Archive for the ‘McLeod Health’ Category

Medical Students Express Their Appreciation

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Dr. Alva Whitehead, David Braddy, Brenda Allen, Jason Heilemann, Andy Hack, Stephanie Paolini, Blake Hodges, and Dr. Michael Rose

For the past three years, McLeod has hosted an internship for medical students from May through July, a concept developed by Dr. Alva Whitehead. This Fellowship, funded by the McLeod Foundation, has been used as both a learning tool for physicians in training as well as recruitment for the future by McLeod.

The class includes all rising second year medical students, experiencing a hospital setting first hand through this opportunity at McLeod. Members of the 2010 McLeod Medical Student Fellowship are:

Blake Hodges, Florence
Jason Heilemann, Clemson
Andrew Hack, Columbia
Stephanie Paolini, Aiken
David Braddy, Dillon

“This was a wonderful group. They exceeded my expectations and were very engaged,” stated Dr. Whitehead. “They all displayed a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to the medical staff – which rekindled in them the reason that medicine was their first love – why they first went into medical school.”

While we enjoyed their time with us, these students communicated their appreciation of the program and mentors. Here’s a letter they wanted to share with you regarding the experience.

Dear McLeod Community

It is with great honor that we send thanks to all who have taken time to instruct and mentor us over the course of our stay here at McLeod. Countless physicians, nurses, technicians, therapist, nutrition staff, administrators, board members, residents, etc. have proven McLeod to be a welcoming, motivating, evidence-based community, which will forever be an important waypoint in the course of our education. Our utmost gratitude goes to the whole hospital because even though Dr. Whitehead, the McLeod community member who invited us here, has been a huge inspiration to us, our tour through the hospital was especially grand due to the voluntary enthusiasm that we saw in every department.

When we came to McLeod weeks ago, we had few expectations. We understood that we were to learn how the hospital works and get some clinical experience, but this was only the skeleton of what we saw. Many McLeod community members instructed us in more lofty areas such as patient safety, quality improvement, leadership, organizational direction, philosophy of medicine, and more, topics that we only could only hope to hear briefly about in medical school or future clinical rotations. In the wide world of modern medicine, little attention can be given to the big picture among the plethora of details. McLeod’s culture of improvement and wisdom about the future have impressed us as much as any clinical information or administrative process. We appreciate it all.

Thanks again to all who have helped us!


McLeod Fellowship students 2010

Please join me as we wish them well in their educational and vocational journey ahead.



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.



Health Insurance Reform

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

This is a historic time for the American people as we anticipate the provision of health insurance coverage for many by 2014. Both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) and reconciliation package (H.R. 4872) are projected to extend health insurance coverage to about 32 million people, with estimates of 92% of all U.S. residents. It is reported that the Congressional Budget Office estimates the legislation will cost $940 billion over 10 years.

At McLeod, our focus continues to be on improving the health of northeastern South Carolina through prevention, treatment, advancements and service. Now that Congress has acted, our hope is that the discussion will turn to a renewed effort on improving health — to partner with people, employers and others to work on the reasons for higher health care costs. Specifically targeting concerns like obesity, smoking, exercise and nutrition, managing blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes and the need for all to have a primary care physician.

Throughout the changes ahead, the mission of McLeod Health will be constant – - to care for patients with a continued commitment of excellence in providing services for our region’s health care needs.


Heart & Vascular Institute

Friday, March 5th, 2010

“Any updates?” is a question several people have asked me in the hallway this week regarding the new Heart & Vascular Institute.  “We can hear drilling, hammering, and moving sounds, but where are we on the project? When will it be finished?” In response, I would like to share a brief construction update:

UPDATE – The demolition has been completed in the former Operating Rooms in the McLeod Tower. The metal stud framing work for the walls is currently underway.


The Heart & Vascular Institute will be constructed in an area of the McLeod Tower, formerly occupied by Operating Rooms (which were relocated in 2007 to the McLeod Pavilion).

With the ultimate goal being a central location, construction of the Heart & Vascular Institute is focused on meeting the special needs of patients with heart and vascular disease. The new center will allow patients and family members to come to an easily recognized area where they can receive diagnostic testing, treatment, surgery, and recovery. Both patients and staff will be able to receive and give care in a more streamlined, efficient manner.

