Skip to main content

Welcome to eFocus.  Our goal is to provide you with timely, informative and useful short summaries and links about UM UCH related news, issues, or events.  Feel free to contact us if you have news to share, story ideas or any other feedback. As always, your comments are welcome.

eFocus, August 2017 topics include:  


We began fiscal year 2018 with a new plan for success. It started with the four pillars of care: Safe Care, Quality Care, Empathetic Care and Efficient Care. eFocus will mirror this structure and last month we started with Quality Care and the implementation of two programs: Coronary CTA and CDU. The Coronary CTA program is already impressing us with stories of avoided admissions and avoided cardiac catheterizations. Then we have the CDU, which is running an average daily census of 10+ in a 10 bed unit. The CDU is a big contributor for our very low length of stay for the month of July. Leadership and teamwork are responsible for the early success as we continue to refine and optimize these programs.

Next, we have a great 4th quarter result for patient experience at UCMC with an all green performance. This coincides with the completion of the Language of Caring modules, the initiation of the physician callback program and the retooling of the coordinated model of care rounding. A great performance. You have to check out the graph below that reflects the benefits of the hospitalist callback program. Truly impressive Empathetic Care.

For July, a 2.716 day Length of Stay (LOS) at UCMC and 3.418 day LOS at HMH exemplifies Efficient Care. This is a decrease of 13% at UCMC and 6% at HMH when compared to budget. Our Safe Care composite score is at 5. Though concerning, we are not too far off from our pace of last year and our teams are targeted at improving this measure.

Finally, we have announcements re: our new Chief Quality Officer, Dr. Faheem Younus, our new VP of Patient Experience, Cassandra Crowe, MBA, and our new Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Dr. Muhammad Jokhadar. Each of these positions will have responsibilities within our pillars of care and their leadership will elevate these. We all need to ask ourselves how we can contribute to the care of our patients.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and the start of the school season. Also, read more to find out how you can win a Starbucks gift card!

Fermin Barrueto, Jr., M.D., M.B.A.
Senior Vice President/CMO
Medical Staff Affairs


Faheem Younus, MD, Named Chief Quality Officer



Please join me in welcoming Dr. Faheem Younus as the Chief Quality Officer for UM UCH, effective September 1, 2017.  Dr. Younus has been the Medical Director of Infection Prevention for UM UCH since 2003 and has served on the Quality of Care Committee for over a decade. He also serves as the Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He has pioneered many clinical quality improvement projects. His contributions to the Antibiotic Stewardship Program have recently been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in addition to receiving the Minogue Award at the Maryland Patient Safety Conference. He is a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America. Dr. Younus attended King Edward Medical University where he received his bachelor of medicine and surgery (MBBS) and completed his fellowship  in infectious disease at State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook.  


Dr. Jokhadar Named Chief Medical Informatics Officer

Effective January 1, 2018, Dr. Muhammad Jokhadar will become the Chief Medical Informatics Officer for UM UCH. Dr. Jokhadar has served as the Medical Director of the Hospitalist program since 2009. He also served as the Medical Director of the Clinical Decision Unit from 2013 – 2015.  Dr. Jokhadar has been the Informatics Physician Lead since 2012. He began serving as an Adult Hospitalist in 2007 and continues in that role in addition to serving as the Medical Director.  Dr. Jokhadar has also served as the Vice President of the Medical Staff since 2014. He is on multiple committees including Performance Improvement, Infection Control, Physician Technology Advisory Board, of which he is Chair, and several others. Dr. Jokhadar received his education at the Damascus University of Medicine in Damascus, Syria and completed his residency at Greater Baltimore Medical Center where he was Chief Resident from 2002-2003. Dr. Jokhadar is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine.

UM UCH Welcomes First VP of Patient Experience

Cassandra Crowe, MBA, recently joined UM UCH as its first VP of Patient Experience. Cassandra has over 20 years of leadership experience with the last 13 being in service excellence and patient experience. Most recently she served as Senior Director of the Office of Patient Experience for University of Colorado Health – Northern Colorado.

Dedicated to maximizing patient and family experiences, and the ultimate quality and level of their care, she has been the driving force behind multiple hospitals and medical centers being recognized for superior operational and service excellence. An innate visionary, creative problem solver, and hands-on leader, trainer, and agent of change, she has an outstanding track record of accomplishments, some of which include:

  • Leading an organization to achieving and maintaining 90th percentile patient experience performance and moving another from the 30thpercentile to consistently maintaining the 75th percentile in all HCAHPS composites.
  • Conceptualizing, implementing, and hardwiring highly successful patient and staff centered initiatives such as Life Stories, Partners in Caring, employee recognition, service recovery process, purposeful patient rounds, discharge phone calls etc.
  • Utilizing technological advancements to enhance staff efficiencies and patient experience improvements.

Safety Updates

Practitioner Profile Updates

Do you need to change your mailing or primary practice address with the Board? What about updating your email address? All licensed practitioners can edit/change their demographic information through the Online Practitioner Profile. The changes you submit through the profile will update on the Board's internal database within 24 hours. Follow these steps to change your profile.

