Monthly Archives: November 2016

Above & Beyond



The following reports from patients and family members reaffirm our staff’s commitment
to putting our patients’ needs first. Please take a minute to say THANKS!

I would like to thank the administration and staff of UM Shore Nursing and Rehab Center at Chestertown for the care provided to my husband. I found the administration, nurses, assistants and all supporting staff to be knowledgeable, caring and always attentive to his needs. Your rehab center is definitely an outstanding professional institution – thank you.

The physical therapy crew in the Requard Center at Easton deserves a 10, as do ALL the nurses and techs. Everyone was great.

My home care team was very good. They did what they came for and were sociable & kind. They provide good care and also were very easy to talk to.

During my visit to the Dorchester Emergency Department, there were no delays and everything was so clean. It just meant so much to me that they let my husband and my friend back to see me … Everyone was just so nice and always wanted to know if anything they could do for me.

In the ED at Chestertown, Dr. Eva Tovar Hirashima was excellent. She made sure there was a vascular team ready & waiting at for me at UMMC in  Baltimore. Also, the nurse on duty was very helpful in giving  my family members excellent driving directions to UMMC.

November Team Forums Summary

The November 2016 Team Forums offered in in Cambridge, Chestertown and Easton were very well attended. What follows here is a summary of the information presented.

Introduction: Ken welcomed those in attendance and thanked everyone who took time to fill out the recent Employee Engagement Survey and stated that the intent of the survey is to receive feedback from the staff to learn what the organization is doing well and what opportunities we have to improve.

“Defining the Patient Experience” was the subject for this round of team forums. On hand to give presentations about patient experience initiatives now in progress were Jo Anne Thomson, director, Patient Experience; Jonathan Kelley, director, Environmental Services; and Matthew Tresansky, director, Food Services.

Presented by Jo Ann Thomson, Director, Patient Experience

SRH Vision: To be the Region’s Leader in Patient Centered Health Care
Deliver a consistently memorable (and appropriate) experience for patients and their families
Purpose: Empower meaningful care relationships
Action Plan: Build a strong foundation

FY 2017 Priorities:          

  1. Reorganize and enhance a centralized Patient Experience function
  2. Develop a comprehensive Patient Experience Program
    Service Excellence Training – Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. ®
    Rewards & Recognition
  3. Create transparency
  4. Create a welcoming and healing physical and emotional environment

How to Contact Patient Experience Team Members:
Patient Experience Advocate: Elizabeth Flair – 410-822-1000, ext. 5828
Service Excellence Coach and Trainer: Christine Clarke, ext. 5866
Director, Patient Experience: Jo Anne Thomson – 410-822-1000, ext. 5724
Chief Experience Officer: Susan Coe – 443-804-5627

Over-Arching Imperatives: Excellent Operations and Care Relationships

Presented by Jonathan Kelley, Director, Environmental Services

New, redesigned courtesy-based approach, including:

  • Defining Moments – Staff is trained to speak key words to the patient. This is a consistent message across the organization so the patient hears the same message, which confirms uniform service standards.
  • Team Member Engagement – Rewards and recognition – Establishing a direct correlation between tying team member reward and recognition to patient satisfaction goal achievement by unit.
    Engaging nursing staff – Building a sense of community on each nursing unit is paramount to our success on that unit.
  • Tailored Fit – Instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach to enhancing the patient experience, we tailor our approach by facility and by unit. Each unit has a dedicated patient experience action plan that includes that unit’s top priorities, and takes into consideration the unit’s patient satisfaction performance.
  • Expertise – Patient experience reminders that are delivered prior to every shift during our start meetings. These 3-5 minute brief conversations serve as a consistent reminder to all involved that our patient experience efforts are the most important thing we do.

E2: An innovative program that has been piloted over the past year, E squared refers to a flex staffing model that creates a “trifecta,” as follows:

  • Patient experience is improved due to utilizing staff efficiently and effectively.
  • Staff engagement is increase by allowing EVS team members to be in a role in which they feel comfortable and confident.
  • Patient experience is greatly increased by allowing staff members who are customer service oriented to be placed in front of patients.

