COLLEGE OF MEDICINE Newsroom
Message from the Dean
COM Online Master’s Program
I am pleased to announce that we have contracted Pearson Embanet to help us develop courses for the MS in Integrated Preclinical Medicine (MSIPM) and to conduct a market test for the program. We are seeking 36 faculty members to staff the development and teaching of courses (or “blocks”) in the MSIPM. This same material will be repurposed as part of a pilot three-year MD program, pending approval of the LCME.
The MSIPM is a component in an innovative strategy to reduce the cost of medical education for students, to enrich the learning and teaching experience for many in the College of Medicine, to generate funds to support the educational mission of the College, and to open new areas of research and scholarship to our faculty. A forum for sharing news, background information, and a FAQ about the program can be found at https://sp.musc.edu/com/discuss/onlinemasters/default.aspx.
For detailed information about this opportunity, go to the information slide deck located here: https://sp.musc.edu/com/discuss/onlinemasters/Online%20MS%20Project%20Documents/FacultyMsInfo.pptx. If you are interested in participating in the program, please contact Ben Curry (firstname.lastname@example.org). He is holding faculty information sessions on July 23 and 24. There will also be a one-day workshop on July 28, for faculty participating in the program.
Physician Payment Sunshine Act – Open Payments System Registration Began on July 14
Last month, we shared with you an update provided by the MUSC Conflict of Interest Office regarding the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. Physicians and teaching hospitals can now begin registering in the Open Payments system; although registration is voluntary, it becomes a mandatory process if physicians want the opportunity to review and dispute data submitted by manufacturers and group purchasing organizations prior to public posting on September 30, 2014. In order to review or dispute data submitted by industry for the 2013 reporting period, physicians must be registered and have reviewed any data reported about them on or before August 27, 2014. More information on this topic can be found at https://sp.musc.edu/com/discuss/clinical/default.aspx. For more information about Open Payments, please visit http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/National-Physician-Payment-Transparency-Program/index.html.
MUSC Receives Most Wired Hospitals Award
Last week, MUSC was again recognized as one of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals. This is the third year in a row MUSC has received this accolade, which recognizes institutions that perform well with respect to infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration. One of the factors that contributed to this recognition is our implementation of the Epic electronic medical record. Congratulations to all those who contributed to this recognition.
Faculty Bridge Funding Program
A primary goal of the College of Medicine is to support and strengthen research capabilities of our faculty. One mechanism utilized to facilitate this goal is our Bridge Funding Program. The purpose of this program is to support investigators with established clinical or basic research programs during periods when a competitive renewal was not funded. Program details and the application format are available at http://www.musc.edu/com/research/bridgefunding.htm. The application deadline for the current cycle is August 15. Applications may be emailed to Mary McConnell at email@example.com. Faculty with questions about this program should contact Senior Associate Dean for Research Craig Crosson.
U.S. News & World Report Rankings Released This Week
U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) released its annual adult hospital rankings earlier this week. MUSC ranked as high performing in seven adult specialties – Cancer; Ear, Nose & Throat; Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery; Orthopaedics, Pulmonology; and Urology. Rankings for Children’s Hospitals were released in May, and MUSC was ranked nationally in two pediatric specialty areas (Cardiology & Heart Surgery and Nephrology). Along with rankings, USNWR also reported that 86% of patients responding would recommend MUSC to family and friends; the state and national average is 71%, so this is a number of which we can be very proud. The ranking system was quite different this year, with a social media-based reputation component and patient safety indicators being added. We are currently in the process of analyzing this new scoring methodology and conducting an analysis to determine if there are areas where we can improve in the coming year. Updates based on these findings will be provided when they become available. We do know from an early review of the rankings that USNWR was in error by not giving credit to our intensive care units for being staffed with intensivists; that omission is being investigated with the publication. Our faculty and other clinical providers deliver excellent care and service to our patients, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them as well as college and hospital leadership and other employees associated with these programs for their efforts.
CRA Continuing Education Series - Clinical Trials Legislation: Why Do We Care?
All are invited to attend an important seminar on Friday, July 25, 2:00-3:30 p.m. in HCC-120 covering recent national legislation and how it impacts what we do on a state, regional and local level. Speakers and topics will include-
“The False Claims Act, Medicare Coverage Analysis and the Sunshine Act” - S. David McLean, Senior Healthcare Counsel, MUHA
“The Affordable Care Act, Its Impact on Clinical Trials, and South Carolina’s Voluntary Agreement for Clinical Trial Coverage” - Terri Matson, Director of Research Administration, Hollings Cancer Center
“Patient Through-Put and Back-End Audits” - Kelly Shaw, Compliance Manager, MUHA
Attendees who are working towards SoCRA accreditation will receive a certificate for 1.5 hours of continuing education credits. Registration is not required, and there is no fee. For additional information, please visit http://hcc.musc.edu/commitments/clinicaltrialsnetwork/members/images/CRA_Continuing_Education_Series_July_2014.pdf.
