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                          Studies Public Relations Research
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                          Happenings Campus
                          News Applause


Currents, Sept. 18

To Medical Center Employees:

Recently the University Healthsystem Consortium (UHC) awarded MUSC its Rising Star honor for significant improvements and exemplary performance in patient safety, mortality, clinical effectiveness, and equity of care as defined by UHC's Quality and Accountability Study. Other academic medical centers who received the Rising Star award include Duke, Shands Hospital at the University of Florida and Cleveland Clinic. UHC President Irene Thompson stated "this Rising Star achievement is especially notable because other academic medical centers also are working in earnest to improve patient safety and quality, thus it has become quite difficult to stand out among more than 100 peer organizations."

Congratulations to the Quality and Patient Safety leadership team, staff and to everyone involved throughout the MUSC clinical enterprise. The Rising Star honor is a huge win for MUSC.

Also, for another great win, the Heart & Vascular Services' Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) program was recently surveyed by the Joint Commission and received a 100 percent pass rate. The surveyor was very complimentary of everyone she came into contact with and praised the overall hospital commitment to the program.

On another matter, at the Sept. 18 management communications meeting, Lois Kerr, Accreditation Manager, emphasized that we will have an unannounced comprehensive Joint Commission survey soon. The survey team will be on campus for a full week and is expected to arrive the week beginning either Oct. 1, 15 or 29, but is not bound by these dates. Everyone should be familiar with relevant National Patient Safety Goals and the methods we use to fulfill the goals (see

Thank you.

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

People – Fostering employee pride and loyalty

Hospital administration resident Hailey James reminded managers of the Sept. 27 MUSC Heart Walk Hustle from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 27 in the MUSC horseshoe and ART atrium. Featured are a silent auction, massage therapy, food, games and craft vendors. The 2012 Lowcountry Heart Walk will be held Sept. 29 in Liberty Square. Activities begin at 8 a.m. followed by the walk at 9 a.m.

Employee of the Month — August
Mary Fischer, Office of Enterprise Business Intelligence, was praised for her hard work and assistance in helping an MHA student create a new software program supporting a children's outpatient clinic. (Janna Cone)

Bill Rentz, physical therapy technician, Therapeutic & Professional Support Services, was recognized for his quick thinking and help rescuing several patients from a flooded car during an unexpected flash flood situation on Ashley Avenue. (Erica Rouvalis)

HR update
Mark Stimpson, MUHA HR benefits manager, presented the following information:
--MUHA policy changes effective immediately: managers of employees wishing to be rehired after retiring must gain the approval of the hiring curtailment committee before acceding to employees' requests
--The 0.5 percent pay increase for medical center employees effective in the Sept. 19 paycheck is a one-time increase and is not related to an employee's performance rating(s)
--SuccessFactors – 2013 planning forms are due Sept. 30
--2012 Annual Benefits Fair is planned from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 28, outside the Colbert Education Center & Library Building

Open Enrollment for State Insurance Benefits
The enrollment period runs throughout October; changes made in October are effective Jan. 1.

During October, Employees may: change medical plans if already enrolled in one; add or drop vision insurance; add or increase employee life insurance by $50,000 (without answering medical questions); reduce/cancel employee, spousal and kids life insurance coverage; and enroll or re-enroll in a medical spending account (requires annual re-enrollment) or a dependent day care account.

During October, employees may not: Add or drop dental or medical insurance plans; add or drop dependents to or from medical or dental coverage; increase spousal life insurance (without answering medical questions); or increase employee life insurance or than $50,000 (without answering medical questions).

Key changes effective Jan. 1, 2013: Maximum contribution to a medical spending account reduces from $5,000 to $2,500; Cigna HMO medical plan no longer offered; both employer and employee premiums on both state health plans will increase by 4.6 percent; premiums for BlueChoice HMO plan increase by 16 percent to 28 percent depending on level of coverage; dental plus premiums increase by 1.1 percent; employee and spousal life insurance premiums increase by 10 percent to 18 percent, depending on age category; employees paying premiums directly to a Tricare Supplement plan provider may elect to do this via payroll deduction on a pre-tax basis through the MoneyPlus program; small adjustments to co-pays (both up and down) for benefits offered through BlueChoice HMO medical plan; and small adjustments to fees charged for flexible spending accounts (medical spending, dependent day care, HSA).

A comprehensive review of all changes and instructions on making online changes will be sent via email to all benefits eligible medical center employees by the end of September. For information, contact Stimpson at or 792-9320.

Quality – Providing quality patient care in a safe environment
Lois Kerr, accreditation manager, reviewed details in the hospital's preparation of the upcoming Joint Commission survey. Kerr reminded managers of some potential survey visit dates in October. She reviewed 10 basic reminders for staff to prepare for the survey — know and implement all 2012 National Patient Safety Goals; keep corridors and exits clear; complete Safety Wednesday activities; conduct daily chart reviews in areas; review plans of care, assessments completed in a timely fashion, nutritional and functional screens, advance directives, confirm Med Rec and restraint documentation; review pain assessment and reassessment; maintain an 18-inch clearing from ceiling; verify that HR folders are complete (verified, current license, current evidence--certifications, evaluations, current competency and change of position), review time out policy and stay focused.

Hazardous materials and fire safety
Wayne Brannan, University Rick Management director, reviewed the institution's policy with a current, written chemical inventory list and its availability. He spoke about a new MUSC Chemical Inventory List form (available via the University Risk Management website) and emphasized how staff members should know how to access Material Safety Data Sheets on all materials in their work area. At eyewash stations a weekly flush log should be maintained by staff. Brannan also reviewed the hospital's five-step fire plan. He reminded managers to review fire extinguisher locations and maintain an 18-inch ceiling sprinkler clearance from stored materials.

Due to the increase of hand washing stations throughout the hospital, there is limited storage of alcohol-based hand rub. Each smoke compartment may store a maximum aggregate of 10 gallons (37.8 liters) of ABHR product in dispensers (maximum of five gallons or 18.9 liters) in storage.

Brannan also spoke about plans for the Great Southeast Shake Out, a one minute drill scheduled to occur at 10:18 a.m., Oct. 18 as part of Charleston's earthquake preparation. More than 400,000 participants in the Southeast will participate. Visit

Service – Serving the public with compassion, respect and excellence
Leah Ramos, R.N., 9E nurse manager and a member of the medical center's Adult Inpatient Satisfaction Team. The group focused on improving the hospital's Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), a national standardized survey tool used to measure patient satisfaction. The effort focuses on hardwiring actions with bedside reporting, hourly rounding, thank you cards and creation of unit Magnet brochures. Other units are moving forward in educating patients and families about inpatient bed transfers via a brochure (MICU and NSICU), which describes the process. Other activities include the reinforcement of MUSC Excellence practices, AIDET and patient and staff rounding by leaders. Although the hospital, as a whole, has not met set organizational goals, there is evidence that HCAHPS scores are on the rise. Other improvements came in hourly rounding, bedside reporting and validation. Some units are implementing quiet hours (9 East, 9West, NSICU and MICU) using tools like the Yakker Tracker.

The next meeting is Oct. 2.



Friday, Sept. 21, 2012

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.