Volume 72, Issue 2
Volume 72, Issue 2
At 11 a.m. on March 15, Robert A. Coleman Medical Staff Auditorium was packed. Every seat was filled and nurses and doctors lined its walls. Out in the hallway, others waited to hear a piece of good news. It didn’t take long to arrive—Greenville Memorial Hospital (GMH) had achieved designation in the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®!
This milestone was reached thanks to the commitment of hundreds of nurses, especially those on the frontlines, to provide the highest quality in patient outcomes. The achievement also reflects an organizational culture that values excellence. To achieve Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous, lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff at every level across all disciplines.
The Magnet Journey Unfolds
Magnet status for GHS’ largest hospital has been a spotlight goal for our organizational Quality Pillar for three years. The journey began September 30, 2015, with submission of the Magnet application to ANCC. Next came assembling a vast amount of information and writing a document that cited 69 sources of evidence of nursing excellence in quality, education, research and clinical nurse empowerment.
What followed was gathering eight quarters of data in different categories to show that GMH meets and exceeds national benchmarks for patient experience, nurse-sensitive indicators such as falls and infections, and nurse satisfaction.
“We live and breathe Magnet in every patient interaction,” emphasized Magnet Program Director Geralyn McDonough, MA, BSN, RN. “Magnet nurses know the care they provide is related to quality and outcomes, but instinctively understand the importance of human interaction. Every Greenville Memorial Hospital nurse should feel tremendously proud of this Magnet designation.”
The final hurdle was the January 17-19 site visit by ANCC appraisers. This visit was their opportunity to see and experience the distinctive culture at GMH in which nursing excellence thrives. Chief Nursing Officer for the Central Region Lori Knarr-Stanley, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, gratefully acknowledged everyone who met with the appraisers during the on-site visit.
“The physicians were fabulous,” she said. “They could not have been more supportive. In fact, all departments were so supportive and engaged.”
“The community session was so well attended—community health agencies, the Chamber of Commerce, our academic partners—all gave their support,” she added.
In every area of the hospital, appraisers found commitment to a patient-focused environment. They had high compliments for physicians and for the people working in support departments such as therapies, pastoral care and housekeeping.
Here are just a few comments:
• “There are many innovative practices here that must be shared with others.”
• “This hospital is so clean, and there is so much respect for the EVS team.”
• ”Significant and strong collaboration with all departments”
• “Unbelievable ICU teams and so much technology”
• “Numerous best practices in departments”
Appraisers also were impressed with the level and caliber of GHS nursing research and encouraged authors to present and publish their findings. A total of 29 nurse-led research studies were reported from 2014 through March 2018.
Only 481 of 6,500 hospitals in the nation have achieved Magnet status. Of the five hospitals in the state with Magnet designation, two are GHS hospitals: Greenville Memorial and Greer Memorial. The others are AnMed Health in Anderson, Bon Secours St. Francis in Charleston and MUSC Health in Charleston.
In addition, Patewood Memorial Hospital is designated within ANCC’s Pathway to Excellence® Program. This prestigious program recognizes hospitals that create a positive and supportive environment for nurses and nursing excellence.
Magnet designation validates the ongoing pursuit of high standards of excellence demonstrated by our nurses every day. And it is recognized nationwide as a hallmark of an organization’s overall commitment to providing the highest standards of care. Greenville Memorial Hospital’s achievement is a win for us all!
GHS employees are among the most knowledgeable, highly motivated and superbly trained in the country. Your skill and commitment to delivering high-quality care are in demand everywhere; our patients, families and communities are fortunate that you choose to serve them every day.
In fact, your dedication to raising the standard of care is why our organization continues to garner national recognition. In March, for example, Greenville Memorial Hospital (GMH) was granted Magnet® recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This recognition reflects a commitment to nursing professionalism, teamwork and superior patient care.
The ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program® is the highest national honor for nursing excellence and distinguishes organizations that meet rigorous standards for care delivery. Considered the gold standard, Magnet recognition is granted only to hospitals with exemplary patient outcomes and satisfaction, strong nurse-patient ratios, and the ability to attract and retain the best clinicians from all disciplines.
Congratulations to the hundreds of nurses, physicians and staff who spent countless hours making GMH’s Magnet application and appraiser visit such a success!
GMH joins Greer Memorial Hospital, which received Magnet recognition in 2016. To date, only eight percent of healthcare organizations in the nation hold this prestigious designation.
Such achievements affirm GHS’ founding mission to raise the standard of care for our community and recognize the talents, skills and commitment of GHS employees. Thank you for all you do!
Together, we are transforming the way care is delivered—and most important—we are changing lives.
Spence M. Taylor, MD
Hometown: Durham, N.C.
Family: Husband Josh, sons Ryan and Jackson, and dog Nala
Hobbies/Interests: Hiking and biking with her family, baseball, traveling
Claire Neal, PhD, is quite new to GHS, having joined the system in March. Her role is new as well. As executive director of Organizational Transformational Initiatives, Dr. Neal works closely with GHS’ five transformational vice presidents, whose roles also are relatively new:
In addition to interacting with these VPs, she will work directly with physician leaders on our priority initiatives, two of which are underway:
Practice Redesign, Innovation and Clinician Well-being. This initiative focuses on improving health within GHS. As one of the largest employers in the state with 16,000 employees, GHS recognizes that the health of our employees and their families plays an important role in the health of our community. Dr. Neal, is working alongside Marty Lutz, MD, Chief of Special Projects, to create a positive environment for our employees by working to reduce administrative burdens, prevent clinician burnout and improve the well-being for all system employees.
Behavioral Health. This second initiative seeks to enhance access to behavioral health care in the Upstate. In her role, Dr. Neal is partnering with Karen Lommel, DO, MHA, MS, Behavioral Health chief medical officer and division chief of Emergency Psychiatry, to address this critical need.
Because people with mental illness often have comorbidities and varied needs for services, it is key that we work closely with our community partners to create innovative and holistic solutions that expand access to care.
“I believe strongly in the value of holistic approaches to health,” Dr. Neal noted, “and it is exciting to be a part of GHS’ commitment to transform health care. I am particularly excited to work with such a phenomenal transformational team.”
Dr. Neal’s background is in public health. She holds a doctorate in health leadership and has years of experience in the design and delivery of innovative health programs across multiple sectors. Throughout her career, she has focused on bringing together diverse partners to solve complex problems and improve health outcomes for communities. These skills will serve her well in her new position.
This summer, the transformational leadership team will move their various offices into the connector between the medical school and the new nursing school on Greenville Memorial Medical Campus. This centralized space includes a collaborative workroom where teams can meet to brainstorm.
“The new location for the team’s offices is the perfect metaphor for our purpose,” she pointed out. “The connector reflects our goal to build new partnerships and innovate to transform health care for the communities we serve.”
South Carolina ranks 50th in the U.S. for access to mental health care.
A new program launched in December to help reduce hospital readmissions and improve outcomes. The Transitional Care Program offers specialized treatment to patients with chronic diseases upon their discharge from the hospital.
This voluntary outpatient program provides care support for 30 days following hospital discharge to make sure patients are stable in their homes. During this time, they are watched closely by a care team that includes a doctor, nurse care manager, nurse, pharmacist, social worker and nutritionist. IV fluid, IV diuretics, breathing treatments and other services, if needed, are given in a clinic setting.
Patients are first seen two to five days after discharge—this appointment lasts one hour. Afterward, they will have appointments at least once a week for three weeks—these follow-up visits are 30 minutes. Initially, program capacity will be approximately 65 patients a month.
Evidence suggests that the rate of avoidable re-hospitalizations can be reduced by improving transitions and care coordination; aligning core discharge planning and processes; and enhancing coaching, education and support for the patients.
It is important to note that this program does not replace the patient’s primary doctor. Rather, its intent is to help bridge the gap between patients’ recent hospital stay and their next visit with their doctor. Physicians are contacted when their patients enroll in the Transitional Care Program and receive detailed progress reports once their patients are released from it.
Sarah Kuhn, MD, and Thad Tuten, MD, members of the GHS Hospitalists Service, serve as co-medical directors.
The program is located in the Medical Center Clinics on Greenville Memorial Medical Campus.
For more information, call 455-3748.
Greenville Memorial Hospital, Hillcrest Memorial Hospital and Oconee Memorial Hospital recently earned “A” rankings from the Leapfrog Group. Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades are assigned to over 2,400 general acute-care hospitals across the nation each spring and fall.
Of the 41 hospitals ranked in South Carolina, 14 received a letter A. GHS’ other hospitals were not part of this report because they are not general acute-care facilities or did not have enough safety data available to meet the threshold. Nationwide, 30 percent of hospitals earned an A grade, 28 percent a B, 35 percent a C, 6 percent a D, and 1 percent an F.
Grades are based on patient safety data focusing on errors, accidents, infections and injuries. Collectively, these four areas make up the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Taken together, these performance measures produce a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors.
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Leapfrog Hospital Survey, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement.
Barry Miller, vascular sonographer/Patewood Memorial Hospital, volunteered to come in on a holiday weekend to perform a vascular ultrasound. A patient had developed symptoms of a potentially serious condition; the test had to be performed that day. Thanks to Miller’s compassion and willing attitude, the patient did not have to be transferred to another facility for the ultrasound.
Matthew Ryan Gossage, MD, Interventional Radiology, accepted a colleague’s urgent request to perform a biopsy on a new patient just before a long holiday weekend. Anxious about her diagnosis, the patient did not want to wait until after the holiday for the procedure. The patient was grateful for Dr. Gossage’s extra effort, as was her doctor, who was able to begin a positive relationship with his patient and expedite her treatment.
Michelle Reid, NP, Cancer Institute, demonstrated skill and compassion in helping a family through a difficult time. Their loved one’s condition had suddenly declined, and Reid knew that death would come soon. She immediately contacted the rounding physician and facilitated palliative care. She then met with the family to help them understand what was to come. The patient died peacefully, surrounded by his adult children. The rounding physician wrote that “Michelle’s efforts were critical to facilitate the patient receiving the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Her skill in caring for patients and in coordinating the medical team was outstanding.”
Frederick List, PhD, pediatric psychologist/Children’s Hospital Outpatient Center, carved time from his vacation to meet a family’s short timeframe before returning to the mission field overseas. Finding appointment times is difficult during the holiday season, and the family was grateful for Dr. List’s gift of his own time and the compassionate care he delivered.
Randall Royal, MD, Blue Ridge Women’s Center, is recognized for the personal attention he gave to a patient he had just met. New to the practice, Dr. Royal met the patient after she went into labor. When he learned her other children had biblical names, Dr. Royal pulled up a list of biblical names on his phone and read each one to her until she heard a name that was meaningful to her. She was touched by his personal attention and compassion.
Robin Holbrook, RN, ICU/Oconee Memorial Hospital, gave extra time to a patient who needed assistance eating. The patient had arrived terribly thin, as she had no one at home to help her. Holbrook patiently worked with the patient, spending an hour to get through one meal. She even came in on her day off to sit with the patient until breakfast was finished.
Nominate a Stellar Star
GHS’ Stellar Service program recognizes employees for demonstrating service behaviors that are above and beyond. Such recognition ranges from individual recognition within a department to the GHS Employee of the Year award. A story about an employee should stand out as exemplary. Exemplary means serving as a model or an example worth imitating. The behavior should contribute toward patient and family focused care or the equivalent type of service and focus for other customers, including fellow employees. Click here to nominate an employee for stellar star recognition.