Infection Prevention Updates

Urine Culture Ordering Algorithm:

If the provider answers with a Y then a message will display, “Urine Cultures are NOT recommended for Patients receiving, “COMFORT CARE, DIALYSIS after 48 hours of admission, or WITHIN 48 hours after FOLEY REMOVAL, or AFTER 48 hours of admission in patients WHO CAME IN WITH A FOLEY. “

If they enter N then they will be able to proceed with ordering the urine culture.

Revisions to Urine Culture and C. difficile Orders:

These revisions are coming soon and are meant to prompt some additional decision making when ordering either of these tests to assure we are ordering the test for the right reasons. An additional intervention to address C. difficile is that there will be an automatic cancelling of any C. difficile order in which the specimen has not been received in the lab after 48 hours of placing the order.

Candida auris:

  • Candida auris (also called C. auris) is a fungus that causes serious infections.  Outbreaks are becoming more common because C. auris is difficult to identify and often resistant to multiple antifungal medicines. 
  • If you suspect a patient has a C. auris infection please do the following:
    • Move the patient to a private room and initiate contact isolation precautions immediately.
    • Contact the laboratory for assistance of proper testing to diagnose C. auris.
  • For additional information on C. auris, please visit the following:

*According to the CDC, what are the symptoms of C. auris? The first 5 people who email will be entered into a drawing to win a Starbucks gift card!*

Quality Updates

Article: Physician Engagement Can Reduce Clinical Variation

As hospitals and health systems face the demands of the value-based care model and changing health care policy, physician engagement has become a crucial component to achieving their goals of quality improvement, decreased costs and greater patient satisfaction. Read more.


Primary Care Practice Sites Earn Quality Recognition

Two of our employed primary care practice sites – Swan Creek and Box Hill – recently earned National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home. They join our Bel Air (KACC) primary care site in achieving this recognition.

The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a model of care that puts patients at the forefront of care. PCMHs build better relationships between people and their clinical care teams. Research shows that they improve quality, the patient experience and staff satisfaction, while reducing health care costs. NCQA’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition Program is the most widely adopted Patient-Centered Medical Home evaluation program in the country. If a practice earns recognition through NCQA, it means they have made a commitment to providing quality improvement within the practice and a patient-centered approach to care that results in patients that are happier and healthier. 

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Web site ( contains information to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices. 

Empathy Updates

UCMC Patient Call Back Results

UCMC Patient Call Back Results 4-1-17 through 7-25-17 

Creating a Culture of Gratitude and the Healing Power it has on our Patients at UM UCH

Part of the Healing Process - Grateful patient philanthropy programs, as their names suggests, are a way for patients to express their gratitude through philanthropy to physicians, nurse and other caregivers.  The donor’s gratitude is an indirect response to the high quality, clinical excellence and exceptional experiences they have had in the course of their healthcare encounter (Stewart et al. 2011). These grateful patients have had the kind of care from providers every hospital and health system is working hard to achieve.

Grateful patients will often say to the care providers, “What may seem ordinary to you is extraordinary to me. I feel so fortunate to have such exceptional care.”  This patient gratitude and its resulting philanthropy are tangible outcomes of the myriad ways organizations are working to drive exceptional patient experience.

Gratitude is Good for Health - Clinical research provides compelling evidence that highlights the role of philanthropy in patient encounters. Expressions of gratitude, such as those made by a grateful patient, have been linked to an increased ability to cope with stress, a stronger immune function, quicker recovery from illness, lower blood pressure, increased feelings of connectedness which improves relationships and well-being, greater joy, optimism and increased generosity, and compassion (Emmons 2010). In a review article published by Harvard Health Publications in November 2011, the authors put it quite succinctly, “expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better” (The Harvard Mental Health Letter, November 2011).  

MEC and P&T Summaries

The following items were approved during the MEC meeting held on July 12th while these were approved during the August 9th meeting.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

Mark your calendars for important standing meetings and special events.

Special Events

General Medical Staff Meeting: Sept 7 beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Maryland Golf and Country Clubs

Standing Meetings

  • Pediatric Grand Rounds: Held the first Wednesday of every quarter (Jan., Apr., July, Oct.) from 7 - 8 p.m. Guest lecturers present different topics in pediatric medicine, including common dermatologic conditions, effects and management of obesity in children, pediatric head injuries, and more.  
  • Multidisciplinary Thoracic and General Conferences: 12 Noon, Alternates Every Thursday (e.g., Thoracic is 11/3, General is 11/10)
    UM UCMC, KCC Streett Conference Room
  • Multidisciplinary Breast Conference: 8 a.m., Every Tuesday
    Radiology/Oncology Conference Room
  • Pharmacy &Therapeutics (P & T) Committee: 7:30 a.m., Third Wednesday of each month
    UM UCMC Maryland Room 
  • Credentials Committee 7:30 - 9 a.m., Third Friday of each month
  • Medical Staff Leadership  8 - 9 a.m., Fourth Thursday of each month
    UM UCMC, Fallston Room/UM HMH, MSCR
  • Metabolic Bariatric Surgery Committee: 5 p.m., Quarterly, Wednesdays
    HMH MSCR and UCMC Fallston Rm
    Upcoming dates: March 15, June 21, Sept 20, Dec 20

  • Allied Health Practitioner Committee:8 – 9 a.m., Third Tuesday of each month