Construction will facilitate relocation of the cardiac day hospital, currently on the third floor of the McLeod Tower, into the main section of the Heart & Vascular Institute. The new cardiac day hospital will have twenty pre-operative rooms, five post-op rooms, five rooms that can be used for patients before or after surgery, two isolation rooms, twelve procedure rooms, two ultrasound rooms, as well as a work area for electrocardiogram studies.

With this relocation, the cardiac day hospital will be adjacent to the cardiac and vascular surgery operating room suites, cardiac catheterization labs, CVICU, and other cardiac services, facilitating more efficient operations and improved patient care.

Thank you for your patience during the construction as we work to enhance our services to the community.



Team Represents McLeod During Washington Visit

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Members of the McLeod leadership team spent the last several days in Washington, D.C. speaking with our representatives in government. Joining me was Debbie Locklair, Administrator of McLeod Dillon; and two community leaders from Dillon – Dan Bozard, Chairman of the McLeod Dillon Community Board; and John Braddy, member of the McLeod Health Board. We appreciate the time these community leaders gave to help the hospital. We also appreciate the time our representative gave us to explain our work and our needs.

The purpose of our meeting was to speak with our representatives about health reform and the need to expand the Emergency Department in Dillon. We were able to visit the office of Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham as well as Congressmen John Spratt and Jim Clyburn.

During our meeting with Mr. Clyburn, he particularly wanted additional details about the Emergency Department. He was preparing to speak on C-Span with the President about health care. To see how the Dillon Emergency Department made the national news, click on this link.

Journey to Culture of Health Continues

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

First, I would like to say thanks to all those who participated in the Health Resource Expo during annual enrollment this year. This is a first step in our journey towards becoming a culture of health. I certainly hope that our 2,900+ employees who attended found this to be informative and maybe even motivating to begin to take steps on your personal journey towards better wellness.

Tim Hess greets participants at the Health Resource Expo.

I was excited at how well received the screenings were for those who attended the Health Resource Expo. I hope you find the results and information provided there to be informative. For those who participated in the biometric screenings and completed the Member Health Questionnaire, your overall wellness score and personalized reports are available by logging in to: If you have questions, need help logging back in, or would like to speak with a member health technician, you may contact Viverae’s Member Support at, 1-888-VIVERAE (848-3723).

McLeod Health’s summary data from the Health Screenings is just coming in. We are working with our wellness partner, Viverae, to make sure we understand the data and to identify opportunities we have as an organization to help improve the overall well-being of our employees.

This process will take some time, but we hope to be sharing with you soon more details about these results as well as new opportunities, support, resources and programs that will help us all Live Well. Further, I would like to thank Tim Hess, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Jeannette Glenn of Human Resources, Dr. Peter Johnson of Occupational Health, Dr. Charles Jordan, of McLeod Physician Associates and the rest of the Culture of Health Action Team for helping review our opportunities and chart a course for our efforts to help McLeod and our employees lead by example in carrying out our mission of improving the overall health of the citizens in our region.

With your support, we’ve taken the first steps towards becoming a culture of health, and I hope more and more of you will join us on this journey. In the mean time, we currently offer several programs specifically designed to help you build health and wholeness. Here are highlights of a few of those programs:

McLeod Health & Fitness Center – A state-of the-art Health & Fitness Facility with equipment, gymnasium, swimming pool, aerobics pool, a variety of classes, racquetball, running/walking tracks, and full locker room facilities. Discounts are offered to employees with convenient payroll deduction. For more information, contact the Membership Desk at 777-3925.

QuitSmart Tobacco Cessation Class – Complete all three sessions of the program and the course is FREE to employees to McLeod Health employees. It is also offered at a reduced rate of $50 for spouses and dependant family members. For more information, contact 777-STOP (7867).

Weight Watchers at Work – Stop Dieting. Start Living. Weight Watchers isn’t a diet because it helps you eat right and live healthy: Convenient times and locations. For more information, contact Reservations and Scheduling at 777-2005

Employee/Occupational Health - Employees can receive flu shots, immunizations, and health screenings including tobacco cessation counseling. For more information, contact at 777-2031.

