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, July 2023 topics include:


July brings with it the opportunity to reflect on our experience over the previous fiscal year, and we have a great deal to celebrate here at Upper Chesapeake Health. We’ve had a banner year in improving patient safety, welcomed many new leaders to the organization, implemented changes that move us toward becoming a High Reliability Organization, and achieved great strides in preparing to open our new facilities for improved patient access. We’ve heard many stories of our team members demonstrating the values of compassion, discovery, excellence, diversity, and integrity that deliver the kind of care we would want for our own loved ones. At the pinnacle of this is my deep appreciation to each of you who have faced adversity and worked so hard to make it happen.

Looking forward, we are eager to continue this progress for our patients through further reducing variation in care and improving the patient experience. There are some great tools, both new and old, we depend on to help with improvement. We have transitioned our Hospitalist service to our new partners, Adfinitas, where we will have improved MD-RN rounding, enhanced recruiting, and access to their evidence-based best practices. Active participation in entering UMMS Safe events and root cause analyses allows for deep and actionable understanding of the biggest risks for our patients.  In the coming months we will be rolling out the Vizient Clinical Database with more in-depth data than we’ve previously had available for identifying variations in clinical care. Continuous Improvement for Leaders training continues to expand our ability to redesign processes and workflows that address our biggest challenges. There is a big year ahead of us to open our new services at Aberdeen and UCMC which is planned for February 6, 2024. I am excited and grateful to be in this undertaking with you.

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


In the Literature

Check out the latest roundup of Dr. Leo's "In the Literature," where he reviews various medical studies and articles. This month, topics include AI models like ChatGPT providing similar results and recommendations of breast tumor boards; the use of NIV to reduce treatment-failure among critically ill adults with obesity undergoing extubation; and the connection between PAP adherence and lower health care costs among participants with OSA.


Get to Know Me Boards

Are you familiar with the Get to Know Me Boards? These are tools we can all use to connect with our patients. Understanding their unique needs and engaging in a meaningful way helps patients to feel respected and as a partner in their care, leading to improved care experience and outcomes. Check out the sample here.


Safety and Quality Dashboard

Infection Prevention Kudos

Our Infection Prevention (IP) team was recently recognized with an award during our Quality of Care Committee. In collaboration with our frontline team members, they have achieved some of the top performance in the country for preventing hospital acquired infections with just 13 occurring at our organization. This represents a standardized infection ratio of just .24, down from .82 in the previous year. We are proud to be able to provide this level of care to our patients that comes from dedication and compassion.;

Tom Berlin Joins UM UCH Leadership Team

H. Thomas Berlin, Jr., MHA, FACHE, is our new Vice President, Physician Services. In this role, he leads our multispecialty network of employed physicians and advanced practice providers in service to the community. Prior to joining UM UCH, he worked with LifeBridge Health as an Assistant Vice President within the LifeBridge Health Medical Group. In that capacity he was responsible for the development and execution of strategic and operational activities across the Physician Enterprise, with a focus on medicine related services spanning the continuum of care. 

Before joining LifeBridge Health, he spent 10 years within Johns Hopkins Medicine. In his most recent capacity there, Tom functioned concurrently in the role as Administrator for the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology within the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as well as Administrator, Specialty Hospital Programs, located at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Tom received his Bachelor of Arts from Franklin and Marshall College and a Master of Health Administration in Health Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health. Separately, Tom has obtained Executive Leadership Certificates from both Johns Hopkins University and Cornell University.

Tom is also a Fellow within the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and a member of the Administrators of Internal Medicine (AIM), the Maryland Chapter of ACHE (MACHE), Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), and several other professional healthcare organizations. He is the former Chair for the Maryland Chapter of the American Diabetes Association, and has served on board roles for the KIPP School, and Dundalk Renaissance Foundation. In addition to is professional endeavors, Tom is committed to the local community, serving as a youth soccer coach.

Closing the Loop - Consult Communication

Re: consultant feedback to hospitalist service communication, we have seen instances of recommendations being made by the consultants in their notes, but the communication loop with the hospitalist does not seem to close. Please keep in mind the following:

  • Consultants: We have shared with our consultants to always close the loop when they make a recommendation by either 
    • taking ownership of entering the orders themselves in Epic
    • or contacting the attending hospitalist to inform them of their recommendations
  • Hospitalists: should review any new notes in the chart at least every 24 hours and following the recommendation of the consultants (if they agree with those recommendations).

Welcome, Adfinitas

We’ve successfully welcomed new and existing leaders to our Hospitalist team under the Adfinitas group. This transition continues our path toward ensuring the best care outcomes and experience for our patients. Please review this leadership letter and extend a warm welcome to the team.

Recognizing our significant progress in protecting patients from injury due to falls

The stellar work of our falls prevention team and frontline caregivers has helped to achieve success in reducing our patient falls. On behalf of Bev Wehmer, please thank your teams for their focus, engagement and hard work.


Pearls of Wisdom from Quality Management

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.

1. If an anesthesia consent is NOT required for a procedure, and the patient is a DNR, the advanced directive section on the back of the Patient Acknowledgment and Consent form is to be completed.

2. Wound and Skin Initial Care Supplemental is an order set available in EPIC. This order set has the recommended go to dressings for various types of wounds and can be used to decrease the lag time in getting wound care orders for patients. If a physician places wound care orders, there is no need to consult wound care; however, it is never discouraged to consult wound care.