Archive for June, 2010

Dillon Emergency Department

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Structural steel framing is being placed on the north side of the building.

The ambulance canopy.

The Emergency Department expansion project at McLeod Dillon is certainly moving forward. Much progress is being made. As you can see from these two photographs, the concrete building pad for the new ED addition has been poured. The steel frame has begun on the north half of the new addition and the roof installations continue for the ambulance canopy. This will help to separate the patients who arrive by ambulance from those who are ambulatory. 

The plumbing ‘rough-ins’ have also been installed for the decontamination showers that would be used for disaster preparedness.

As the sole provider of emergent and urgent care services in Dillon County, there is a great demand for the Emergency Department. In 2006, the McLeod Dillon Emergency Department treated nearly 24,000 patients. This utilization increased two years later with 26,760 visits. 

The Emergency Department addition is being constructed on the existing Dillon campus, located at the intersection of Highway 301 and Jackson Street.  A Certificate of Need for the project was approved by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.  The addition of approximately 9,365 square feet will provide: improved patient flow, new exam and treatment rooms including designated triage and trauma rooms, as well as staff support spaces.  A new family waiting area designed for improved privacy and safety is also included in the expansion. A dedicated site for a helipad for trauma patient transport is also planned as well as minor modifications to existing Emergency Department exam rooms and support functions.

We are excited about the progress on the site.  We want to thank Robins & Morton for the construction work, Design Strategies the architects, the McLeod Dillon and Planning teams for their input, hard work and passion for this project.  We will keep you posted on the continued progress.



New Team Member

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

E. Coy Irvin, M.D.

On Monday, Dr. Coy Irvin, joined the McLeod Regional Medical Center leadership team as Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer (CMO).  He was chosen for this position after a national search process was conducted to find the right team member for McLeod.  Dr. Irvin will be leading the medical staff matters formerly directed by Dr. Alva Whitehead.  After more than ten years of service, Dr. Whitehead notified us in late 2009 that he wished to move to a part-time position.  Dr. Whitehead will work directly with me and serve as medical advisor for McLeod Health.

Dr. Irvin’s medical training and specialty is Family Medicine. He served patients in a Family Medicine practice for 20 years before joining Baptist Health in Pensacola, Florida, as the Chief Medical Officer in 2005.  Baptist Health is recognized as a previous recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

I would like to introduce you to Dr. Irvin by sharing his thoughts on several questions I had a chance to cover with him recently. Additional information will be available in a formal announcement.

RC: Dr. Irvin, what attracted you to medicine as a career choice?

CI: I grew up in a small town where family friends were General Practitioners.  I was moved by how much they loved caring for their patients and community.

RC: Your previous job was in leadership at Baptist Health in Pensacola, Florida.  As a member of a health system with a national reputation in service excellence, what advice do you have for serving patients and families?

CI: Patients want to know we are here for them, that we will protect them and that we will not hurt them.  They need to see us as “friends.”

RC: How can the health system better support physicians?

CI: Major challenges to practicing medicine include growing bureaucracy and paperwork which takes away time from helping patients.  Anything we can do to give doctors more time to practice medicine will better help them serve their patients.

RC: As a busy leader… a physician and an executive leader, what are your hobbies and outside interests?

CI: I believe in giving back to our communities, so I have long been involved in volunteer work as well as the political process.  I also enjoy boating and, of course, my grandson, Riley.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Coy Irvin and his wife, Angie, to McLeod and the Florence community.



Beginning Our Day…

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

(From L to R) Kelley Prevatte, Director of the 9th Surgical Floor and Step-Down Unit, Mary Allred, Robert Garris, and Rosa Dowling.

This morning, I joined the senior leadership team for ‘Patient Rounds’ at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, South Carolina.  Each day, at all three McLeod hospitals, leaders gather for a quick huddle, review information and then visit a nursing unit or patient care area as a team.  We aim to accomplish this daily initiative as part of our standard work in order to begin our day with why we are all here — our patients and our staff.  Our goal is to learn from the team, patients and families.  We ask a few questions of the individuals we meet so we can learn from them, then we rejoin the team for a second huddle to talk about insights we have captured from our visits.

This morning, we were scheduled to visit the 9th Floor and Trauma Surgical Care Unit in the McLeod Pavilion.  We wanted to be sure we understood the efforts of the medical team to communicate, answer questions, and provide explanation about treatments to their patients.

One patient related to the team that he was glad to be going home after a two-day stay.  He was very complimentary of the staff and how they communicated and cared for him.  We were also able to hear about another patient who had food allergies.  In this case, we were able to work with the medical team to intervene on future diet orders in order to meet this patient’s needs.  In addition to these interactions, I was able to speak with Kelley Prevatte, our Nursing Director on the 9th Floor.  Last week, McLeod and Dr. Mike Rose hosted visitors associated with Harvard University who were evaluating our hospital and South Carolina as a possible site for a healthcare reform initiative.  This group specifically asked to speak with Kelley because of her work with the IHI Open School.  In talking with Kelley this morning, I was able to gauge her thoughts about this group and what they hope to accomplish.

As we make these daily ‘Patient Rounds,’ please continue to share with us your ideas of how we can improve for our patients and staff in the areas of caring, quality and safety as we provide service to others.



