The BMC Brief
August 14, 2013 Volume 2, Issue 14
Employee Resource Groups Aim to Connect BMC Staff
On a campus as large as BMC, it can be challenging to connect with colleagues in areas outside of your own department. But thanks to a new initiative establishing employee resource groups (ERGs), BMC hopes to create an opportunity for employees to connect with staff from other departments around the hospital who share common interests, life experiences or similar backgrounds in order to enhance the BMC community and employee engagement.
“With almost 7,000 employees it can be a challenge for staff to meet other staff, other than the people they work with every day,” says Cheryl Freed Loew, Director, Organizational Effectiveness, who is coordinating this effort. “Many have expressed interest in establishing these groups not only to connect with others but also to have additional opportunities to learn and grow outside of their own work units.”
ERGs will enable small groups of individuals to meet face to face in a more intimate setting to discuss pertinent topics and plan events relevant to their common area of interest. These groups are open to everyone, even if they do not share the common characteristic; all that is needed to join a group is an interest in the topic and will provide opportunities for professional development and networking.
Freed Loew’s role is to support the establishment and maintenance of the BMC ERGs, including helping each group to establish a mission statement, select leaders and plan events. BMC also will provide modest financial support to established ERGs.
“An important component of employee engagement is developing an emotional connection to BMC,” says Freed Loew. “When a staff member joins an ERG, they enhance connections with other staff members and by making these connections and establishing friendships across campus, it will strengthen the connection to BMC as an organization.”
Several ERGs already are off and running. The LGBTQ group will enable employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning sexual identity to provide support and education to each other and the greater BMC community on LGBTQ related issues and as well as to organize both fun and educational events for its members.
The Multicultural group will enable employees from diverse cultural backgrounds to celebrate the contributions of BMC's diverse community by promoting and supporting professional development, mentorship, networking, and culture initiatives. A Young Professionals ERG for staff starting out in their careers will be getting underway in September. BMC staff have even come together to form a kickball team. There are many other ideas for ERGs that have flowed in, including “Empowering Future Leaders,” “Foodies” and “Crafting” groups and are awaiting more interest form entries before they can join the ranks as an official ERG.
Are you interested in joining or starting an ERG? Visit the HR section of the intranet to review ERG Guidelines and to submit an interest form.
BMC is making great progress toward the implementation of eMERGE, the hospital’s new Epic electronic health record system. This month members of the Information Technology Services (ITS) department and the Epic team will mark the on schedule completion of half of the eMERGE system build. BMC also received a 4.2 out of 5 in its progress report card from Epic, which is considered an excellent score for a project of this size and scope. eMERGE is scheduled to go-live for inpatient services in May 2014 and for ambulatory services in February 2015.
eMERGE, which stands for electronic Medical Records Generating Excellence, will provide a single, up-to-date electronic health record for every BMC patient, supporting the notion of one patient, one record. Since BMC kicked off its transition to eMERGE in March, the ITS and Epic teams have worked with clinicians and other key staff members across the hospital to design a system that will best meet the needs of BMC and its patients.
“eMERGE implementation gives us the opportunity to engineer our patient care processes from the ground up,” says Gerard Doherty, MD, Chief, Department of Surgery. “I believe that we will enjoy improved clinical efficiency for our providers and patients, with less of the ‘re-work’ that is necessary with our current systems.”
BMC’s eMERGE leadership team, ITS and Epic staff recently hosted live demonstrations of eMERGE, which were well attended by employees. The demonstrations walked attendees through a variety of clinical scenarios to showcase the features and capabilities of eMERGE, including one fictitious patient’s journey through an inpatient setting with a diagnosis of acute appendicitis. The patient’s complete medical record is up-to-date and travels electronically with the patient from the emergency department to surgery and then to post-op recovery on a medical/surgical floor.
“eMERGE will provide one complete record for each patient, leading to improved patient safety, and greater care coordination and efficiency,” says Geralyn Saunders, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Information Officer. “Implementing a fully integrated system across all departments will create an ongoing platform for innovation and quality improvement.”
eMERGE will enable clinicians across BMC to view the patient chart in real-time, including past medical history, allergies, labs and orders. eMERGE also will provide a complete medication administration record and support the use of bar-coding for medication administration to ensure that each patient receives the correct medication and dosage at the right time.