June Schammel is the Volunteer of the Month for March. A volunteer with GHS since 2010, Schammel serves each week in two locations. At the Greenville Memorial Hospital Hospitality Shop, she helps customers find the perfect gift, needed sundry item or choice piece of candy. As a greeter at the Breast Health Center on Patewood Medical Campus, she warmly escorts patients and families to the treatment area. Staff members say she “hangs the moon.”
Randy and Phyllis Hilton are the Volunteers of the Month for April. This dynamic duo has served GHS since November 2011. Their commitment to the patient experience and compassion for cardiac patients led them to revive the once-dormant Mended Hearts volunteer program at Greenville Memorial Hospital. They now coordinate a team of volunteers who mentor patients and their families in numerous cardiac areas where the members are well received by staff and clinicians.
“He took the time to listen.”
“She kept us informed the whole time.”
“They helped us understand what was happening during a difficult time.”
Many of the Stellar Star nominations that are submitted to recognize excellent service describe employees who demonstrate this issue’s COMPASSION standard of communicate professionally.
Some of the most poignant nominations recognize compassion in the way staff listened to patients, how they explained a procedure or the next steps in a treatment plan, or how they diligently made sure that the right information was delivered to the right place at the right time.
Giving of one’s time is a theme in several of this issue’s Stellar Star of the Month stories. In each case, the employee took time to understand the need and then responded in a caring, professional manner that let the patients and families feel respected and valued.
When we communicate professionally, the people we interact with know that we care for them. For more tips, visit the Commitment to Excellence site in the lower left corner of the Plexus home page at https://c2e.ghsnet.ghs.org/StandardsOfBehavior.
Suzzan Hobbs, FNP-BC, Neuroscience Associates, received the DAISY Award for her unfailing compassion for patients with ALS and their families and for her commitment to the ALS Clinic. Hobbs received multiple nominations from patients, family members and coworkers.
John Pearson, PharmD, MBA, director of Pharmacy Services, has received the George D. Schwerin Mentor Award from the SC Society of Health System Pharmacists. This honor recognizes a leader who has mentored student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy residents, pharmacists and/or other members of the healthcare team in professional, supervisory, academic or peer relationships.
Michelle Stancil, RN, BSN, CDE, was recognized with the Certified Diabetes Educator of the Year Award by the 2018 Chronic Disease Prevention Symposium for her work with patients who have diabetes. Stancil’s accomplishments include expanding site locations for diabetes education in Greenville, Oconee and Laurens counties, and initiating and running five monthly support groups for patients with diabetes, including an insulin pump support group.
GHS Physicists Excel in Worldwide Competition
Two GHS physicists and one dosimetrist recently garnered top honors in the ProKnow System’s inaugural World Championships of Treatment Planning.
Jonathan Stenbeck, board-certified physicist and certified medical dosimetrist, earned the gold medal as the overall winner. Able Shores, board-certified physicist and certified medical dosimetrist, finished third and was the bronze medal winner. Peter Martin, certified medical dosimetrist, finished as a top 20 percent performer.
During the competition, contestants received identical patient data sets, planning goals and metrics to achieve. They had four hours to submit their individual strategies. Medalists were awarded for precision and efficiency in treatment planning.
Dosimetrists and physicists play a critical role in cancer care by developing treatment plans to manage radiation dosages for patients receiving radiation therapy. Dosimetrists also ensure vital organs are protected from unnecessary radiation exposure.
During February’s Town Hall meeting at Greer Memorial Hospital, the honorable Rick Danner, mayor of Greer, gave a special presentation marking the life and contributions of Linda Williams, RN, an Emergency Department nurse manager who passed away last year after an eight-month battle with ALS. Williams served GHS for over 30 years in the EDs at Allen Bennett Memorial Hospital and Greer Memorial Hospital.
She is remembered for her passion for teaching and encouraging others to reach their highest potential. She also organized Greer’s Heart Walk, set up blood pressure screenings and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.
