Archive for the ‘McLeod’ Category

Memorial Day Thoughts – Part II

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

As we continue from the post yesterday, here is the conclusion to President Roosevelt’s prayer from the book, Battlefields & Blessings, by Larkin Spivey (‘D-Day Prayer for the Nation’ page 281).

“AFTER ASKING for God’s protection over the servicemen in danger on the beaches of Normandy, President Roosevelt continued with his prayer, asking God for unity and courage throughout the nation. With this heartfelt plea he completed his radio broadcast on June 6, 1944, the night of D-Day:

. . . And for us at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them – help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too – strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment – let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace – a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.”

May we remember those who have gone before us, serving and sacrificing for our freedoms.  May we remember those who are in service on foreign fields to protect and defend the dignity of life.



Memorial Day Thoughts – Part I

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

As we prepare for Memorial Day, here is a page from the book, Battlefields & Blessings, by Larkin Spivey (‘D-Day Prayer for the Troops’ page 280).

“DURING THE EVENING of June 6, 1944, as American, British, and Canadian troops were fighting to establish a beachhead on the coast of Normandy, President Franklin Roosevelt went on the radio to lead the nation in a D-Day prayer:

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success so far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tired, by night and by day, without rest – until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

Tomorrow, the president’s prayer is continued for the nation.”

May we remember those who have gone before us, serving and sacrificing for our freedom. May we remember those who are in service this day on foreign fields to protect and defend the dignity of life.



10 South Medical/Surgical Team and Nursing Leaders To Receive National Recognition

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

It is always a joy to share good news, and today’s blog entry does just that.  I’ve recently learned that McLeod Regional Medical Center will receive two awards this June, at a national conference conducted by Professional Research Consultants (PRC), the research firm that conducts our patient satisfaction survey.

The first recognition is called the “5-Star Excellence in Patient Experience Award,” and it will be awarded to the 10 South Medical/Surgical unit team, and all those who contribute to a 10th floor patients’ experience, for the excellent care they have provided their patients during 2009. The “5-Star” designation means that, when compared to the peers, the 10 South team at McLeod scores among the top 10% in the nation!  Put another way, so many of 10th South’s patients rated McLeod’s quality of care as “Excellent,” that 10th South scored higher than 9 out of 10 hospital medical/surgical units, nationwide.

This is certainly an accomplishment for patients and families worth celebrating, and the team on 10 South should be commended.

Lisa McDonald and Kathy Sims worked together to create a culture of teamwork among the 10 South staff. Their efforts resulted in 10 South receiving the Platinum Achievement Award from PRC.

I mention the word “team” because the second award that McLeod Regional Medical Center will receive is specifically related to the team on 10th. This second recognition is called the “Platinum Achievement Award,” and it will be awarded to Kathy Sims, RN, Director of 10 South, and Lisa McDonald, RN, Nurse Liaison. Their team-centered work to support a culture of teamwork among the 10 South staff, won this top honor from PRC.

In 2009, the surgical team from 10 South, and members from the medical team from 5 East, joined forces to create today’s high-performing unit. The journey to arrive in the top 10% of the nation required that Lisa and Kathy turn their energy and leadership toward merging these teams into one. The results speak for themselves.  This is a team that works together, with the patient as the center of their attention.

Congratulations Lisa and Kathy, for the well-deserved recognition for your work to align this team’s focus; and congratulations to 10 South staff and supporting departments, for the outstanding 5-Star award for excellent patient satisfaction. Both are examples of how McLeod continues to strive for excellence in all we do.  Both are opportunities to learn from others how we might best meet the needs of our patients.



Celebrating IS Work and the Team

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Members of the McLeod Information Systems staff recently celebrated the accomplishments they have achieved during the past year.

Our Information Systems Department held a monthly meeting on Tuesday morning. We took a break from the routine reports to celebrate the accomplishments of the first six months of the year.

A breakfast and discussion about all that has been accomplished this year, as well as what is coming in the future, was enjoyed by the team.

Since last October, Information Systems have completed 142 projects; processed 5,020 work orders for system access, computer installs,
reports, or system changes submitted; received 120 ‘Caught
Caring Coupons;’ 13 Service Excellence Profiles and we have also taken 19,258 calls to our Help Desk, of which 17,455 were new incidents.

I feel this is significant and I am glad to see the team celebrate some great work as well as share it with you. There are many people supporting patient care in a variety of roles and it takes each one of us to provide safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient and equitable care.


Health Reform Update

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

On Friday afternoon I received this update from the President of the American Hospital Association. There are many moving parts and pieces to health reform … and the changes continue to occur. I want to encourage you to stay informed about how these changes may affect patients.