“Having barcoding at the bedside will significantly improve patient safety and reduce the potential for medication errors,” says Patricia Covelle, RN, Director, Critical Care Nursing. “Nurses are excited to utilize this technology along with the many other benefits eMERGE will bring to help delivery safe, quality patient care.”
Over the next few months, clinical staff that serve as eMERGE project leads and subject matter experts will continue to review and validate clinical content for the new system. This same group recently began the process of reviewing current provider order sets in an effort to ensure that the most appropriate clinical content will be represented and available in the eMERGE system. Other areas of clinical content such as nursing care plans and flow-sheets are also in development. Training for clinicians begins in March of 2014 and will be tailored to the user’s clinical responsibilities. In the fall, eMERGE clinical leads will begin preliminary testing for the system to ensure functionality for clinical users.
For more information about eMERGE, visit the eMERGE section of the intranet.
Growing organs like lungs in a lab may sound futuristic, but thanks to the work being done by the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM), a collaboration of BMC and Boston University scientists who are working to advance stem cell research and regenerative medicine, this soon may become a reality.
The American Lung Association estimates that up to 24 million Americans have impaired lung function, ranging from asthma to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Darrell Kotton, MD, Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep and Critical Care Medicine and the Director of CReM, and his team are using stem cells to research treatment options for people suffering from lung disorders.
“From emphysema and asthma to lung cancer, diseases of the lung cause a tremendous burden of human suffering and health care costs in the US today,” says Kotton. “Unfortunately, treatments for many of these diseases are inadequate.”
Kotton’s work focuses on patients whose lungs do not heal effectively due to disease. These patients usually require intensive treatments, lengthy hospital stays, or even the daily use of supplemental oxygen to stay alive. Kotton’s team generates stem cells from these patients through a technology called reprogramming, where they take a small sample of skin or blood from these individuals and reprogram these cells into “induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells,” which function similarly to embryonic stem cells.
“By developing the methods needed to coax those stem cells into new lung cells, we can use them to model the patient’s disease,” says Kotton. “Because each patient’s stem cells are unique, we can also use these cells to develop individualized treatments for each patient in the future. One day, we even hope to engineer new bioartificial lungs from these cells.”
Using the iPS method, Kotton’s team has been able to take their leading-edge research from the bench to the bedside. Kotton’s lab used stem cells to recreate a pediatric patient’s “Long Q Syndrome,” a rare inherited heart condition that causes an irregular heartbeat. Kotton’s team generated iPS cells from the child as well as the child’s parents. These stem cells were then differentiated into beating cardiomyocytes (heart cells) and were subjected to numerous combinations of drugs in order to test a personalized treatment regimen able to ameliorate the disease in the laboratory model of the child’s disease. This drug regimen was given to the child and the child’s irregular heart beat stabilized.
While this type of result is promising, greater results with broader implications are yet to come. Kotton’s team has also created a disease-specific stem cell bank for a variety of inherited lung ailments from cystic fibrosis to sickle cell anemia. The stem cell bank, which holds 100 lung-disease specific stem cell lines, is paving the way for other researchers to start exploring the use of stem cells as a viable treatment option. The new additional CReM laboratories, led by CReM founding Co-Directors, George Murphy, PhD and Gustavo Mostoslavsky, MD, PhD, also are developing exciting iPS cell based models of disease of the blood or intestines. Jointly these teams have created one of the largest patient-specific iPS cell banks in the country. Most importantly, the CReM’s “open-source” approach to biological research means the databases, knowledge, and any tools or stem cells generated from the Center’s studies can be shared with other scientists without restriction or exclusivity and are free of charge.
“We believe this type of sharing is the quickest and most effective way to develop novel therapies for future patients,” says Kotton.
At the June Town Hall Meetings, President and CEO Kate Walsh reviewed BMC’s recent financial progress. The evolution includes BMC moving from the brink of defaulting on its debt in 2010 due to a dramatic decrease in Medicaid funding to a series of significant cost-cutting and other measures that allowed the hospital to stabilize its finances and close 2012 with a small surplus. Walsh noted that the hospital’s financial progress is continuing in 2013 due in large part to increased inpatient volume.
