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Physician Focus 

In This Issue
Medical Staff Redesign Will Improve Satisfaction and Patient Care
New Face in Med Staff Services
St. Mary's Gains Quality Recognitions
New Technology Will Speed Up Lab Results
County Ambulance Can Now Transport Bariatric Patients
New Center is Backbone for Spine Treatment
Breathing Life Into Janesville and Sun Prairie
Honors and Recognitions
Nov. 5 - Grand Rounds, St. Mary's Hospital
Bay 1, 7 a.m.
Nov. 19 & Dec. 17 - Physician Breakfast, 7 a.m.
December 11-13 - Dennis G. Maki Infectious Disease Update
January 19, 2010 - Annual Medical Staff Meeting,
7 - 8:30 a.m.

Click here for full calendar

What's New From...
Medical Staff
Quality and Safety
UW Family Medicine

Medical Staff Redesign Will Improve
Satisfaction and Patient Care

As I have listened to and read of the experience of health care organizations in other communities across the country, I really appreciate the advantage that we enjoy of a very close and collaborative relationship between St Mary’s Hospital and the physicians on our Medical Staff. However, we clearly have not experienced all of the advantages that this partnership has to offer to us and, more importantly, to our patients.

By publicly-reported, objective measures, we have a few pockets of high performance but we are very inconsistent (take a look at www.healthgrades.com). In addition, you told us in the 2009 physician satisfaction survey that overall you were satisfied with the hospital (75th %ile) but you saw significant room for improvement in hospital administration, quality of care, patient safety, peer review and coordination of care at discharge.

Late last year we asked a nationally recognized consultant in physician-hospital relations, the Bard Group, to assess our current structure and to help us begin a redesign of our medical staff structure. After interviewing hospital leadership and over 50 physicians on the Medical Staff, the consultants identified some very consistent themes and clear opportunities for us to achieve much greater collaboration and effectiveness. Following this initial assessment we identified a steering committee of 14 physicians and they developed a vision for this project:

A meaningful partnership will be formed at St. Mary’s Hospital between and among primary care physicians, specialists, and administration through creation of a medical staff structure that streamlines decision-making and empowers physician leadership, partnered with executive leadership, to take full advantage of collaborative opportunities based on a shared vision of the future.

For the last several months this steering team has been working to create a proposal for a new medical staff structure that would realize this vision and support the goals of achieving exceptional patient quality outcomes, exceptional patient, staff and physician satisfaction and optimize the efficiency of the care that we provide.

The steering team has developed a proposed model and we really need the collective input of the Medical Staff to refine and edit this model in order to move to the next step. So, here are some of the principles of this new structure:
  • Eight Medical Directors will be appointed to serve as the Medical Staff physician leadership team. These directorships would be paid positions with both operational and governance accountabilities; and their selection would be based on the characteristics of: a strong facilitator, outcomes focused, data driven, excellent communicator, systems thinker and a willingness to acquire greater skills and education to effectively lead the Medical Staff.
  • Along with elected members of the Medical Staff these directors will form the core of the Medical Executive Committee, which is responsible for the governance functions of credentials, peer review, policy approval and bylaws development.
  • These Medical Directors will form a Physician Management Group who will be accountable for addressing the strategic and operational issues that relate to patient care.
  • Thirdly, the Directors will form an Operations Group that will include nursing and administrative leadership to address the interdisciplinary strategic and operational issues that are critical to achieving the outcomes that will distinguish us as one of the highest performing organizations in the country (a place where the steering committee strongly believes we should be). These last two structures support new accountabilities for our Medical Staff that the steering group believes will substantially improve organized physician involvement in the operations of St Mary’s Hospital.

These will be significant changes for our organized medical staff but I believe this restructuring will be a great step forward in collaboratively engaging our medical staff in the clinical operations of St Mary’s that will allow us to truly achieve exceptional patient care. I also believe that many of the issues identified in the physician satisfaction survey could be very effectively addressed in this structure. The Steering Committee will be working hard over the next few months to communicate the details of this redesign and to seek your input on refining and “tweaking” this structure. I welcome any and all of your feedback; you know where to find me!

John Butler, MD
VP/Medical Affairs
Comments? Contact Dr. Butler.

New Face in Med Staff Services 
A former CME coordinator at Dean & St. Mary's has joined the Medical Staff Services department this fall. Nicole Acord, a Medical Staff Services Coordinator, holds a bachelor's in health care administration. Please stop in and welcome Nicole to her new role.

St. Mary's Gains Quality Recognitions
High-quality care in four medical areas at St. Mary's Hospital received national kudos recently.

Pay for Performance
St. Mary's Hospital received awards totaling $61,515 for high-quality care in the areas of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), hip and knee replacement and pneumonia. The hospital also received a Top Improvement Award for its performance in the area of CABG.

The "pay for performance" awards, based on fourth-year results (2007), are administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Premier health care alliance. Their Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration project will help determine whether economic incentives to hospitals are effective at improving the quality of inpatient care.

New Technology Will Speed Up Lab Results
Molecular diagnostics will soon be performed in the microbiology lab for the detection of these respiratory viruses: Influenza A/B, RSV, Metapneumovirus, Parainfluenza 1-3, Adenovirus, and Rhinovirus.

New lab equipment already purchased, but not yet installed, will use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – sometimes called molecular photocopying – to amplify viruses. The equipment performs a mulitplex test, providing a panel for all nine viruses. Specimens will be batched once or twice daily and results available the following day. The technology is expected to be available in early November.


