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The Catalyst

Medical Center Communications Corner

2014 Employee Engagement Survey

Our faculty and staff are our most valuable resource, and employee commitment and satisfaction are vital to our continued success. The College of Medicine, MUSC Physicians, and Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA), which comprise MUSC Health, have once again engaged national survey research firm Morehead Associates/Press Ganey to conduct our employee engagement survey. For the first time, all three entities will be using a single survey in 2014, with all employees (faculty and staff) responding to the same set of core questions.
Another major improvement to this year’s survey is that the MUHA physician/clinician satisfaction survey, traditionally administered by MUHA on an annual basis as a separate survey, has been incorporated into the employee commitment survey. This means the entire enterprise will be taking one survey at the same time. We will be able to review the results for MUSC Health as a whole but also by each individual entity and work group.
Each faculty and staff member will receive an email on Feb. 10 directly from Morehead Associates/Press Ganey, containing a link to the survey and a personalized PIN number. The survey will be open for two weeks — Feb. 10–24. This is the survey method used in the past by both the College of Medicine and MUSC Physicians. This is a change for MUHA staff who have received printed letters containing the PIN number in the past. The survey dates changed from last year because when deployed in the spring, the survey conflicted with yearly evaluations and physician contract renewals.
We are committed to ensuring the confidentiality of all individual survey responses; all survey data will be kept on a Morehead Associates/Press Ganey server and will not be accessible by anyone at MUSC, MUSC Physicians, or MUHA. If you have any questions or concerns about the survey process, please contact Frances Glanville of the College of Medicine (, Michelle Wiles of MUSC Physicians (, or Julie Floyd of MUHA ( for assistance.
This survey is a great opportunity to share your perceptions across a variety of key areas that affect your satisfaction, and will help us improve our workplace. All faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in this important survey — we value your input and we look forward to hearing from you.
Your feedback from last year’s survey inspired a number of changes within the medical center. We’ve highlighted some of these changes below.

Medical Center Employee Engagement
Two main issues identified as top concerns for our employees in the 2013 survey were “Confidence in senior leadership” and “An environment that encourages employees to go above and beyond”. Further analysis of these items highlighted the importance of communication at all levels. Our response to this feedback is summarized below.

Issue:  Confidence in Senior Leadership

Activities focused on Communication and assuring that employees are informed of activities and the reasons behind decisions:

  • Our CEO, Patrick Cawley, M.D., has continued to convey important information to all employees every week in his ‘Monday Message’
  • All employees are copied on the weekly message, ‘Clinical Connections’, sent to our medical staff.
  • All administrators, directors and managers are expected to attend a monthly meeting to learn about important issues and initiatives. Each leader is responsible for cascading specific information to employees in their areas within two weeks of the meeting.  (Specific information is also linked to Dr. Cawley’s “Monday Message” two weeks after the meeting to make sure that every employee has received the information.)
  • A monthly employee newsletter, Horizon, was launched.
  • The number and schedule variety of Town Hall sessions was significantly increased to support all employees being able to attend. 
  • Town Hall series included an overview of the external factors that have been or will be impacting the Medical Center so that everyone has a basic understanding of the reasons for decisions and priorities.
  • Question and Answers from Town Hall meetings were posted on the MUSC Excellence website so that everyone is aware of issues discussed at all sessions.
  • Public speaking assessment and consultation was provided to all Town Hall presenters to assure consistency and effectiveness in providing information to staff.
  • Leaders have completed education related to crucial conversations to provide helpful feedback to employees.
  • A Communication Advisory Group, chaired by COO Matt Wain, is now meeting monthly. This group of staff and leaders is providing assessment and recommendations to effectively engage all staff in two way interactions and problem solving.

Activities focused on connection with Senior Leaders:

  • CEO Dr. Patrick Cawley has led almost 50 percent of the general sessions of our Town Hall meetings.
  • Chief Quality Officer Dr. Danielle Scheurer has led a team of leaders making “Safety Rounds” in clinical areas to hear and respond to staff concerns.
  • Chief Operating Officer Matt Wain visits various locations throughout the Medical Center to learn about our organization and to meet staff.
  • Chief Nursing Officer and Administrator for Clinical Services Marilyn Schaffner rounds with work groups in Clinical Services and nursing staff in clinical areas.

Physician Engagement
Nine issues were identified as being the top concerns for physicians in the 2013 survey. Each issue was analyzed and has at least one or two action plans currently implemented for improvement. Below we’ve highlighted two of these issues and our action plans for each.

Issue: Hospital capacity/bed flow
“Bed capacity” was listed as the number one concern among physicians on 2013 annual survey and we are taking a proactive comprehensive approach to address this issue.
Action Plan:
1. Emergency Patient Placement Protocol (EP3) — to place patients into beds in the hospital even when hospital reaching capacity
2. Express Patient Admission Unit (EAU) — An eight–bed unit to move patients into temporary beds where they will receive initial treatment while awaiting a definitive floor bed to open up
3. Standard discharge process changes — Discharge (D/C) orders written in CPOE by 10 a.m.; Process the discharge patient to leave hospital within three hours after D/C order; Monitor the above metrics monthly for each unit, service line, & clinical specialty
4. Establish a task group to evaluate possible D/C patient processing lounge  
5. Opening more hospital beds and increasing actual bed numbers: ART x four beds; Opening all ICU beds in each hospital; Opening Main 10 East; Construction ART 7th floor – 40 beds
6. Maintaining or reducing length of patient hospital stay (LOS) 

Issue: Steps to remain market competitive
Action Plan:

“Charting The Future of Care” — Progressnotes: A Year–in–Review for the clinical enterprise

  • Hard copies were sent to physicians throughout South Carolina and electronically to selected physicians and leaders in the Southeast with the intent of strengthening our brand as a leading academic medical center regionally and nationally.
  • The Year–in–Review includes new stories as well as updates on stories that appeared in recent issues of Progressnotes, MUSC’s News Center or The Catalyst.
  • The Year–in–Review is divided into four sections: clinical innovation, quality–driven care, telehealth, and research

Other changes inspired by the 2013 survey responses:

  • Monthly All Physician & Physician Leader meeting — used as an open Town Hall meeting
  • Monthly Clinical Chairs meetings. (It is expected that attendees cascade information to physician faculty)
  • COO regular meetings with Service Line administrators & medical directors

February 7, 2014

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