McLeod Employee Assistance (EAP) – Up to 5 free and confidential visits for you and/or your immediate family members for help in dealing with work, family or personal issues. If you have the McLeod Employee Medical Insurance, and coordinate your behavioral health care needs through the McLeod Health EAP, you will receive the highest level of benefits and ensure you or your family member gets to the right provider to best help address your needs. For more information, contact: Dallas Stephens at 317-4949.

McLeod Health Physician Associates – Schedule your annual checkup with your primary care physician and discuss your Health Expo Results. Together, you and your physician can chart a course to better health. If you need help finding a McLeod Physician, contact 777-7000 or visit McLeod Health’s Website at

McLeod Diabetes Center – Resources for employees or their family who have been diagnosed with diabetes including medical education, counseling, and nutritional support. For more information, contact Marilyn Henderson at 777-6750.

McLeod Resource Center – Information about maternity education, breastfeeding, pregnancy, women’s health and community and Web resources for finding reliable health information at any stage in your life. For more information, contact the Resource Center Manger at 777-5493.

Supplies, Supplies, Supplies

Friday, January 29th, 2010

“I always seem to have the supplies I do not need. I always seem to be missing the supplies I do need. Quite a balancing act is required to meet the needs of my patient.”

“I am away from the bedside looking for supplies.”

These were the comments I heard from staff even though we have a hardworking group in Procurement Services and order many supplies each week. So why does there seem to be waste … in too much inventory and too much time spent looking for the right item to provide patient care?

Recently, I was given a unique opportunity to work with the first Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) team to improve care at the bedside. The entire week was spent working in the McLeod Tower on 5 East and in the McLeod Pavilion on the 9th Floor. We worked with the staff on each unit to reduce the time spent hunting and selecting supplies involved with patient care. One aim was to reduce the number of times a caregiver leaves the patient care area to retrieve supplies.

The leader for the week’s RIE was Sabrina Capell. Our team was larger than the normal RIE team since we were looking for solutions on a pilot unit in both bed towers. The supply RIE team included: Sabrina Capell, NICU; Pam Elliott, 5 East;Pauline Fowler, Share The Care; Mary Joyner, Lab; Lashan Kennedy, 9S; Boyd “BJ” McCluskey, Procurement Services; Bobby McDuffie, IS; Lisa Neal, 5 East; Tangie Peoples, 9S; Donna Rotan, 9S; Carmen Winfield, Procurement Services and Rob Colones, Administration. Our guide and facilitator was Will McLeod, Operational Effectiveness.

Sabrina Capell leads the RIE.

This RIE was the first of twenty-four (24) RIEs to provide better methods, better solutions, and better care for our patients. With so many things vying for our attention, it is difficult to focus on administering the best care for each patient. So we want to cut through the chaos, simplify and stay focused on what is best for the patient.

One of our measurements at the beginning of the week was the number of times a caregiver leaves the pod or patient room assignment to find, scan, carry and gather the needed supplies for patient care. On average, a caregiver left their area 17 times per shift. We mapped and measured the distance for each step, each supply. We did not focus on forms or medications this week, as those will be improved in a separate RIE in the future.

Working together through several solutions, we used the PDCA cycle of: P – Planning a solution; D – Do, actually go out and experiment; C – Check, verify if the solution worked or needs modification; and A – Act, integrate the lessons learned from our check. Measure all along the way and try again. By the end of the week, we had reduced the seventeen trips for supplies to four trips per shift. As of today, the gains are holding and we will look for ways to ’spread’ this solution to each nursing unit in both the McLeod Pavilion and the McLeod Tower. In addition, we are piloting a different Omnicell solution on 9th floor, which will improve the current pause or delay in scanning supplies. (Note: The PDCA cycle is a never-ending cycle of learning and improvement utilized by Dr. Edward Deming, based on what he learned from his mentor, Walter Shewhart. Dr. Deming taught this cycle of improvement to the Japanese in 1950. He called it the “Shewhart cycle” and many today call it the Deming wheel since the steps in the PDCA are continuous).

In the future, I will give more details about the other RIE teams working on patient flow and rapid response. It was a exciting week. I learned a great deal from the staff on the team and in the nursing units. I remain convinced that Operational Effectiveness will help us solve our process problems and remove wasted steps and barriers in our work.