Friday, April 23, 2010

Fighting for Patients

“On Monday afternoon, CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) released its IPPS (Inpatient Prospective Payment System) rule containing almost four billion dollars in cuts to hospitals – all next year!

It goes without saying that fighting this rule is a top priority. This proposed cut will only make the current chronic underpayment for treating Medicare and Medicaid patients much worse. Our bottom line message is that additional cuts on top of those included in health care reform will be detrimental to hospitals’ mission of caring. In the coming days look for our call to action on this issue, our ask that CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) make their proposed rules on health IT more realistic and flexible, as well as Congress’ need to address time sensitive issues like … settling on a long-term fix to Medicare physician payments, extending Medicaid FMAP (Federal Medical Assistance Percentage) relief and extending Medicare provisions important to rural hospitals. Let’s make sure Congress knows we will keep fighting for the patients we serve.”


Rich Umbdenstock, American Hospital Association President

New Sight

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I am reading a book by author Paul David Tripp. The following passage makes a familiar … and often unlearned point.

“I had a friend who had quite a large rose garden. He was very dedicated to doing all the daily tasks necessary to keep his roses healthy. But it hit him one day that he’d taken no time to actually enjoy the roses that he was so zealous to tend. So one afternoon he did just that. He sat down in front of one of his rose bushes for three hours. As he sat, he began to see, smell, and hear things that he wouldn’t have experienced any other way.  Contrary to what you may think, the time didn’t drag on.  He was enthralled by the created glory that he was taking in. And as he sat there, he began to realize why those bushes were worth the commitment and the effort that he’d been investing.

But there’s more. After his three-hour gaze of that one bush he would never – could never – look at roses as he once did. That afternoon he saw, really saw, what a rose was about, and new sight changed him.”

Our calling is the care and comfort of those who are affected by illness and injury. In our desire to help … we sometimes focus on the illness and not the individual.  We can lose our joy and our perspective. So, I’m inviting you to sit down with a patient. Keep your eyes focused and your ears listening.  Remember your calling and why you chose healthcare in the first place – people, to help people. Open your eyes and heart to what you may have become too busy to see.  Ours is a noble calling and worthy of our life’s effort.


Journey to a Culture of Health — Data and Next Steps

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

During Benefit Enrollment you had a chance to participate in health screenings.  While you have access to your personal results [see previous blog], our wellness partner, Viverae, provided overall summary data which we are analyzing to look for ways to offer resources and programs to support our desire to lead by example and live healthier lifestyles.

The summary data shows that as an organization, we certainly have opportunities to improve our wellbeing.  Using our Wellness Work Team and physician leaders in this area, Dr. Peter Johnson and Dr. Charles Jordan, we have decided our main areas of focus will be on improving our nutrition, increasing our activity, and decreasing our stress.

If we focus on and make positive changes in these areas as “root drivers,” we should see improvement in other areas like Body Mass Index (BMI), Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Blood Glucose.  Our goal is to try and shift our overall health score distribution and help employees move from the “fair” and “average” categories towards “good” and “excellent.”

We are working on leveraging McLeod resources to support and encourage all employees on this journey.  As a health care organization, we are dedicated to our patients and our people. We will continue to be working to educate our teams about obesity through a variety of efforts. For example, Weight Watchers programs are offered through 10 – week classes at McLeod for a reduced fee. The next sessions are set to begin in May, if you are interested call Reservations and Scheduling (777-2005). Additionally, the McLeod Health and Fitness Center provides fitness and weight management support through classes, including the upcoming Summer Shape Up and Body Make Over Program of 6-week classes. McLeod is also focusing on nutrition, and currently offers healthier menu options in Cafe Du Jour and the Cafeteria, with nutritional labels on display for food choices. We will also continue to encourage participation in healthy partnerships with community events, like the March of Dimes Walk, Relay for Life, Heart Walk, fitness rail trail, etc. The goal is to inspire us all to lead healthier lives.

More information about other programs will be coming, but don’t to wait to begin.  Make healthier food choices, become more active, and be sure to find an outlet where you can relax from time to time.  Doing these things now will reward you with better health later.

Setting an example for our community is not just the right thing to do for McLeod, but I firmly believe that if we can support you in improving your well-being and maintain good health, we all win!


Journey to a Culture of Health — Data Available

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

We have a strong track record of supporting community wellness events like the Heart Walk, March of Dimes, Relay for Life, and the McLeod Sports Medicine 5K and 10K Challenge Run/Walk.  Our departments and McLeod teams always enthusiastically participate in a variety of events to promote the overall well-being of the people in our region.