Meet King, the newest member of the Canine F.E.T.C.H. (Friends Encouraging Therapeutic Coping and Healing) Unit. He is the first therapy dog to be dedicated in memory of a patient. He’ll be sharing snuggles with some of our most critically ill pediatric patients. Read the full story here.
GHS employees and their covered dependents over age 18 may qualify for a new evidence-based program to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program features group sessions facilitated by a trained lifestyle coach and curriculum approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• Age 18 or older
• BMI equal to or greater than 25
• No previous diagnosis of type 1 or 2 diabetes
• Blood tests within the past year in prediabetes range (hemoglobin A1c-5.7-6.4% or fasting glucose 100-125 mg/dL) OR a positive screening for the Prediabetes Risk Test (blood test results are encouraged)
During this year-long program, participants will attend a total of 22 sessions: once a week in a group setting for six months (16 sessions), followed by monthly maintenance sessions for the next six months (6 sessions). Topics include healthy eating, physical activity, and coping with stress and lifestyle changes.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 522-1440. Learn more at www.ghs.org/diabetesprevention.
The Greenville Voice Center, part of GHS’ Greenville ENT, offers tertiary assessment and care for the voice, upper airway, and swallowing for patients throughout the Upstate—and is first in the region to do so!
Located on Patewood Medical Campus, the Greenville Voice Center provides therapies for a variety of conditions, including hoarseness from laryngitis, aging voice and reflux, Vocal cord scarring, growths and lesions, laryngeal or tracheal stenosis, swallowing disorders, and cancer of the vocal cords and larynx. Staff members work closely with Head & Neck Cancer surgeons and other specialists from the GHS Cancer Institute to treat laryngeal cancers and preserve or restore speaking and swallowing.
Providers are Robert Eller, MD; William Frazier, MD; Alissa Yeargin, CCC-SLP; Lisa Barksdale, CCC-SLP; Emily Manny, CF-SLP; Wendy Hay, RN; Nichole Suttle, CMA; and Natasha Williams, CMA.
GHS lab employees volunteered during Health Careers Night at Fluor Field on April 18. This event is co-sponsored by GHS, Greenville County Schools and the Greenville Drive. Students get to meet professionals in various healthcare fields.
Nurses Week is May 6-12. The American Nurses Association’s theme this year is Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence.
During Nurses Week, new awards are being launched at each GHS campus:
The Palmetto Gold Nurse Recognition and Scholarship Program is a subcommittee of the South Carolina Nurses Foundation that recognizes 100 RNs in our state annually who exemplify excellence in nursing practice and commitment to the nursing profession.
This year, GHS has two Palmetto Gold recipients:
Bergstrom and Morris received their awards during the 17th annual Palmetto Gold Gala in Columbia.
Since the program was introduced in 2002, approximately 99 GHS nurses have been named Palmetto Gold winners!
The South Carolina Nurses Foundation is accepting applications for the 2018 Nurses Care Undergraduate and Graduate Nurse Scholarships. Available scholarships include $2,000 undergraduate scholarships and $3,000 graduate scholarships to qualified nursing students now enrolled in an RN, master’s or doctoral program.
Deadline for submission is Sunday, May 20. Learn more here.
Rachel A. Smith
Kim J. Walker
Kim H. Greene
Carole Anne Hoffer
Johana Quiceno Carvajal
Mary Ann Hobbs
Rodney Manjarres Mendez
National Healthcare Week May 6-12
One Team Caring for All
May 4, 6:30 p.m.—GHS Swamp Rabbit 5K, Gateway Park, Travelers Rest. Register at ghs.org/swamprabbit5K ; cost is $15. Live music and free food for participants after the walk/run. Note: This is a Corporate Shield event. Contact Caci Scroggs at email@example.com about reimbursement of entry fee.