As of July, the hospital is within reach of its stretch QUEST goal of 1,000 inpatient admissions over budget. There are three major drivers to this increase, explains Joe Camillus, Vice President of Ambulatory Operations and Professional Services.
“First, we continue to grow our primary care base here at Boston Medical Center, which feeds all the specialty and sub-specialty services across the institution,” he says.
Primary care at BMC comprises Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. These three practices have been working actively to stay at the forefront of trends in care delivery. In January, Family Medicine and GIM achieved a significant milestone when they were awarded Level 1 Patient-Centered Medical Home designation for meeting patient-centered principles that include comprehensive, coordinated, team-based care and a systems-based approach to quality and safety.
Camillus notes that while the national trend is long waits for primary care appointments, BMC is booking new patients quickly.
“There aren’t many places in town that can get people in as fast as we do,” he says. “And once they are here, the goal is to keep them healthy and in the BMC system.”
The second major volume driver is increased referral volume from BMC’s community health center partners. Camillus points to unique partnerships that have been put in place over the past year, including the opening of a new BMC breast imaging suite at Mattapan Community Health Center and an expedited direct admit process that allows patients in the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center emergency department to be transferred efficiently to the family medicine and cardiology services here at BMC.
“This is a great example of the type of seamless, patient-centered care we need to provide moving forward,” says Camillus.
Finally, the addition of new surgeons and the growth of existing surgical practices have resulted in large volume increases in bariatric, general surgery, oral maxillofacial and orthopedics.
“With improving access in our clinics, patients are getting in to see a doctor sooner and consequently our surgeons are working harder than ever,” notes Camillus.
All of these trends have put the hospital on a sound trajectory.
“We have a lot of work left to do, but this is shaping up to be a very good year,” sums up Camillus.
For the fifth year in a row, Team BMC members will put the pedal to the metal for BMC Pediatric Programs as they cycle up to 100 miles in the Rodman Ride for Kids on Sept. 28.
“Funding from the Rodman Ride gives us flexibility to help children in many of our BMC-based programs,” says Robert Vinci, MD, Chief of Pediatrics, who is participating for the fourth time.
Rain or shine, approximately 1,500 riders will ride 25, 50 or 100-mile routes weaving through Foxboro, Mass. Last year, the event raised $10.3 million dollars for children’s charities around the state and has raised a total of $71 million since it began in 1991.
The Rodman Ride for Kids is an umbrella matching gift charity that raises funds for social-service agencies that support at-risk children in the Commonwealth. All funds raised by the ride go directly to charities, including BMC. Rodman Ride provides a 10 percent match to the total raised.
Team BMC aims to raise funds and awareness for programs including the Pediatric Kids Fund, which raises money for necessities not covered by medical insurance, like eyeglasses, winter coats and medicine, to thousands of pediatric outpatients; and the SPARK Center, which provides child care and therapeutic programs for some of Boston’s highest-risk children.
“The SPARK Center offers a comprehensive, integrated, state-of-the-art facility for children and families whose lives are affected by not only medical, but also emotional and behavioral challenges,” says team captain Trysha Ahern, Administrative Director, Operations, Research and Finance, Section of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, who is riding for the fifth time. “SPARK depends on fundraising, so every dollar counts!”
“I’m riding to support the bWell Center at BMC, which supports healthy lifestyle choices by providing resources to patients and their families,” said first-time rider Kristen Apa, an Administrative Fellow at BMC. “Through these programs at BMC, patients and staff have access to important resources, which can improve a patient’s experience at BMC and make them healthier overall.”
“Funds from the Rodman Ride allow our staff members to get extra training and education each year and gives us the resources these children and their families need,” said Robert Sege, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Family & Child Advocacy in the Department of Pediatrics, who is a team captain and four-time Rodman rider. “The Rodman Ride brings us together to help raise money for the programs we love, and it is a great way to enjoy working as a team together.”
This year’s Rodman Ride will mark the first time the BMC HealthNet Plan (BMCHP) is joining Team BMC.
