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, February 2023 topics include:


I know I will probably jinx this but we haven't seen too much snow this winter. What we have seen is a welcome increase in nurse managers (see a nice pictorial below). They are critical to caring for our patients on each of the units. Be sure to welcome them to UM Upper Chesapeake Health! We also continue down our HRO Journey as we develop our action plans based on our SCORE survey results. You have spoken and we are working to act. Physician and APP leadership has also committed to Just Culture training and will integrate this into our Peer Review process. These are our foundational elements to becoming a High Reliability Organization.

Lastly, we are beginning the exciting work of planning out the clinical service line transition from UM Harford Memorial to the Aberdeen medical campus. Lots of activity and exciting times ahead. Take care, everyone, and enjoy this February edition of eFocus.

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


Maryland's Health Matters Magazine

Check out the winter 2023 edition of Maryland's Health Matters where board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Raj Yalamanchili, discusses robotic-arm assisted surgery for hip replacement. We also share some insight into a new technology offered to patients with undiagnosed cardiac conditions, as well as give men the lowdown on prostate cancer.


Red Dress, Pink Ribbon

Do you know someone living with heart disease or breast cancer? Experts from UM UCH will be on hand at this event on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 8 a.m. to noon to teach the benefits of reconnecting with yourself and focusing on personal well-being during treatment. There will be interactive activities, refreshments and even vendors on hand with paper goods, kitchenware, candles, cosmetics, accessories and more. Learn more.

Saturday, February 25, 8 am to 12 noon
Kaufman Cancer Center
500 Upper Chesapeake Drive in Bel Air

Registration is required by calling 800-515-0044.

Inclement weather date is Saturday, March 4. Call 800-515-0044 or check our UM UCH Facebook page for questions on weather.


New Nurse Leaders

We’ve welcomed several new nursing leaders to our team in recent months. They have hit the ground running with our Back to Basics initiatives, Just Culture training, and coordinating under our new recruitment systems to continue to bring in the best nursing talent. We’ve included the most up-to-date organization charts for your reference and hope you will take the time to say hello when you are on the units.

Safety and Quality Dashboard

Just Culture Training

Just Culture continues to be a foundation for high reliability organizations and our goal is 100% participating for leaders. Upcoming training dates include:

  • March 10, 2023 from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • May 5, 2023 from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Steps to register for training:

  1. log in to UMMSU
  2. type Just Culture in the search box in the top right hand corner
  3. select Just Culture for Leaders training
  4. select desired session

The training will be held via WEBEX. In order to receive credit for the training, participants must be present for the entire training. Cameras must be on and participants are expected to respond to questions verbally or via the chat.

Mason Nance Safety Award

Congratulations to our latest Mason Nance Safety Award recipient, Abbey Hitchcock. A nurse, Abbey recently made a phenomenal catch on a stroke alert activation. When a previously discharged stroke patient returned to the hospital, Abbey was able to recognize new deficits (or abnormal function of an area in the body) in the patient. These differences were so similar to residual effects of the prior stroke that they could have been easily missed. The patient was then promptly diagnosed with an air embolism in the brain and sent to UM Medical Center. Because of Abbey’s thorough assessment, she was able to save the individual from what could have been a catastrophic outcome.

Do you know someone at UM UCH who creates a culture of safety, inspires positive change, speaks up when something is not right, and holds others accountable? Then nominate him/her for this meaningful award by emailing jkelly@umm.edu. Learn more about the award as well as its namesake, Mason Nance: https://bit.ly/masonnance

From L-R: Mary Beth Nance (Mason’s mom), Dr. Faheem Younus, Abbey, Dr. Fermin Barrueto, and Tanika Thompson, patient safety officer

Peer Review “Pearls of Wisdom”

As we all work toward better outcomes for our patients and in the spirit of process improvement, we would like to draw your attention to the below information which are findings gathered from case reviews.

  • Verify that you are addressing the correct patient with all interactions in the course of treatment to prevent patient misidentification and incorrect testing/treatment/procedure or sharing of clinical/treatment information. (Utilize 2 Patient Identifiers)
  • If you want I&O measured, place an order for strict I&O to ensure proper management.
  • If a patient has questionable capacity, assess and document as soon as possible, so the team can provide safe and appropriate care.
  • Retroperitoneal bleeds should be considered in femoral catheter cases (it is an RPB until proven that it is not).
  • Utilize appropriate documentation without placing blame on other professionals.
  • Order sputum culture when the patient presents with PNA.
  • Restraints – assess when appropriate and when to discontinue.
  • APPs – Know when to reach out to a hospitalist/intensivist/nocturnist for assistance with patient decompensation, as indicated.

Public Health Matters

Thoracic surgeon, Dr. Shelby Stewart, was a recent guest on the February edition of “Public Health Matters”—a roundtable discussion and show produced by the Harford County Health Department and Harford Community College—to speak on lung cancer and its prevention. It can be viewed here.


Black History Month

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the achievements, impact and influence people of color have had in shaping our country. This year, we are going to highlight, via video, important work UMMS is doing to correct historical inequities in health care, as well as how our truly living our value of diversity will benefit our patients, team members and our communities alike. In addition, you will see short videos created by some of our Black leaders from across UMMS in which they talk about and give thanks to people who have inspired and helped them on their life journeys.

We will be sharing some of these video resources each week to keep Black History Month, and our System culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, top of mind for all of us. This week, we are sharing a video in which Dr. Joseph Wright, UMMS' Chief Health Equity Officer, highlights some of the work the system is doing related to equity in patient care, and specifically our commitment to eliminating race-based medicine – historical approaches to clinical care that factor in race or ethnicity as part of the decision-making process – along with examples of this important work that we’ve already implemented.


Mortality Reviews - Learning from Every Death

The new UCH Mortality Review Survey will GO-LIVE in February 2023. Nurses and Attending Providers will receive a secure brief survey following a death. Please complete the 3 minute survey as soon as possible on your mobile or PC. No chart review is required. Your insight about the care could trigger further reviews. The focus is on system improvement and promote a JUST CULTURE.

In order for this to be a beneficial tool, we ask for your cooperation and participation.

Be Aware - Potential Physician Scam

It has come to our attention that a number of our fellow UM St. Joseph Medical Staff members have been contacted by scammers impersonating law enforcement or government officials in attempts to extort money or steal personally identifiable information (PII). We are sending this warning to all Medical Staff members for awareness about these attempts. This press release from the FBI’s Baltimore office contains pertinent information on how to protect yourself.