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.

This month's eFocus topics include:

A Message from the Chief Clinical Officer

Milestones on the Horizon

It's hard to believe that there are only 47 days to Christmas and 85 days until we close UM Harford Memorial. The schedule of the transition is available here; however, please note that, even before the closure, we have clinical workflows that will change.

Milestone Summary

  • January 4, 2024 – We will stop taking ICU and IMC admissions at UM HMH so the ED will start transferring those cases.
  • January 8, 2024 – We will start moving any remaining ICU and IMC patients.
  • January 9, 2024 – The ICU and IMC at UM HMH will be closed. The ICU and IMC staff will move to UM UCMC and ED physicians and APPs will be double covered to take care of the codes and rapid responses for UM HMH.

The details of every move are in the calendar. Take a look, as it will impact everyone in some way.

Next, we want to spotlight readmissions. We know some admissions are preventable if we optimize the care of the patient in the hospital, get medication reconciliation right, coordinate care appropriately in the outpatient setting, and address social determinants of health. That last part “Social Determinants of Health” (SDoH) is where the Comprehensive Care Center works and thrives. You will see the work they do in this issue in helping patients recently discharged from the hospital with the diagnosis of CHF, COPD and diabetes. See how the Comprehensive Care Center can help care for your patients synergistically and help keep them healthier and out of the hospital.

Thanks again to everyone for all that you do for the patients you treat and the community we all serve. It remains an honor to work with such a talented group of clinicians and team members!

Fermin Barrueto Jr., MD, MBA, FACHE
Senior Vice President/Chief Clinical Officer
443-643-1508 | fbarrueto@umm.edu


November Quality Scores

readmission rate
readmission rate
Patient experience
top box score
12.02% 14.3% 59.76 

Readmission Summary

As we continue to look toward improving the standard of care we provide through our Emergency Department by addressing wait times and boarding, avoidable utilization is a key area of focus. A significant segment of this is readmissions, where we can reduce the costs of care and improve the health outcomes of our patients.

Healthcare-Associated Infections to date in FY 2024

FY2024 Safety, Quality and Patient Experience Dashboard at UM Upper Chesapeake Health

Dr. Lowe named Best of Cecil County

Each year, the Cecil Whig, Cecil County’s newspaper, publishes the Best of Cecil County. This year, Elizabeth Martin Lowe, MD, UM UCH, was named best surgeon. In practice for over 20 years, Dr. Lowe has extensive experience with all general surgery procedures.

She completed medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine (New Orleans, Louisiana) and a surgical residency at East Tennessee State University's James H. Quillen College of Medicine (Johnson City, Tennessee). Dr. Lowe has strong family values. She is proud of the accomplishments of her two children. In her spare time, she enjoys boating on the waters of the upper Chesapeake Bay. Learn more about Dr. Lowe.

UM UCH stroke team poses with members of the Harford County Government at the Aberdeen Medical Center to celebrate their 2023 Stroke Smart status.

Stroke Proclamation

UM UCH is proud to celebrate Harford County's newly declared Stroke Smart status at the Aberdeen Medical Center. Our team was joined by members of the Harford County Government, including County Executive Bob Cassilly. As part of a Stroke Smart county, UM UCH demonstrates its commitment to educating the public on the signs/symptoms of stroke as well as the importance of calling 911.


Dr. Leo's "In The Literature"

The latest roundup of various medical studies and articles is available here.

Elizabeth Wise Headshot


My Why in Healthcare

"Healthcare found me. My mother told me that when I was 4 years old, I told her I was going to be a nurse. Growing up, I was a volunteer at the hospital where I was born. I fell in love with my geriatric patients. I just loved taking care of them, and that's really how I started my career of service."

Elizabeth Wise, FACHE, MSN, MBA
President and CEO, UM Upper Chesapeake Health

Highlights: Comprehensive CARE Center

The Comprehensive CARE Center is our transitional program that assists with medical follow-up and case management needs following discharge for 30 days. Here are a few of our signature services:

  • CHF and COPD Programs, led by a dedicated nurse practitioner to medically manage and treat patients post discharge. Additionally, the program has an experienced nurse case manager to educate and coordinate the patients' needs, a licensed social worker to assist with goals of care, long term care, and Social Determinants of Health, and a pharmacist who works on medication management and adherence.
  • Outpatient IV diuresis is offered to patients in the community to prevent admissions. We also work with inpatient providers in our Enhanced Discharge Program in order to expedite patients get their needs met in the outpatient setting.
  • Case-management services are also provided for our high-risk diagnoses (Sepsis, UTI, HTN, DM) to educate, identify and address barriers to care by assessing Social Determinants of Health.
  • Remote patient monitoring services are provided to patients to collect important vitals, follow trends, and coordinate medical treatment from patients’ homes. Our medical team works closely with the patients to ensure their needs are met in the community.


Creating a Vizient CDB UCH Community

We continue on our journey to utilize robust data systems to measure and improve the care we deliver to our patients.

The Quality and Accountability Scorecard is an important component of this through which we can track key performance indicators for our organization to identify the greatest opportunities for improvement. Our initial findings have helped to pinpoint areas of focus. We move forward by:

Leveraging data to support UCH

  • Create an intake form for CDB requests for data (QM)

Building capacity using CDB and data for improvement

  • Quality Management to onboard identified UCH super users on CDB
  • Create a monthly check-in forum for all CDB super users at UCH

Create connection and accountability

  • Add CDB Q&A data to PSQC and the QCC
  • Add CDB Equity to EDI Council
  • Other forums, LOS, readmissions, etc.

Near future

  • Dyad physicians to review service line data
  • MSO access to Physician Insight for OPPE or other reports

View the Vizient Scorecard.

Triad Rounding Pilot

Our Triad Rounds pilot will begin on Unit 3 West at UCMC under the direction of our dyad-leadership of Kate Slonecker and Timothy McCall. These bedside, multidisciplinary rounds:

  • improve communication between physicians and nurses.
  • are associated with reduced risk of death in the intensive care unit.
  • reduce adverse events.
  • reduce length of stay.
  • improve team building and communication.
Triad Rounds: Ease of Adoption chart