County Ambulance Can Now Transport Bariatric Patients
New ambulance equipment to transport bariatric Dane County patients has been purchased with the help of gifts to St. Mary's Foundation.

The bariatric equipment—a durable cot (with a maximum weight of 850 pounds in the upright position), a winch and ramps—is permanently installed in Rescue 30, a new county-owned ambulance that is available for all municipal 911 calls throughout Dane County. The new tools will help avoid back injuries of emergency personnel while improving safety for such patients.

Without this equipment, patients sometimes needed to wait for a Metro bus with a lift to arrive on scene to move them. Even if they could be lifted into the ambulance, the stretcher might not be sufficient, leaving the patients to be transported on a tarp on the floor of the ambulance.

New Center is Backbone for Spine Treatment
The third floor of the Outpatient Center got its final tenant earlier this year: Dean Neurological Institute and Spine Center, which joins all the specialties that treat back pain under one roof. The facility now houses neurology, neurosurgery, physical therapy and chiropractic care.

Over time, the Spine Center plans to include occupational therapy, physiatry, sports medicine, and pain management. The goal is to achieve one location that improves efficiency, convenience and outcomes.

"The ultimate goal is to measure how well different treatments work and in what combination," says Dean neurosurgeon Richard L. Carter.

The Luedtke-Storm-Mackey chiropractic team, which does not require a referral, can be reached directly at 260-3435.

Breathing Life Into Janesville and Sun Prairie
Construction has started on St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital while St. Mary’s Sun Prairie Emergency Center marks the end of its first quarter with 5 percent more patients than expected.

After a hold on construction during the worst of the economic downturn, St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital and Dean Clinics are now even closer to making the new Janesville medical campus a reality, with an opening slated for late 2011. A fact sheet and renderings of the campus, along with a virtual fly-by video of both facilities, may be viewed at a new joint website: www.healthyjanesville.com.

 In Sun Prairie, where a new Emergency Center opened in July, more than 2,600 patients have been served in the area just northeast of Madison. Each of the three months has brought increasingly larger numbers of patients – demonstrating the need for emergency services in this growing area.


Honors and Recognitions
Congratulations are in order for our colleagues who go above and beyond the duty of their day (or night) jobs. 

Doctors With Wings: Drs. Brooke Johnson (urology), Vijay Kantamneni (cardiovascular surgery), Greg Matzke (general surgery) and Charles Miley (neurology) are the first physicians to be recognized as Guardian Angels by grateful patients and families who made gifts in their honor. Eight other hospital staff members were also recognized for exceptional care and service through tribute gifts to St. Mary’s Foundation. Gifts made will support programs that further benefit patients and families.

Brooke Johnson

Vijay Kantamneni

Greg Matzke

Charles Miley

Nurse Leader of the Year
Joan Beglinger, St. Mary’s vice president for patient care services (pictured above holding the award with St. Mary's nursing unit directors), was named the 2009 Nurse Leader of the Year by the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives. She was cited for her leadership in shared governance, mentoring and professional development, hospital service expansion and community involvement. 

Dean intensivist James Couser, MD, received a teaching award from the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine.

Beth Potter, MD, a faculty member of the UW Department of Family Medicine, was honored by the Latino Health Council of Dane County at the recent Feria Latina de Salud (Latino Health Fair) for facilitating health initiatives in the Latino community.

Paul Smith, MD, received the Sally Sunde Family Advocate Award from Community Shares of Wisconsin for being the state’s leading voice for health literacy. His work includes research, partially funded by St. Mary’s, that studies literacy barriers and how better, often simpler, communication from health care workers can improve patients’ health status.

Two St. Mary's medical staff members were honored with UW Department of Family Medicine Faculty Excellence Awards: Beth Potter, MD, and Jeffrey Patterson, DO. Dr. Patterson also received a lifetime service award.

St. Mary’s Hospital received the 2009 Wisconsin Forward Award, again at the Mastery level, the second highest category. The award’s examiners congratulated St. Mary’s on implementation of the electronic health record, effective collaboration between staff and physicians, and improvements in key clinical measures. St. Mary’s Care Center maintains its 2008 top-level Excellence award, which is honored for five years. 



St. Mary's Physician Focus, the quarterly electronic newsletter for the medical staff, administrators and directors of St. Mary's Hospital, won excellence and merit awards from, respectively, the Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society and Public Relations Society of America, Madison Chapter.


Former St. Mary’s chief of staff Dr. Gerald J. Derus died at his home in Dana Point, California on September 23, 2009. Among his many achievements, he founded the Monona Grove Clinic in 1953 and co-founded the UW Department of Family Medicine, which resides at St. Mary’s. A “Celebration of Life” event will take place Nov. 14 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Madison’s Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 3330 Atwood Avenue.


Sr. Wilbur McKenzie, FSM, died October 2 at the St. Mary of the Angels Convent in St. Louis. Sr. Wilbur spent 25 years at St. Mary's Hospital, returning to St. Louis in 1998 because of health concerns. While at St. Mary's she served first as a housekeeping assistant, then as chapel sacristan. She was frequently seen on her daily walk with Sr. Margaret Mary between Alumni Hall and the convent, then located on the corner of High St. and Haywood Dr. where they lived with Sr. Mary Ellen Lewis and Sr. Priscilla Weber.



Physician Focus is produced by St. Mary’s Department of Public Relations and Marketing in collaboration with the Medical Staff Services. Article submissions of interest to the medical staff are welcome at any time. We reserve the right to edit for length and format. Please email short, well-organized information to SMH_MedStaff@ssmhc.com.

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