Top 2 Percent

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

On Wednesday, I attended our Department Directors Meeting. The meeting is at 9:30 a.m. in Florence for leaders in Florence and Darlington, and at 1:00 p.m. for leaders in Dillon.  The meeting is held twice each month in order to recognize, congratulate and educate.  The morning meeting began with the recognition of Merit Award recipients.

Tammy White

Tammy White

Beth Caldwell

Beth Caldwell

As you know,  Merit Award recipients are recognized by the team for demonstrating the McLeod values of Caring, Person, Quality and Integrity. This honor comes from one’s peers and represents a high standard of individual achievement, demonstrated by a positive caring attitude, professionalism and service.

About 47 of our 4,700 workforce receive this recognition during the year.  They are among the top one to two percent of our workforce and are examples to each of us and our community of cheerful and compassionate service given to the welfare of others.  This week, recognition was given to Tammy White, a member of the Public Information Office, and Beth Caldwell, a member of the team in the Laboratory.  It was a great time to hear from their Directors about why members of the team nominated them and why the Merit Award Committee recommended Tammy and Beth for this honor.  We had a chance to hear the details of how Tammy and Beth serve and what others think about how they teach our values by their actions.

Please join me in congratulating Tammy and Beth, as well as all our other Merit Award recipients in the organization.



McLeod Physician Leaders Support the Medical Staff and Organization

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

On Monday evening I attended the first Medical Staff meeting of 2010 for McLeod Regional Medical Center.  It was the first meeting for Dr. Bill Boulware to preside as the new Chief of Staff.  Serving with him for two years, 2010 and 2011, are Dr. Dale Lusk as Vice Chief, and Dr. Andy Rhea, as Secretary.  We deeply appreciate the time our physician leaders give toward supporting the medical staff and the organization.  My observation, in the years I have been with McLeod, is that we have been blessed with good, strong medical staff leadership.  I believe these leaders will continue that tradition of excellence.

Dr. Andrew Rhea, Dr. Dale Lusk, and Dr. William Boulware

Dr. Andrew Rhea, Dr. Dale Lusk, and Dr. William Boulware

Since you may not be aware of the work that goes on at the medical staff level, let me give you a glimpse into Monday night’s meeting.

At five o’clock on Monday afternoon, the Medical Executive Committee (MEC) met in the Board Room to hear committee and department reports. The MEC also had a discussion on medication reconciliation and medical record completion.  Medication Reconciliation is the process of reviewing all of the medications a patient is taking upon admission to the hospital, when they are transferred within the hospital, as well as when they are discharged home. Since a patient’s medications may change many times during a single hospitalization, the reconciliation process makes it safer for the patient by helping to prevent unintended medication changes and by providing a current list of medications for the patient at discharge.

On Monday night, the physician leaders were considering utilization of the computer system to electronically perform medication reconciliation. This electronic review process allows the physician to review and continue a patient’s medications from home, change or order new medications and decide which medications the patient should take once they are discharged. Electronic prescriptions and a current medication list are also available for the patient at discharge.  A successful pilot project has occurred at McLeod Dillon and another is being planned for McLeod Darlington.  The medical staff in Florence will monitor the results of this second pilot project and make recommendations about the system’s use in Florence.

The Medical Executive Committee adjourned the meeting in order to join the full medical staff meeting which was underway in the McLeod Pavilion Auditorium. The full medical staff was briefed on the main points of discussion in the MEC meeting.  The minutes were reviewed by Dr. Andy Rhea.   For the medical staff program on Monday night, Dr. Boulware introduced Marie Segars, Sr. Vice President and Administrator for McLeod Regional Medical Center.  Marie presented an update on the master facility plan for the Florence campus, highlighting the immediate plans for 2010.   Since 2007, several teams in cardiology, cancer have been working on needs for the McLeod campus and the results of this research were presented by Marie to the medical staff.  In addition to power point slides on the proposed facility changes that will take place over the next several years, the room was full of models and blueprints.  Physicians had the opportunity to ask questions and walk around the auditorium to see the models and plans on display.  The informal discussion revealed several good observations and options to consider for the master facility plan.  The meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM.

These meetings take place each month at all three hospitals.  We appreciate the active leadership of our physicians as we seek to improve services for patients.