May 7, 2:30 p.m.—Employee of the Year Announcement, Robert E. Coleman Medical Staff Auditorium, Greenville Memorial Hospital
May 8—Ice Cream Party; ice cream bars and fruit bars are available on all campuses.
May 9—Employees’ Day Meal; current ID badge required.
GHS Employees, Retirees & Volunteers—Get Fit!
Join the Life Center® or PATH May 6-12 and be eligible to win great prizes! To learn more, call 455-4231.
March for Babies
May 4—Fluor Field, 6:15 p.m. Join the GHS team in this 3.1 mile walk to “help more babies be born healthy.” Learn more at marchforbabies.org/EventInfo.
See a full list of GHS classes and events at ghs.org/events.
Dragon Boat Upstate Festival
May 5—Lake Hartwell. This annual event benefits cancer research and survivorship programs at the GHS Cancer Institute (including Institute for Translational Oncology Research, Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship, and Center for Cancer Prevention and Wellness) and the South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation. To learn more and start a team, visit ghsgiving.org/dragonboat.
Donate to Dragon Boat at GHS Cafeterias
Support the Cancer Institute by donating to the Dragon Boat Upstate Festival at cash registers in all GHS cafeterias. You can donate by using cash, debit or credit cards when purchasing items. Ask a cashier for more information.
Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health
May 18-19—Hyatt Hotel, Downtown Greenville. This year’s event will focus on the multi-faceted nature of mental health and mental illness. Keynote speaker is Thomas R. Insel, MD, founder and president of Mindstrong Health and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Learn more and register at sesmh.org.
Free Skin Cancer Screening
May 19—Patewood Medical Campus, Building A, 2nd floor, 9-11 a.m. This event is hosted by GHS and the Piedmont Dermatological Society. Please wear a bathing suit under loose clothing. Free; registration required. Call 1-877-GHS-INFO (447-4636) or visit ghs.org/events.
Clemson Miracle Network Donates Over $234,000
Clemson Miracle Network has raised $234,851 to benefit GHS Children’s Hospital. This donation is the largest that Children’s Hospital has received from a university organization.
Clemson Miracle Network is a student-led group at Clemson University. Participating students raised money across a 10-month period by hosting events, peer fundraising, sponsorships and the annual Dance Marathon, in which students vow to stand and dance for 12 hours to support the hospital. Over 300 students took part in this year’s marathon.
Funds will support the renovation of Greenville Memorial Hospital’s healing garden, an endowment to send patients to pediatric summer camps and Safe Kids™ Upstate.
“We are so thankful for everyone who came out this year to support Clemson Miracle Network and Children’s Hospital,” said Jennifer Jameson, Children’s Miracle Network manager. “I am thrilled to honor this organization for all the hard work put into making this the most successful year yet!”
New Car Seat Inspection Station
Greenville Memorial Hospital is the site of the first hospital-based car seat inspection in South Carolina. Located in the hospital’s North Parking Garage, the station is made possible thanks to funding from Kohl’s, GHS’ Bradshaw Institute for Community Child Health & Advocacy, and Safe Kids™ Upstate.
Questions? Call Bridgette Watson or Lee Penny at 454-1100.
Community Health Summit
The 12th Annual Community Health Summit (formerly Minority Health Summit) welcomed nearly 2,000 attendees to the TD Center on April 7. More than 100 volunteers—over half GHS employees—were on hand to assist with parking, greet attendees, help with seating and serve lunches.
Presenters included GHS doctors and clinicians, faculty representing five universities and community leaders. This year’s event focused on diabetes and mental health as well as health career options—more than 300 youth were in attendance. Keynote speakers The Three Doctors shared their inspiring story of how as teenagers they made and kept their pact to stay in school and become physicians despite overwhelming obstacles.
A record number of community health agencies and safety-net providers, including several GHS departments, offered free screenings and information on health and community services. More than 300 health screenings and 100 health risk assessments were conducted.
This summit is the largest community-based health education and screening initiative in the Southeast.
Meredith McGinnis, Editor
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