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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, June 2018 topics include:  


We have several exciting things happening as we close out the fiscal year 2018. The Da Vinci Xi robotic surgical program is getting started with a projected first case being performed in October 2018. This technology should improve quality of care and attract the newly trained surgeons who expect a robotics program. We have also graduated our first class from our UM UCH Physician Leadership Academy. Check out the graduating class photo within this issue. A special thanks goes out to the physician executives that spoke at our quarterly meetings: Dr. Tom Smyth, CEO of SJMC; Dr. Gail Cunningham, CMO of SJMC; Dr. Stacey Garrett-Ray, CEO of QCN, and Dr. Laura Pimentel, CEO of MEMN.

Next, we have the Hospital Acquired Infections composite score which stands at 27. The final number won’t be finalized for a couple more weeks but it is safe to say we have seen a dramatic decrease in our HAIs. Thanks to all providers, RNs, techs, EVS--anyone and everyone in the hospital who has contributed to this incredible improvement to our patients' safety! FY 19 initiatives will be continuing to improve hand hygiene and our compliance with CHG bathing, as well as continued improvements with antibiotic stewardship.

If you see Heather Beauchamp, please stop her and say 'thank you' for leading the eFocus development and making it the successful e-newsletter that it is. We continue to have record viewership with open rates and click-thru rates that are far above any national benchmark for this type of campaign. I have fielded many compliments regarding the content and format. It is because of her creativity, dedication and leadership that this newsletter has become the e-communication success that it is. As she moves to her new role as AVP of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care services, I am sure she will still be contributing and helping us. My heartfelt 'thank you' goes out to Heather! 

Last, take a look at two updated UMMS policies--Vendor Management and Medical Marijuana--under the MEC and P&T Summaries below.

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



Dr. Amalia Seiguer, Medical Director for the UCH Blood Banks at both hospitals, will be retiring as of June 29th, 2018.  Dr. Seiguer received her medical education at the University of Buenos Aires Medical School and then completed her residency at the University of Maryland.  She is board certified in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology. Dr. Seiguer has been an Associate Pathologist since 1985 and has stepped into the Chairmanship of the Pathology department for several different time periods over the course of her tenure. She has extensive knowledge of Blood Bank and Transfusion practices and has provided strong leadership for the Blood Utilization Review committee since its inception.  She has been a driving force for the safety of transfusions as well as an advocate for appropriate utilization of blood and blood products.  Her efforts have concentrated on heightening awareness of transfusing only (1) unit of blood rather than automatically transfusing (2) as has been the standard practice for many years (“1” is the new “2”).  We will miss her expertise and highly specialized skill set.  
Dr. Seiguer has earned a well-deserved retirement and we wish her the very best in health and happiness in her retirement.  

Medical Staff Election Results

The following physicians will take on medical executive committee roles for the July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 term.

  • President: Muhammad Jokhadar, MD                      
  • Vice President: V. Dixon King, MD                            
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Elie Fraiji, MD                         
  • System MEC At-Large Members: Steven Fountain, MD/Kapil Sharma, MD/Lisa Thomas, MD/David Wholey, MD
  • Representative to Board of Directors: Lisa Thomas, MD                  
  • PIC Representatives: Lisa Thomas, MD and Steven Fountain, MD

Physician Leadership Academy

Congratulations to the graduates of the UM UCH Physician Leadership Academy. Pictured left to right are Drs. Younus, LoPresti, Jokhadar, Thomas, Sharma, Poudel, Fountain, and Dessie, along with Dr. Barrueto and Lyle Sheldon.  

Not pictured:  Drs. Bahl, Kanagie- McAleese, Maddula, and King

Patient Care Technician Week

UM UCH recently celebrated Patient Care Tech week. We thank all of our PCTs who play a vital role in the care of our patients!

Safety Updates

HAI Counter

 The current number of healthcare acquired infections (HAI) at UM UCH is 27.



Maryland Department of Health: Legislative Changes Impacting Prescribers

Effective July 1, 2018, Maryland law requires CDS prescribers and pharmacists to request and to assess data from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) in certain prescribing and dispensing situations. Please view this important information explaining the PDMP Use Mandate for prescribers. They outline when the PDMP must be checked and in which cases possible exceptions to this mandate may be made. 

*If you're reading this, tell us what your Independence Day/weekend plans are! The first five people to email will be entered into a drawing to win two Ironbirds tickets!

Empathy Update

Teddy Bear Clinic Kudos

A huge kudos deserves to be given to Chris Joynes, RN, for leading/organizing a widely successful Teddy Bear Clinic Saturday May 19. We had 73 stuffed patients visit us in a 2 hour period (and I'm pretty sure a LWBS rate of 0%). 

The kids completed a "passport" checklist in the ED (triage, hand washing, exploration room, exam room with doctors, respiratory therapists, first aid station), then went to see the inpatient peds ward. Three units from Bel Air Volunteer Fire Department were also kind enough to station their ambulances in our bays for the kids to see and play. 

Best chief complaint of the day: "Small pox and the black plague"... yikes! 

Everyone generously gave their time and hearts to this event, including nurses, RT, volunteers, docs, scribes and even team members' kids.  

The best spirit of UM UCH was in full force! Congrats!!

Mimi Lu, MD
Department of Emergency Medicine
Director, Pediatric Emergency Department 

Quality Update

Change in Reporting of Differential Information on a CBC  

The CBC and manual WBC differential results will be adding absolute cell counts in the report.

Starting mid-to-late summer, UM UCH Laboratories (both UM HMH and UM UCMC sites) will be reporting absolute (#) WBC cell counts in both the automated WBC differential reports and manual differential reports. Percentage (%) of WBC cell counts will continue to be reported.

The reasons for this change are as follows:

  1. We have had continuing and increased demand from our caregivers for absolute WBC classifications.
  2. The change will align our reporting with many of the other UM system laboratories.
  3. Our accrediting body The College of American Pathologists (CAP) recognizes the absolute values of the WBC differential offer more diagnostic insight and are the preferred reporting methodology.

Historically for any requesting physician, we have been reporting ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) and/or AEOS (Absolute Eosinophil Count) at no additional charge. This change means that the absolute counts will be reported (with the percentages) without having to make a special request.

UM UCH Laboratory reference ranges:

  • Neutrophils x K/mm3: 1.4 to 9.0
  • Lymphocytes x K/mm3: 0.3 to 4.5
  • Monocytes x K/mm3: 0.1 to 1.6
  • Eosinophils x K/mm3: 0.0 to 0.6
  • Basophils x K/mm3: 0.0 to 0.1

For any questions, please contact Catherine A. Dickinson, H (ASCP), UM UCMC Hematology Section-Head at or (443) 643-1427.

Caught on Camera

Meet Thomas Cook, a clinical documentation specialist, who was caught on camera while auditing patient charts. Recently, Tom noted that a particular physician did an outstanding job of documenting in his H/P, which included a very high level of ICD-10 specificity. Tom came to know that this physician liked to drink coffee, so he purchased him a gift card from Wawa. This spectacular display of a physician's attention to quality and Tom's attention to kindness is what makes us proud to work at Upper Chesapeake.

If you find a team member providing top quality care, please catch him/her on camera and send a brief write-up to Dr. Younus at We will continue to share these great stories via eFocus!

IV Tylenol Needs a Quick Death

The opioid crisis helped IV Tylenol grow into a $300 million-a-year drug. But pills that costs pennies might work just as well. Read the full story.

Joint Commission Pearls

The Joint Commission is looking at therapeutic duplications of prn meds very closely. Subsequent orders entered after the order set are creating therapeutic duplication for prn meds. Please read on for more information.

Clinical Informatics Update

This month's topics from your Provider Documentation team include:

Please contact the Clinical Informatics line at x2763 with questions. 

MEC and P&T Summaries

The following items were approved during the MEC meeting held on June 13th. Also, please read the latest UMMS policies covering:

Upcoming Meetings and Events

Mark your calendars for important standing meetings and special events. 

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