Presented by Matthew Tresansky,

High Performance Management Team: Highly motivated team that is……

  • Innovative
  • Goal and Results Orientated
  • Program Driven
  • Committed to excellence at all University of Maryland Shore Regional Health facilities

Executional Framework: Focus area: Patient First

  • Implement patience menu cycle
  • Conduct patient QA program
  • Implement Service Excellence behaviors (WEST)
  • Execute delivery program
  • Conduct daily nurse and patient rounds

Inspired Training:

  • W = Welcome, E = Engage, S = Smile, T = Thank you
  • Training Tools: Coaching, videos, role playing, staff assessments, key words at key times, ongoing monitoring

Menu Innovation and Choice: Updating menus monthly to create variety and to give new options for patients with longer admissions.

Room Service Delivery:

  • Nursing – Provides patient with proper menu according to diet order and explains room service to the patient.
  • Call Center – Patient to place their order.
  • Host/Hostess – Delivers tray to patient/picks up tray from patient.
  • Management – Conducts rounds on inpatient units, provides patients with a business card, answers all calls left on hospitality hotline and provides service recovery.

Tray Management:

  • Plate Presentation
  • Test Tray Evaluation (per diet)
  • Tray Accuracy Evaluation
  • Temperature Compliance
  • Tray Configuration
  • Taste Testing


  • Delivery of superior patient outcomes
  • Foster collaboration between nursing and FNS
  • Drive satisfaction by providing nourishing meals that meet the patient’s unique nutritional needs while influencing a healthier lifestyle

Rounding Innovation:

  • Increase rounding at all facilities
  • Evaluate Patient Connect at Dorchester and Chestertown facilities
  • Use patient comments during rounds to develop an action plan for improving patient satisfaction

Patient Service Enhancements:

  • Tray line realignment – resulting in faster delivery times
  • Implemented hand held Spectra Link phones
  • Daily huddles held at the “Patient Experience Board” highlighting opportunities for improvement
  • Increased rounding by all management team using Patient Connect
  • Scripting for patient contact – Management/Call Center/Host
  • Introduction of smoothies in Birthing Center

Presented by Ken Kozel, President and CEO

Updates on initiatives within each of UM Shore Regional Health’s five goals were as follows:

Putting Patients First:

  • Communicate with H.E.A.R.T. ®
  • Reducing avoidable admission and readmissions

Innovation & Integrated Care:

  • Telemedicine and its benefits

Access to Care:

  • Assessment of medical staff in the region through provider survey. (What docs do we have? Where are they located? What are our immediate and future needs?)
  • Looking into community transportation to our facilities

Team Strength:

  • Increase executive and management rounding
  • Continue team forums and surveys to learn more from our staff on how we can improve at Shore Regional Health
  • New team member orientation

Financial Strength & Resources:

  • 2% operating margin ($6.5 million profit on a $300+ million budget)
  • Looking to reinvest into our facilities and team members

Communications Policies and Support Tools


The UMMS shared services communications team has worked over the past several months to amalgamate system affiliate hospital policies relating to several communications practices into policies that can be shared across the entire system. Two UM SRH policies have been updated and two new policies have been added to Policy Manager as follows:

Updated Policies:

  • UM SRH IM-38 – Photography or Video Filming of Patients or Hospital Facilities
  • UM SRH IM-03 – Release of Patient Medical Condition to the Public (Press/Media)

New Policies:

  • UM SRH IM-38 – News Media Access Interaction Policy
  • UM SRH LD-85 – Vendor Endorsement or Use of Hospital Name Logo or Images

UM SRH managers and directors have been briefed on these changes. Please review these policies as well as the following tools developed to help supplement these policies.

Photo and Video Policy Scenarios and QAs
Photo Video Policy Messaging Bullets for Clinical Staff

If you have further questions regarding these policies, please feel free to reach out to your manager or Trena Williamson, Regional Director, Communications & Marketing at

The Value of RESPECT: What it Means to UM Shore Regional Health Team Members

Team-StrengthIn preparation for the upcoming Communicate With H.E.A.R.T.® training that all 2500-plus Shore Regional Health team members will experience between December 1 and April 30, Compass will include articles that focus on our value definitions, and the ways those values are translated in our day-to-day work as we care for our patients and serve the overall health needs of our five-county region.