“BMCHP is fired up to be part of Team BMC for the Rodman Ride this year,” says Julie Nations, BMCHP’s Director of Community Relations and Outreach. “BMCHP is sponsoring the first $1,000 for each of our five riders who are committed to raise as much as they can. We sincerely hope to make a difference in the fundraising efforts for BMC Pediatrics.”
BMC staff, members of the BMC/Boston Children’s Hospital Combined Residency Program and BMCHP staff who will be participating in the Rodman Ride for Kids on behalf of Team BMC include:
Did you know that on Fridays from June through October there is a farmer’s market in the Menino Pavilion lobby? Stop by to pick up your weekly supply of fresh fruits and veggies, especially for this recipe from the Demonstration Kitchen’s Tracey Burg!
These quesadillas are packed with a rainbow assortment of veggies and held together with just a bit of shredded cheese in a tortilla. The veggies are cooked just enough to soften them up and meld all the flavors together. This zesty option is great way to add some spice to your family meals!
Summer Veggie Quesadillas
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Do you have a recipe that you would like to share with the BMC community? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll feature it in a future issue of the BMC Brief!
Name: Lori Foley
Why did you decide to become a physical therapist?
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What is a typical day like for a physical therapist?
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Patients share their BMC experience
At the outset I would like to commend Dr. Serna Chao and the staff at the Geriatric outpatient clinic for the excellent care that I have received over the past seven-odd years that I have been treated at the clinic. She and her staff have kept me hale, hearty and healthy during this period. I am confident that they will continue in this vein.
Regarding another matter of great importance to me, I am expressing my heartfelt thanks to the BMC community for the treatment I received as detailed below. This past summer I went to the BMC Emergency Room to be examined for pains in my side and stomach. During their examination the ER staff discovered a cyst on my pancreas. After quieting my extreme fears, they set up an appointment with Dr. Huang in Endoscopy to better image the cyst and perform a biopsy. The biopsy showed the cyst to be non-cancerous. Dr. Huang referred me to Dr. David McAneny, who took great pains to show me the ultrasound images and explain possible courses of treatment. After several conferences with him I developed an extreme confidence in him and his ability. This confidence has been shown to have been more than well-placed. After much fear and trepidation, I underwent a whipple procedure. Due to the skill and professionalism of the anesthesia staff and Dr. McAneny and his staff, today I celebrate the 11-week anniversary of the successful surgery. During the eight days I spent in the hospital, the staff of 8East and 8West made sure that I did what was necessary to successfully recover from my procedure. It is impossible to sufficiently thank them.
I cannot say enough about the care and concern that I received from the consummate professionals at BMC, and would without hesitation recommend BMC to anyone needing quality medical care.
New Vice President of Human Resources Set to Start in September
BMC Names New Vice President of Ambulatory Operations and Professional Services
BMC Welcomes New Vice President for Revenue Cycle
Pediatric Neurologist Alcy Torres Joins BMC
Aviva Lee-Parritz, MD, Appointed Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Vincent Falanga, MD, joins Department of Dermatology
BMC/BUSM Partner with Jawaharlal Institute of India to Study Tuberculosis
Alice Jacobs, MD, Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine, has been awarded the Raymond D. Bahr Award for Excellence by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. Jacobs has previously served as president of the American Heart Association (AHA) and has been a member of numerous committees and task forces within the local, regional and national AHA. SCPC give this award to individuals who demonstrate extraordinary excellence, vision and leadership in advancing health care.
Michael Cassidy, MD, a PGY-4 Surgical Resident at BMC, won the Resident Abstract Competition for, "Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in Quality Improvement: Lessons from a Multidisciplinary Pulmonary Care Program," at the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) National Conference. Cassidy delivered a podium presentation in the general session of the conference to an audience of more than 1,000 about BMC’s experience with the I COUGH program. The ACS is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the care of the surgical patient and to safeguard standards of care in an optimal and ethical practice environment. ACS NSQIP is the leading nationally validated, risk-adjusted, outcomes-based program to measure and improve the quality of surgical care in the private sector.
The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) has named Robert Sege, MD, PhD, Director, Division of Family & Child Advocacy, Pediatrics, as a Senior Fellow. CSSP works to secure equal opportunities and better futures for all children and families, especially those most often left behind. Senior Fellows are distinguished figures in their fields who will work with staff on special projects that help accomplish the organization’s priorities.