The BMC Brief
July 18, 2012 Volume 1, Issue 28
Thank you for taking the recent BMC Communications survey. More than 1,800 of you responded, telling us how often you read the BMC Brief and use the intranet, rating the effectiveness of new communication tools like the digital signage TV system and the huddle card, and informing us about how you learn about BMC and its activities. Overall, you gave us positive feedback about the hospital’s communication efforts, but there is room for improvement. For example, you told us that you want to read more patient care stories in the Brief and would like the huddle card to be more relevant to your day-to-day work. We have heard you and are working to enhance these publications and the effectiveness of all our communications efforts.
We appreciate receiving feedback from you, and welcome all suggestions and story ideas for the Brief; please feel free to send them to us at email@example.com.
BMC is now three quarters through the fiscal year, with work continuing on the hospital’s 2012 QUEST goals (Quality, Efficiency, Satisfaction and Total Revenue). Below is an update on BMC’s performance in the third quarter.
Visit the BMC intranet to learn more about the QUEST goals.
Melissa “Missy” Jackson and Michele Bloomer have a lot in common. They both are lively and warm women. They both have caring husbands and each has three children to whom they are devoted. They also are survivors of a rare cancer – adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the salivary gland and have both been treated by Andrew Salama, DDS, MD, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
After almost two years of “talking” on Facebook about living with a devastating and frightening form of cancer, the two women met for the first time last week at BMC when Missy came to the Oral Surgery clinic for a checkup and Michele was in town visiting family. They admitted to crying upon seeing each other.
“It was so exciting,” says Missy. “I posted on Facebook all about it.”
Missy, 36, a native of Gardiner, Mass., is a current patient of Salama’s who was diagnosed with ACC in 2010 and referred to BMC as the best place for treatment because of Salama's expertise. Michele, 43, a native of Baltimore, is a former patient of Salama’s who was treated by him for the same cancer in 2007 when he was at the University of Maryland.
The parallels between the two women inspired Salama to suggest that they make contact with each other, as Michele could be a resource and support for Missy as she navigated the surgery and follow-up radiation.
“He called her my doppelganger,” says Missy. “I couldn’t find much online about my cancer so just making contact with Michele, who had already been through all of this, was great. I was diagnosed in October and by November we were already talking on Facebook."
“The most amazing part of their story is that they have bonded in way that I have not seen before in patients,” says Salama. “Michele told me she wished that she had had someone with the same diagnosis who she could have turned to for help. They are incredibly thoughtful of each other.”
ACC generally emerges in the head and neck region predominantly in the salivary gland, progresses slowly, and spreads along nerve tracts with metastases typically to the lungs, liver and bones. Surgery is the standard treatment followed by radiation. According to the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation (ACCRF), approximately 1,200 new cases of ACC are diagnosed each year and are more prevalent in women than men with a median age of 43 at diagnosis.
“At first I was careful about what I said to Missy because my experience wouldn’t necessarily be hers” says Michele. “I was a recluse after my surgery. Missy opened the door for me and through her, I found on Facebook that there is always someone to talk to who can offer some kind of help.”
Both women say they hold Salama in very high regard.
“He is always there,” says Missy. “If I have a question or have a concern he always responds quickly and wants to know what my concerns are.”
The women have shared much in the almost two years they’ve been in contact, but had never actually spoken to one another. The results of Michele’s surgery have made her speech somewhat difficult to understand so she does not like talking on the phone. Face-to-face, however, the connection between them is obvious and they have an easy and affirmative understanding of each other and what the other is going through.
The two also have developed a Facebook ACC support group of people from around the world. Next spring a Facebook correspondent and cancer survivor from Australia will travel to the U.S. and Missy and Michele will meet her. The two also will meet again next month in North Carolina when the ACCRF holds a Run for the Cure that they both plan to attend with their families.
Name: Chris Cusack
What brought you to BMC?
What do you do here?
What’s your favorite thing about being an MRI technologist?
How does your job contribute to the patient experience?
Next week is MRI Safety Week. Why should people know about MRI safety?
Do you know a staff member who should be profiled? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patients share their BMC experience
Dear Boston Medical Center staff,
This letter will never express or convey my feelings of gratitude, relief, peace and amazement at what human beings who are dedicated to their work and a sense of higher purpose are capable of.
My wife returned to Boston from Russia after a two-year hiatus. She told me she was under great stress while there.
At first I noticed some changes in her behavior and as time passed, it became evident that she was exhibiting symptoms of psychotic behavior – behavior that not only had I never witnessed from her but from any individual. Extreme paranoia, bipolar swings and delusions were the primary symptoms with periods of rambling random thoughts and incoherencies.