Operational Effectiveness Planning

Friday, June 18th, 2010

I was able to spend two days this week as well as two days last week learning more about Operational Effectiveness or “lean methods” of work.  This time was helpful in our planning for improvement work next year.  At McLeod Health, we see many ways to improve access for patients. We see many ways to make our work more enjoyable. We see many ways to better use our resources.

As we seek to improve the care of each patient, we learn to reduce or eliminate waste in our work processes.  Eliminating waste is not done well by edict or decree … but rather by careful study and well-planned efforts.  In our improvement work we seek to reduce or eliminate nine kinds of waste:

1.  The waste of overproduction.

-making more than needed;
-having more capacity than necessary; and
-having more space than needed.

2.  The waste of excess inventory

-having more materials, supplies, or components than needed;
-excessive levels of work-in-process or ‘batching.’
-unbalanced resources with more in one area than is needed and less in another area.

3.  The waste of transportation – involving supplies, equipment and people.

4.  The waste of waiting.  Waiting wastes many things: people’s time, idle facilities and equipment.  Waiting interrupts the flow or rhythm of work and causes ‘bottlenecks.’

5.  The waste of unnecessary motion

-poor layout of space requires unnecessary or excessive movement; and
-physical distances require unnecessary or excessive movement.

6.  The waste of overprocessing

-extra steps that do not add value for the customer;
-empty busy-ness or ‘make’ work; and
-multiple inspections , handling, documentation or signatures.

7.  The waste of correction.  Inspecting for mistakes and errors and then undoing and redoing.

8.  Complexity – work added because the task was not or could not be completed the first time.

9.  Bureaucracy – unnecessary work and needless constraints.

Next week a ‘rapid improvement’ team will improve the flow of our patients in the Emergency Department.  The Operational Effectiveness Facilitator for the event is Renee Kennedy.  The Team Leader is Robin Lewis; Team Implementers, Diane Osterman and Dr Bryon Frost;  Team Members – Miranda Knight TSCU, Shirleen Green ED, Christi Wiggins ED, Chuck Kelly Family Medicine; 2 Medical Students; and Mattie Pringle IS.

I will be looking to learn how the group removes waste from our work flow in order to improve care for patients.  To maintain the integrity of our work, and to continually improve our systems and processes, we need to foster a spirit of collaboration and interdependence among the various members of the team … all on behalf of our patients.



Children’s Hospital Supported by Our Community

Monday, June 7th, 2010

We want to thank the news team at WBTW TV 13 for making the Children’s Miracle Network a success. Their energy and talent replayed the remarkable stories of children and families who have received medical care with the McLeod Children’s Hospital. The news team at TV 13, both on camera and those who worked behind the camera and CMN vision throughout the year, were able to capture the resilience and teamwork of patients, families and the medical team.

We want to thank the people of our community and region. This year $838,915 was raised from telephone pledges and the hard work of businesses and community organizations. The funds will allow the safety net for children’s health to expand by these generous gifts to the McLeod Children’s Hospital.

We want to thank all of our McLeod family, Foundation staff and volunteers who worked to make the weekend a success. Thanks to all who participated in raising this support for the children of our region. It is humbling to see such an outpouring of community support from this region for children’s health. The funds will be put to good use, our work is confirmed and we are encouraged. We will go forward this year and improve our service to others.



The Wisdom of Age & Experience

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Dot Johnson, who graduated from the McLeod Nursing School in 1948, congratulates Nathan on 65 years of service. Nathan "officially" joined McLeod on June 1, 1945.

Age and experience can bring wisdom. These were my thoughts today, as we celebrated sixty-five years of service by Nathan Brown of Plant Operations & Engineering. Nathan joined the hospital on June 1, 1945. He worked directly for Dr. F.H. McLeod prior to joining the hospital, so he is actually celebrating seventy-six or so years association with the McLeod family. By June 1, 1945, the year was a time of change. WWII was ending in Europe and the focus shifted to finishing the war in the Pacific. The sacrifices of many, on foreign field and at home, shaped the nation and people in profound ways.

When you are younger in age, life is a theory. As you age, life has become an experience. It is wise to learn to ask advice from those who are ten to twenty years older than yourself. It is wise to learn to listen to the experience of others – - to be directed by their questions and interests. In many ways, my interactions with Nathan over the years have improved my service to others. Nathan is always the one who puts his hand on my shoulder to ask how I am doing. Nathan is always the one who pats me on the back and encourages me in our work. Encouragement means to “add courage” and he has a lifetime of appreciation for others. Nathan is the one who will ask about my family. He always reminds me not to work too hard, to do what is right for the patients, and to get home in order to spend more time with my family.

At first, I thought he was just being friendly and making conversation. But over the years, the themes he revisits with me are instructive of the importance he places on the service to others at medical center, the family and individuals. Happiness is who you are, not something you get. Nathan has combined a lifetime of interactions with many to share his happiness and wisdom with others. Nathan is a good man and we appreciate his service to the medical center and community. We wanted to thank him for his work. He reluctantly agreed to attend today’s celebration … and wanted to be sure we understood that he would be back to work at the hospital in the morning.

Thanks Nathan,


Nathan enjoys a special tribute to his 65 years of McLeod work during ceremonies honoring his continued years of service.