pediatric Emergency Department patient satisfaction team for their outstanding work. Julie Heckman, Pediatric Emergency Department and North Area After Hours Clinic manager and team leader, gave an update at the communication meeting on the creative efforts of the team which has resulted in sustained exceptional patient and family experiences as reflected in high patient satisfaction scores. Additional details are included in this newsletter. Other patient satisfaction team leaders will also periodically report their progress at the communication meetings.

We have yet to finalize all data for measuring progress toward our fiscal year (FY) 2011 pillar-based goals, but all indications are we will achieve our hand hygiene goal.  For FY 2011 our goal was 75 percent compliance with a stretch goal of 90 percent. Hand hygiene is measured through secret shopper audits, Infection Prevention and Control audits and unit-based monitoring. As of mid-June our compliance rate was 82.4 percent. We expect to continue to elevate hand hygiene compliance as four task forces around hand hygiene roll out their action plans in the months ahead.

As we wrap up FY 10/11, I want to thank everyone for your dedicated service and compassionate care.

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

People–Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Lois Kerr, accreditation manager, announced progress with the ongoing accreditation of MUSC's Chest Pain Center by the American Society of Chest Pain and the Joint Commission's visit for the accreditation for the advanced diabetes certification survey.

Casey Liddy, MUHA Strategic Planning director, announced that as of January, the hospital's accrediting program began reporting to the office of Strategic Planning, which included the process of managing medical center policies. This change helps ensure Joint Commission and legal review prior to a policy being posted and also approved by the appropriate body (hospital administrative, MEC, etc.). A new email address was created for inquiries and information at

The Strategic Planning Office was tasked to communicate with external regulatory bodies (Joint Commission, CMS, etc.) on a number of issues. Many departments deal directly with specific accrediting bodies. As policies go up for review, Strategic Planning wants to be a resource for departments regarding legal and regulatory portion of the review to ensure standards and organizationwide and department policies are aligned.

On another issue, PPRs are due. An accreditation regulatory committee is currently working on conducting a review of various hospitalwide policies.

HR update

  • Performance evaluations: Due Aug. 31; Planning stage forms are due Sept. 30; Employees hired on or after April 1 will not receive an evaluation during this review period
  • Sectional Weights of Performance Evaluation: Position description (descriptive/not rated); Behavioral standards section – staff: 50 percent weight; leaders: not weighted (meets requirements/does not meet requirements); Job competencies section – not weighted (meets requirements/does not meet requirements); Job responsibilities section – staff: 25 percent weight; supervisor/coordinator: 25 percent weight; manager, director and administer: not weighted; Pillar goals/weights – staff: 25 percent weight individual goals; supervisor: 75 percent weight individual goals; manager: 70 percent individual goals/30 percent organizational goals; director and administrator: 50 percent individual goals/60 percent organizational goals
  • Reminder SC Employee Insurance Program (EIP) is requiring verification of dependents' eligibility for insurance coverage. For information, visit
  • Internal references: Hiring manager's responsibility to conduct an internal reference check on employees apply for transfer jobs or promotions; Current manager must be factual when providing an internal reference
  • Fiscal year 2011-2012 pay plan: MUHA is pleased to announce that plan will pay for performance increases; Cost to implement is approximately $5 million; Link to detailed pay plan may be accessed via HR Policy #15-Compensation, Section C; Increases effective Oct. 9 will be automatically adjusted and reflected in Nov. 2 payroll check (providing available funding); No PEARS for other transactions with same effective date will be accepted
  • FY 2012 Pay Plan — Eligibility: An employee will be eligible for performance pay increase when the following criteria are met: successful completion of probationary period; rating of "consistent" or "mentor" on all behavioral standards; rating of "meets requirements" on job competencies; and overall 2.5 rating or higher on job responsibilities; Probationary employees employed prior to Dec. 31, 2010 will be eligible for a 1 percent pay adjustment (providing available funding); Probationary employees hired on/after Jan. 1 are not eligible for pay adjustments; HR should be notified if an increase needs to be withheld due to poor performance for probationary employees; Payouts may not be awarded in specific situations, such as demotion or voluntary acceptance of a position in a lower pay grade
  • Lump sum bonuses: Employees whose base salaries are at/near pay grade maximum will have their base rate brought up to current pay grade maximum and be eligible to receive remaining monies in a performance pay lump sum; Employees whose base pay is at or above pay grade maximum may be eligible to receive a one-time bonus in accordance with performance rating (pending Authority's ability to fund)

Benefit of the Month
Smoking Cessation & Lung Health – State Health Plan & BlueChoice offer the Quit for Life program, which is free to subscribers and dependents. Visit or call the SC Tobacco Quit Line, a free service to all SC residents. Smoking Cessation Program classes also are offered at $25 per class. Call 792-1245 or

Finance – Providing the highest value to patients while ensuring financial stability
Stephen Hargett, medical center controller, reported for the period ending May 31 FY 2011 and FY 2010.
Through May 31 FY 2011, the medical center finished at $23.2 million (slightly off from $23.4 million budgeted). MUHA's unrestricted cash and days cash on hand is $38 million (goal: $40 million), with 14.5 days cash on hand. Hargett attributes the failure to meet goal was due to the state's quarterly uninsured payment was delayed because of cash issues. He assured the audience that money will come in July's last Medicaid remittance along with the Medicaid managed care payment.

Service – Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence
Geoffrey Cormier, University Press graphic design manager, announced updates to the website for customer orders. Cormier, who leads a team of graphic designers, has been working to improve the site to make it more customer-friendly. Customers can, in real-time, create and design print objects and customized orders via (available via the intranet). A product list includes business cards, custom quoting for specific jobs and more. The website utilizes MUSC's graphic standards for all project templates. Lately, Cormier's group has collaborated with the hospital's medical forms committee to update and confirm proper OTC 700-series medical records forms. For information, call 792-8866.

Peds ED Service Team update
Julie Heckman, R.N., nurse manager of the Peds ED and new Children's Hospital After Hours Care, reported that for the past three years, the department has successfully achieved and surpassed its patient satisfaction goals (80-plus percentile) using Press Ganey ratings. Their team—an active, multidisciplinary group of nurses, tech staffs, housekeeping and physicians— relies on outside-of-the-box thinking and planning. Together they achieve action plans, divide and conquer projects via sub-committees, focus on nursing leadership and rounding, follow up on progress. They also support reward and recognition through a sunshine fund that recognizes birthdays, MD day, ER nurses/tech week, hosted fundraisers, use of thank you notes and sharing of wins.

Action O-I reports for the quarter ending June 30 is now due to be in the system by Aug. 18. As a reminder, everyone should review their characteristic questions and occupation codes due to changes in the past 18 months. Upcoming Action O-I classes will be offered at 1-4 p.m., July 29 and 8-11 a.m., Aug. 3, Room 271, university hospital. Additionally, Ambulatory Payment Classification (APCs) were added to the clinic areas for the 2010 calendar. For information, call 792-8793 or e-mail

The next meeting is Aug. 2.



Friday, July 22, 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.