My wife was admitted to the emergency room at another Boston hospital and released without any recommendation other than rest.
After a deepening and aggrandizement of the symptoms, I finally went to the police for help.
They recommended the BMC Department of Psychiatry's Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST) who helped get my wife into BMC's emergency department.
What I witnessed over the next few days was miraculous. My wife’s behavior progressed from the insane to subdued acceptance to appreciation to the staff for their work. In approximately four days, she was released without medication. I had been convinced that she would need to be hospitalized in a psychiatric unit for weeks, at least!
It has been four days now and I am experiencing the woman that I fell in love with and have known over the past seven years. Again, truly miraculous! I realize that it is too soon to predict long-term results, but it is a respite to see her move from the insanity and pain she experienced to the calmness, peace and joy that she expresses now.
The short-term effect of your care is a human being who appreciates the professionalism, care, attention to detail, kindness, compassion and humanity of a staff that went above and beyond to restore her to health.
My wife told me about the frequent visits of the psychiatrists, nurses and others who inquired incessantly about her condition and any previous history and symptoms she had, and the phone calls to Russia caregivers made to speak with my wife's mother and the doctor who had been treating her there.
Such attention to detail, thoroughness and concern for the proper and optimum outcome for someone in need of medical attention can only come from the paramount of teams and professionals.
My wife expresses her appreciation to the entire staff and many individuals who came to her rescue. This experience has confirmed her belief that America is truly a great country with inspired, intelligent, compassionate, giving and loving individuals who truly care for each other’s health and well-being.
I can never express my appreciation with words. I have seen, first hand, why Boston is the medical center of the world. Boston Medical Center exemplifies that tradition by leading the field of consummate institutions that have built this stellar reputation in the greatest of cities in the world. Your institution, and its entire staff, is world class!
I wish all of you the greatest success and rewards as you continue to strive to provide the greatest health care in the world. You truly represent your brilliant axiom: Exceptional care, without exception.
BMC hosts first-ever fashion event
James named Assistant Dean of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
Robert Nicoletta joins BMC
Nicoletta has been the head team physician for numerous local high schools, collegiate and professional athletic teams. Most recently he served as a team physician at Boston College, and as head team physician for the Boston Cannons Men’s Professional Lacrosse and the Boston Breakers Women’s Professional Soccer. He has served as the head team physician for Newbury College, Fisher College, Pine Manor College, Lesley University, and UMass Boston Intercollegiate Athletics. He was recently named to the national list of 65 Outstanding Shoulder Surgeons and Specialists by Becker’s Orthopedic and Spine Review.
Nicoletta will be seeing patients at both BMC’s Shapiro Center and at the Ryan Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation at Boston University.
BMC has been recognized by a U.S. News & World Report survey as high performing – in the top 25 percent of hospitals across the country – in cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, ear, nose and throat, gastroenterology, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, pulmonology and urology.
The rankings, now available online, will be published in the magazine's annual America's Best Hospitals guide, which will appear in the August issue.
Martha Griffin, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, has been selected to be inducted as one of 176 fellows to the American Academy of Nursing during its 39th annual meeting and conference Oct. 13. The Academy comprises more than 1,800 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research. Selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current Academy Fellows. Griffin is the first nurse from BMC inducted into the Academy and one of eight nurses being inducted from Massachusetts.
“Selection for membership in the Academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing,” says Lisa O’Connor, RN, BSN, MS, NEAA-BC, Senior Vice President for Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer. “It celebrates Martha’s contribution to the advancement of the nursing profession and is an incredible honor for her and for BMC. I am very proud to count Martha as a colleague.”
Four BMC groups recently won inaugural Patient Experience Awards. The awards recognize outstanding achievements in improving the patient experience as part of BMC’s Be Exceptional Strategic Plan’s work to Provide the Right Care for Every Patient, No less, No more. The Patient Experience Awards are given quarterly to the teams who provide an excellent patient experience, as measured by patient satisfaction surveys and other significant, tangible achievements. The winners are Radiation Oncology, which achieved a 90 percent survey rank, Urology, which achieved an 83 percent survey rank, Newton Pavilion 8W, which achieved a 94 percent survey rank, and the Primary Care Call Center, which improved performance on the percentage of abandoned calls to a rate of just 3 percent.
Kermit Crawford, PhD, Psychiatry, is the recipient of the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program’s 2012 James M. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award. Crawford was selected for his outstanding scientific contributions and the application of this knowledge toward the improved mental and physical well-being of people of color. He will receive the award at the upcoming American Psychological Association meeting in Orlando, Fla.
BMC’s evaluation and measurement initiatives were showcased recently by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine as exemplifying one of the four habits of high-value health care organizations. You can read the full article on the BMC intranet.