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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 Aug. 16

To Medical Center Employees
At the Aug. 16 communications meeting Joan Herbert, director and coach, Organizational Performance, and Pat Gaylor, Safety & Quality specialist, updated the management team on the action plans for Employee Partnership and Culture of Safety surveys. The purpose of the action plans are to focus on opportunities or priorities indentified by the survey findings.

For the past six years the medical center has developed organization-wide and department-based or work group action plans for the Employee Partnership survey. This year, we are combining the action plans for the Employee Partnership and Culture of Safety surveys.

Tool kits, training and individual consultation sessions will be provided to managers to help with formulation of department-based action plans. The status of all action plans will be reviewed at least quarterly by department leaders and hospital administration. We will also report progress at our town hall meetings. Additional details are included in this newsletter.

On another matter, Melinda Anderson, director of Parking Management, reminded the management team that an expanded shuttle service (operated by Meducare) for employees began Aug. 1. This pilot shuttle service is in response to interest expressed by employees and provides a transportation link between employee worksites and on-campus employee parking locations from 5 to 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to midnight weekdays throughout August. The planned stops include Clinical Sciences Building ramp, Bee Street garage, ART and Courtenay garages and others stops on demand. To date, there has been very limited use of this expanded shuttle service and I want to be sure that word gets out.

After 30 days the pilot will be evaluated for expansion, modification or cancelation. The existing shuttle bus service linking the campus with off-site parking locations operated by University Transportation and the Public Safety Escort program will continue to operate as usual. Anyone with questions should contact Debby Humbert at 792-6760 or

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

People–Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Employees of the Month
Shannon Gray, R.N., 9E , Lisa Jackson, Department of Surgery, and Julie Heckman, R.N., Pediatric emergency Department.

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 this review period; Employees who have left or are leaving the organization prior to Aug. 31 or are currently on leave and will not be present for their evaluation, contact Kim Duncan, or Michelle Foreman,

FY2012 Pay Plan key elements: Increases effective Oct. 9; Increases will be automatically adjusted and reflected in Nov. 2 payroll check (provided available funding); No PEARS for other transactions with same effective date will be accepted.

Status change letter: Employees who reduce hours must sign a status change letter; Letters must be attached to the PEARs; An employer must provide an employee seven days notice in writing of any wage reduction in accordance with South Carolina law (SC Stat. 41-10-30); Form located at

Education verification reminder: Share with new hires that MUHA HR verifies education prior to employment; Length of time, especially for high school diplomas, may be up to two weeks; Length of time is increased when candidates provide: incorrect graduation date, school name, name at time of graduation, SSN, birth date and states graduated but has a GED; HR has been provided falsified diplomas from diploma mills and diplomas substituted from family members.

Annual Service Awards ceremony (2:30 p.m., Sept. 19, Basic Science Auditorium); Medical center and university will have separate ceremonies to accommodate number of people in attendance; Employees will receive invitations; Managers will receive an email of employees in their areas being honored.

Culture of Safety & Employee Partnership
Joan Herbert, director of organizational performance, and Pat Gaylor, patient safety & quality specialist, spoke to managers about plans for simultaneous rollout activities for Culture of Safety and Employee Partnership action plans. Gaylor discussed the April Culture of Safety Survey results. The organization's action plans will focus on the lowest scores of the survey: non-punitive response to error.

As part of the action plan, information and resources will be provided regarding a "just culture" approach to managing error and adverse events. Gaylor explained that "just culture" is not a blame-free culture but is one that recognizes that competent professionals can make mistakes. There are three major categories of human behavior (human error, at-risk behavior and reckless behavior) and each category requires a different response in the management of error and adverse events.

Herbert reviewed results from the Employee Partnership Survey. She noted that the survey's lowest scores came in the systems and leadership section and are in three areas — "Asking for opinions before decisions are made," "Ability to influence policies and decisions that affect work," and "Leaders really listening to employees." The organization's action plans will focus on "Leaders really listen to employees" with two major focus areas: assuring that leaders are rounding effectively with their staff and following up on what they hear and exploration of a mechanism to collect employee ideas, act on them and report on those actions.

This year, all work groups are being asked to also develop action plans for these two priorities: "Leaders really listen to employees" and "Non-punitive response to errors." Work groups will also have the opportunity to identify and generate action plans specific to their group.

A tool kit is available to leaders online to assist with rolling out results and action planning with their work groups. Additionally, leader training sessions are being scheduled and individual consultation will be offered. Documented action plans are due to supervisors by Sept. 30. Work group action plans and MUHA organizational action plans will be reviewed at least quarterly to assure effective follow through and in-house pulse surveys will be conducted to assess progress.

Radiation Service Excellence
Ray Shingler, Radiology patient satisfaction chair and a member of the Service Excellence steering committee, gave an overview of the successes and best practices in Radiology's Excellence program and services provided at Rutledge Tower, ART, Hollings Cancer Center and university hospital. Shingler reviewed the department's best practices by using applause cards; AIDET hardwired with staff; radiologists and technologists collaborate for a seamless patient experience; empathetic and genuine concern for all patients; use of business cards when available; managing up staff and radiologists and acknowledge and assist all patients. Direct performance observations are conducted by coordinators and managers to provide feedback and coaching when necessary.

Quality—Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Pam Arnold, R.N., MUHA Diabetes Program manager, reported that MUSC has Joint Commission certification for inpatient diabetes management. She thanked medical center staff for working together in this achievement. Arnold announced one room for improvement issue—point of care (POCT) testing for blood glucose (if greater than 70 mg/dL, treat immediately with following hypoglycemia protocol) and recheck of POCT blood glucose within 30 minutes of first test.

The hospital's response is to provide a plan that outlines policy updates, staff re-education and communications, education rollout committee, forms committee, nursing informatics (alert to nursing care organizer), updating badge cards and POCT boxes and review of QC Manager hypoglycemic events daily with feedback to managers, 70 random hypoglycemic events will be audited per month with a goal of 90 percent for the four months. This report will be submitted to Joint Commission by December.

Julie Floyd has joined the staff at hospital administration.

Details about Office of Parking Management's expanded pilot shuttle service, employee parking and annual parking renewal program may be found at

The Lowcountry Heart Walk will occur from Sept. 17 at Liberty Square. Join an MUSC team or donate by visiting

The next meeting is Sept. 6.



Friday, Aug. 19, 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.