This week’s Value is “RESPECT – Being Kind and Courteous with Every Interaction.”
According to team members this means:

  • We appreciate all perspectives.
  • We listen with a clear mind and open heart.
  • We embrace the uniqueness of others.
  • We see each individual as a unique person.
  • We behave with trust.
  • We assume good intent.
  • Our actions are kind.
  • We demonstrate empathy in our interactions and words.

How might you see RESPECT reflected in your day to day work, and that of your colleagues?
Linda Pittman, regional director, Compliance and Contracting, thought immediately of Victor Collins,  telecom technician III, in Information Services & Technology for UM SRH, as follows:

“Victor Collins is one of the most respectful individuals I have ever met.  Every time he answers the phone, he will always ask, ‘How may I help you?’ If someone asks him if he has time to help, his response is, ‘For you, I always have time’ … it doesn’t matter who it is calling him or what they need.”

Lori Baker, radiology specialist, at UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, shared this observation about the RESPECT demonstrated by imaging assistants Stephanie Rogers-Strakes, Richelle Purnell and Kylie Helmer:

Stephanie, Richelle and Kylie are the embodiment of the word respect when caring for our patients. They routinely spend more time with our patients than any of the technologists do simply because we technologists may have the patient in our care for a 20-minute CT scan, whereas the assistants may be with the patient many times throughout a given week, bringing them down to Radiology for different studies. They interact with the patient’s family each time they go up to get the patient ready to come down for a study and they take the time to explain to the families why they are taking their loved one down to radiology, what type of exam, the length of the study, etc. They also go out of their way to make sure the patient understands where they are going, that they are comfortable and always covered to protect their privacy. These women keep our department running smoothly and always with a smile on their faces.

Don’t forget UM Shore Regional Health’s Values Credo:  We live our values in the service of our patients, their families and one another.

Local Community Members Learn to Save a Life with CPR


Sherrie Hill, Chestertown's Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation clinical coordinator (second row, far left) welcomed 17 members of the community to UM SMC at Chestertown for the Family and Friends CPR course.

Sherrie Hill, Chestertown’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation clinical coordinator (second row, far left) welcomed 17 members of the community to UM SMC at Chestertown for the Family and Friends CPR course.

The Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Services department at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown recently hosted a Family and Friends CPR class for members of the community. According to Sherrie Hill, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation clinical coordinator, 17 community members participated in the course. The Family and Friends CPR course is designed for family members and friends of persons with medical issues, as well as those interested in learning how to save a life.

For additional information about future Family and Friends CPR courses, contact Hill, at 410-778-3300, ext. 2222 or e-mail

Holiday Message #1 from Employee Health Services


Editor’s Note: Your friends in Employee Health Services want you to enjoy a healthy and happy holiday season. Watch for weekly articles in Compass on how to take care of yourself and make the most of this wonderful time!

Kick the Holiday Blues!

For all the wonders of the season, there are a lot of demands put on us. There’s cleaning and cooking, shopping and decorating, the company that comes and the visits that must be made. It can stress finances and bring up memories of family and friends who are no longer with us.

If you find yourself getting overly stressed or depressed during the holidays, or any time, remember there is a benefit available to help you get back on track. UM Shore Regional Health offers an employee assistance program provided by Carebridge.

Many people think Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) are only for people in crisis. The truth is, EAP can help you to deal with everyday issues you may be facing. Counselors work with you to resolve issues before a crisis occurs. Equally important, there is no cost to you and the services are completely confidential.

In addition to counseling through EAP, the Carebridge website is a wonderful resource. It has videos and articles covering everything from healthy living, stress reduction, and how to make a budget, to name a few.

The Employee Assistance Program is designed to both solve problems and enhance quality of life for both you and your family members.

To access Carebridge, call 800-437-0911 24 hours per day, seven days per week or visit their website:  Your Access Code:  RXKY3