I am encouraged by how well McLeod Health people respond to the events we sponsor to promote health education and wellness.  We recently hosted our first “Industry Health Day,” to support local industry employees in learning about their health and the resources McLeod offers.  This effort was supported by over 16 McLeod departments and 50 members of our team; all helping to continue our mission to improve the overall health status of those in our community.

An employee of the City of Florence has his cholesterol level checked during the Industry Health Day at the Florence Civic Center.

The “Industry Health Day” was similar to the Health Resource Expo offered to McLeod staff during benefit enrollment.  If you participated in that event, you were able to receive free health screenings, health related information, and obtain your personalized results. 

[Note: To receive a copy of your results and a personalized report, participants can log into the system of our wellness partner, Viverae, at or call the Member Service Center at 1-888-VIVERAE.].

I hope you have reviewed your personalized report.  While we do not have access to the individual information, we will have a composite of all who participated in the health screenings.  We plan to allow this information to help plan wellness programs for our people in 2010 and 2011.



The Checklist Manifesto – How to Get Things Right

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

The Checklist Manifesto is the title of a book by best-selling author and surgeon, Atul Gawande, MD.  Currently, this book is circulating through the leadership team.  We try to keep at least one book or journal article circulating to increase knowledge, invite discussion and provide a shared language for improvement and focus.  I would recommend this book and have a few extra copies if you would like to borrow one.  The following is from the inside cover:

“The modern world has given us stupendous know-how.  Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry – in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people – consistently, correctly, safely.  We train longer, specialize more, use ever advancing technologies, and we still fail.

“Now, acclaimed writer and surgeon Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument that we can do better and finds a solution in the most humble of places: the lowly checklist.  He explains how checklists have made possible some of the most difficult things people do – from flying airplanes to building skyscrapers of mind-boggling sophistication.  And drawing on his own experience, he shows how applying this idea to the immensely various and complex world of surgery produced a ninety-second checklist that reduced deaths and complications by more than one-third in eight hospitals around the world – at virtually no cost and for almost any kind of operation.”

I had the honor of introducing Dr. Atul Gawande as a keynote speaker for the 2007 IHI National Forum.  In preparation for that three-minute introduction, I read every article I could find by him as well as his best-selling books, Better and Complications.  I also had a chance to have lunch with him prior to his presentation.  In thirty minutes, I was impressed with his energy, practical knowledge and humble approach to life.  I hope you will enjoy reading his book. 

When you read Checklist, think about ways we can – stabilize, standardize and improve – the work of the various teams who serve our patients and our organization.  Let me hear from you as we learn together.


The Choice For Medical Excellence

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The Vision of McLeod Health is to be the Choice for Medical Excellence.  Words have meaning and ideas have consequences.  We want those words to have meaning in our daily work, so we measure them in three specific ways.  At McLeod, our vision is to be the Choice for Medical Excellence in the eyes of our Patients, our Physicians and our People.  Our patients deserve only the best!

We use an independent, national research firm, Professional Research Consultants (PRC), to survey Patients, Physicians and our People so that we can progressively measure  our progress toward reaching this Vision.  We want the surveys to direct us to opportunities where our team can work on excellence.  Continuously, we use this information to set goals and direct projects.  Since PRC has over thirty years of surveying healthcare organizations across the country, we are comparing ourselves to the nation’s best.

I am pleased to inform you that I have received a notice from PRC of national recognition in the surveys of our People in Darlington and Dillon. In comparison with national survey data last year, a Four Star Rating of Excellence is noted in several categories.  These awards are based on the percentage of employees who rate the hospital “Excellent”, or “top box” of a a five point scale,  for one of the ten categories: Like Communication, Involvement, Training, Senior Leadership, Supervisor, Quality, Teamwork within Departments, and Teamwork between Departments.

McLeod Darlington received seven (7) PRC Four Star Awards, which means they are in the top quartile of national performance in excellence in these seven categories: Involvement, Senior Leadership, Place to Work, Teamwork within Department, Training, Immediate Supervisor, and Teamwork between Departments.  Please join me in congratulating Pat Godbold and the team in Darlington for being recognized with the PRC National Excellence Award in Healthcare.

Also, McLeod Dillon received a PRC Four Star Award in Senior Leadership which means they are in the top quartile of national performance in excellence for Senior Leadership.  Please join me in congratulating Debbie Locklair and the team in Dillon for being recognized with the PRC National Excellence Award in Healthcare.

This is an outstanding recognition of excellence.  Thank you for setting the pace for the rest of us in our service to one another.  Both hospitals will be recognized for these awards during an Excellence in Healthcare Conference in San Diego, California on June 8, 2010.

Notably, George Washington challenged, “Associate yourself with men of good quality” ….  we are proud to be in the company of Darlington and Dillon.  Your work brings light to our Vision at McLeod Health.