Task Force on Employee Engagement and Work-Life Integration
Our faculty and staff, like all of those working in academic healthcare, are facing new, unprecedented challenges – with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the reduction in state funding due to the recession of 2008, and with student tuition capped due to unsustainable levels of student debt. MUSC leadership has responded with lots of initiatives to cut costs and grow revenues, but it is indeed a challenging time! Nonetheless, there are likely things we can do as an organization to support our employees – both faculty and staff. We all spend many hours working on behalf of the institution’s missions, and it is our goal that all members of our workforce feel supported and valued. In an effort to more clearly identify issues affecting our workforce, and develop strategies to make improvements where opportunities exist, we are launching a Task Force on Employee Engagement and Work-Life Integration which will suggest new strategies for the College of Medicine and MUSC Physicians to employ to help our faculty and staff feel more engaged at work and more supported in their work-life challenges.
Dr. Carol Feghali Bostwick, Professor in the Department of Medicine and Director of the College of Medicine Center for ARROWS (Advancement, Recruitment and Retention of Women in Science) has agreed to serve as Chair of this initiative. We are seeking volunteers – faculty and staff, men and women – to serve on this task force. Those interested in serving should submit a brief paragraph expressing their interest to Jennifer Nall (firstname.lastname@example.org) by July 25.
The task force will be charged with suggesting strategies for improving employee engagement and work-life integration by the end of this calendar year. We will then review and analyze those suggestions, create a business case for them, and develop a timeline for those strategies we decide to implement by July 2015, with some efforts commencing as early as next summer.
While this task force will be focused on our faculty and staff, it is important to note that we are also committed to ensuring our students are supported. During the preclinical years, the educational program limits the number of contact hours per week to a maximum of 23-27 hours. Additionally, students are given at least one afternoon off per week to attend to personal issues. During the clinical years, there is a work-hour policy which sets limits on the number of hours that students should be in the clinical setting, thus allowing time for them to deal with personal issues. So, even though our students aren’t included in this task force’s charge, rest assured their work-life integration issues are being addressed through other means.
It is our hope that this initiative will result in some meaningful improvements for our faculty and staff.
Hollings Cancer Center
As I shared with you previously, the three candidates for the Hollings Cancer Center Interim Director position are Dr. Anthony Alberg, Dr. Michael Lilly, and Dr. Ken Tew. We would like to provide an opportunity for feedback from interested faculty and Hollings Cancer Center staff with respect to the Interim Director candidates. You may do so by sending me an email or by scheduling a brief meeting with me to share your thoughts in person. I have set aside the following time for brief individual meetings – July 21, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Please contact my assistant, Anita Harrell, to schedule a 10-minute block during this time if you’d like to meet with me about this topic. It is our intent to name an Interim Director by early August.
A reception celebrating Dr. Andrew Kraft’s leadership of the Hollings Cancer Center over the past decade, and the renewal of NCI designation for Hollings, will be held on August 21, 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Hollings Cancer Center Reed Pavilion. Member of the college are invited to attend this event.
Town Hall Meetings
As a reminder, I will elaborate on our collective accomplishments over the past year and on our plans for the future in my annual State of the College address, which will be held on Monday, September 8, at 4:00 p.m., in 110 Drug Discovery Building. As we continue to implement the university-wide funds flow process and as financial pressures continue to challenge our institution, I will also be presenting a Town Hall meeting focused on college financial issues – this will be held on Monday, September 15, at 4:00 p.m., in 110 Drug Discovery Building. I hope all members of the college who are interested will plan to attend these meetings. In addition, we will be holding quarterly Town Hall meetings going forward as an opportunity to discuss topics of interest – these will be open to all members of the college and dates will be announced through my weekly emails as they are confirmed. As always, I look forward to hearing your input and feedback.
As a reminder, we have electronic discussion platforms focusing on various aspects of our mission. These forums are intended to serve several purposes. First, they are another way for my office to share important information with faculty, staff, and students. Second, they are meant to encourage discussion about issues within the college and to empower everyone within the college to voice their opinions. These “discussion forums” are intended to be not only channels for messages to be sent out, but channels for YOUR ideas, comments and questions to be heard by college leadership. Your voice matters and we are pleased there is a new way for it to be heard. You can access these forums by using the following links and your net ID and password:
Etta D. Pisano, MD
Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine