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, March 2018 topics include:  


As we celebrate National Doctors’ Day today, March 30th, I hope everyone will take a moment to thank the physician who has made a difference in his or her life. My father, Fermin Barrueto Sr., is the most influential physician in my life. I grew up understanding all the sacrifices he made so he could perfect a craft he loves.

My father emigrated from Peru, South America where he grew up on a farm and really did walk to school barefoot. He received an academic scholarship, which required him to be in the top three of the class, or he would be removed. He earned a spot in an OB/GYN residency in Brooklyn, NY, where I was born. He then landed at what is now University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center where he developed a robust private practice, chaired OB/GYN and pioneered microsurgery. I believe one of his claims to fame is performing the first microsurgical tubal re-anastomosis in the state of Maryland. He has been at Mercy Medical Center now for 20 years and is still going strong. I cannot complain about the hours that I work as he still has me beat. He taught me what it meant to be a doctor before I ever became one.

I frequently see and hear of the stories of a physician’s dedication and compassion. So many go unnoticed or taken for granted. The physician who stays bedside with his ICU patient through the night so that he can watch every hemodynamic change (Dr. Gonze, that was you). During the big Nor’easter that caused high winds and closed the bridges, our very own Dr. Joseph Cassilly decided if he couldn’t get to work by car he would ride his bike. It was not a short or easy ride in that wind and I do not think Joe’s athleticism was going to help him (sorry Joe, insert smiley emoji), but his determination and dedication to his patients did. Enjoy this month’s eFocus and say a special thank you to that physician. A special shout out to my father – the quintessential physician who is beloved by his patients and loved by his family. Love you, Pop.

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


Public Health Alert - Impact of Pain Clinic Service Interruptions

The Harford County Health Department was recently made aware of an interruption in the continuity of care of thousands of patients from a pain management practice in Baltimore County. Many of these patients are Harford County residents. There is concern that this may lead to adverse patient consequences, such as loss of necessary medication for pain control or withdrawal symptoms from sudden discontinuation of pain medication. In your roles as medication dispensers, please use reasonable judgment with patient safety as the primary goal. Read more.

Nominate a Top Doc

Baltimore magazine's 32nd annual Top Doctors Survey is underway and we encourage all physicians to participate. This is historically one of the best-read features (and most sought-after back issues) of Baltimore. The magazine is asking you to refer several physicians in 100-plus specialties to whom you would send a member of your own family for treatment. UM UCH had a good showing in the 2017 survey (51 doctors, 9 of whom were named in multiple categories) and we're hoping to do even better this year!

You can take the survey online at www.baltimoremagazine.com/about/top-doctors-survey; the deadline for the survey has passed.

Safety Updates

Healthcare Acquired Infections: The Latest

Safety for our Youngest Patients

Although HMH does not have an inpatient PEDS unit, Family Birth Place, or Special Care Nursery, it sees infants and children in the ED, OR, and outpatient areas. It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our smallest patients safe. Please remember the following: 

  • Alert and careful team members are our best defense against an infant or child abduction!
  • Code PINK is a missing infant or child. It could be due to an abduction or simply a child who is lost.
  • Call x3333 if an infant/child is missing.
  • All UCH team members will need to be watchful for ANYONE attempting to leave the unit/facility with an infant or child in any fashion.
  • ALL TEAM MEMBERS are to respond immediately to the nearest exit or hallway.  BE ALERT for any suspicious person(s) carrying any package – not just an infant or child!

To help all team members be more alert to the “size” of the child involved in the situation, the  following is included when a Code PINK is called:

  • If the child is less than one, state to the operator when calling the CODE PINK to announce “Code Pink -  Infant.”
  • If the child is over the age of one, state to the operator when calling the CODE PINK to announce “Code Pink – Age ____ (state approximate age of child).”
  • Be mindful of anyone doing the following:
    • Physically carrying an infant instead of using a bassinet.
    • Attempting to leave the facility with an infant on foot, rather than by wheelchair.
    • Carrying large packages (i.e. gym bag), particularly if they are "cradling" or "talking" to it.
  • After the Initial Code, Notify Security Services IMMEDIATELY if you observe any such behavior. If the person is attempting to leave the building, try to prevent them from leaving.   Security Services phone numbers: HMH – 5314  UCMC - 2444
  • Explain to all visitors who are unable to exit the facility that a security incident has taken place.  Reassure them they will be allowed to leave as soon as possible and thank them for their cooperation

 If you are entering the FBP or PEDS unit at UM UCMC please be sure no one follows you onto the unit; they are locked and have limited access for TMs, family, and visitors.

**For those reading this, what does it mean when a Code PINK is called in the hospital? The first five people to email the correct answer to fbarrueto@uchs.org will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Home Depot gift card.

Empathy Update

On Doctors' Day, Thank Yours

Read Dr. David McClure's (Harford Primary Care) letter to the editor about National Doctors' Day and how he gives thanks to those who impacted his life.

Quality Updates

Minimum Content of the Physical Examination

During the recent Joint Commission Mock Survey, it was noted that the Medical Record Documentation and Completion Policy did not include the minimum requirements for the Physical Examination in the H&P. MEC has approved the following and amended the policy to meet the standard, and more importantly, to provide complete documentation for safe, effective patient care:

  1. The H&P should include the chief complaint, details of present illness, review of past medical history, relevant social and family history, an inventory of body systems, physical examination, and a statement of the course of action planned for the patient’s hospitalization/ procedure.
    1. The following items must be included in the physical examination, as pertinent to the patient’s condition:
      1. The essential facts should be recorded in a concise and progressive manner and the terms negative and normal should be used only when summarizing stated facts.
      2. It shall be a thorough general physical examination, whose scope and content relate to the patient’s medical history and the practitioner’s clinical judgment.
        1. An in-depth evaluation should be performed on the body systems related to the patient’s complaints.
      3. The minimal content of a physical examination includes:
        1. Mental status (Is patient alert and oriented?)
        2. Respiratory exam (Chest sounds)
        3. Cardiovascular exam (Cardiac rate and rhythm)
        4. Neurological status (e.g., grossly intact or specific findings)
        5. Other systems pertinent to the surgical diagnosis or as indicated by review of systems conducted as part of the medical history.

Completion of Delinquent Medical Records

Thank you to all who complete medical records in a timely manner! Timely documentation and record completion has improved immensely since the advent of electronic documentation tools. There are still a small number of medical records that exceed the CMS, Joint Commission, and UM UCH rule requiring records to be complete within 30 days. In order to achieve compliance and mitigate the risks associated with incomplete medical records, the following changes to the Medical Records Documentation and Completion Policy was approved by MEC for immediate implementation:

  • Provider notification of incomplete records within 7 business days following discharge and weekly until the record is complete
  • Fine of $25 per day for records still incomplete on days 15 through 28 following discharge
  • Suspension of privileges on day 29 and until fines are paid and records are complete

Providers are responsible to complete medical records prior to planned vacations and the policy applies during the vacation time, as well. It is our hope that fines and suspensions will never have to be applied.

If you have any questions please contact Tina Hornung at x2463.



Upper Chesapeake Hematology & Oncology Services Earns National Recognition for Patient-Centered Care

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCAQ) announced that Upper Chesapeake Hematology & Oncology Services has received two recognitions. The first is in the Patient-Centered Specialty Practice category, and the second is for the Oncology Medical Home.

Hematology & Oncology Services earned a Level 3 recognition as a patient-centered specialty practice, the highest level possible. For the oncology medical home category, the practice is the only one recognized with the honor in Maryland and one of only 13 designated across the United States. Read the full press release.

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 March 14th. 

Upcoming Meetings and Events

Mark your calendars for important standing meetings and special events. 

Special Events

Recovery Coach Academy
Complete the training to become certified by Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR)
April 7, 14, 21, 28 and May 5 (must attend all 5 sessions)
8 a.m. - 4 p.m., UM UCMC
Learn more!

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