As the LCME self-study continues to come together, additional opportunities to focus on curriculum, student services and facilities become clear. Our steering committee, working with our faculty, students and staff are collecting and analyzing data and hard at work writing and rewriting the self-study materials.
Our campus is abuzz with ongoing renovation and construction. The student lockers in the Mulford Library are well under way and should be completed by Monday, October 8. The new classrooms on the first floor of the Collier building were completed on schedule and have been widely used by many different health science colleges. They are magnificent! The new student relaxation/meeting space in the Mulford Annex adjoining the new admissions office is also well underway and should be ready for our students and staff around the winter holidays as should be the new furniture for the Health Ed Student Lounges. The new printers have been installed in the library and have been widely used by students and staff alike.
Curriculum changes in Clinical Decision Making I, the first year course on Doctoring, are rolling out this Fall. The enhanced focus on history and physical examination, the commitment of clinical preceptors, and the increased roll of simulation area substantial changes that our M-I students will surely appreciate.
The most recent edition of Rocket Science has been released and sent to faculty, staff, alumni and many others. This is the fourth annual edition, focusing on immunology and microbiology. It looks great! It again features our faculty and programs in an understandable and attractive way. Dr Mrak, our editor, has done a great job in pulling together the content with a clear focus and with high impact. Faculty and alumni have been very complementary.
Our new Integrated Cancer Center is also well along in construction, with the Varion Trubeam linear accelerator ready to be installed in the near future. We should have a ribbon cutting in early January. This will integrate the outpatient care services across all specialties to provide comprehensive state of the art care for our cancer patients and their families in a new welcoming environment. We warmly welcome Dr. Chen, as the Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, who will work closely with our medical and surgical oncology team to provide a remarkable care experience for our cancer patients and their families.
With the recent “go-live” of the computerized physician order entry system, our medical center has taken yet another important step toward a fully electronic medical record and patient care system. The IT group and our faculty, staff, residents and others made this transition remarkably safe and efficient. We are very grateful for all the hard work in learning to use this new system. We continue to track the milestones for the Meaningful Use determination, and again, are well along the way. Dr. Hinch has done a great job, as we collect these physician specific use patterns and outcomes.
Our application to CMS for a Medicare Accountable Care Organization, as described in the PPACA, was submitted in early September. We expect a decision regarding next steps from CMS in the next weeks to month. Our physicians practice, UTPPCF, is well underway in the preparation for this eventuality, particularly as it will impact our primary care practice sites and physicians.
We continue to prepare for a CMS Conditions of Participation review conducted by the Ohio Department of Health. We are once more working with The Greeley Group, who have significant experience in these types of Joint Commission and CMS reviews. Our medical staff, hospital staff and residents, as well as, our housekeeping, dietary, social work and facilities colleagues are working hard to insure that we are ready to fully and accurately convey our strong focus on the quality of care and the exemplary patient experience. This review will be very much akin to a Joint Commission survey, at which, we have previously excelled.
As we have continued to move ahead following the transplant service event of mid-summer, we have done several transplants with excellent outcomes. During this time we have worked closely with a myriad of outside regulatory and accrediting organizations, whose job it is to provide a clear and objective study of the quality and safety of our clinical environment. This has included the Joint Commission, the Ohio Department of Health, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the United Network of Organ Sharing, the Life Connection Organ Procurement Organization, the Ohio Board of Medicine, The Ohio Board of Nursing and others. These interactions have included extensive document exchanges, site visits, meetings, calls, etc. In addition, shortly after the event, we asked a team of leaders from a highly regarded renal transplant program to visit and meet our team, tour our facilities, ask hard questions and to make any suggestions that might strengthen our transplantation programs. All of this has been done and has been communicated to our staff in an ongoing fashion. Our Board of Trustees has also been actively kept aware and is fully engaged. Thanks to all.
Our Stroke Network continues to grow in size and reputation. Drs. Mouhammad Jumaa and Syed Fazal Abbas Zaidi have surely found a niche in our community. Patients with symptoms of a stroke are being widely referred for care, with many amazing success stories of lives changed and the tragic outcomes of these strokes averted by quick referral and care. No longer do patients have to leave our region to obtain this care for themselves and their loved ones. Quick action, a simple phone call to 911 is frequently the difference between a normal life and the paralysis and disability that all too commonly follows a major stroke.
The Deans Round Table dinners and the Residents Forum Dinners with the Dean have been scheduled for the Fall as well. Please sign up when the announcements are made. They are scheduled on a “first come” basis. In addition, continued COM faculty meetings, several with the COM Council are also scheduled this Fall. Additional small group meetings with faculty are also available. Faculty promotion sessions, faculty development sessions and many other gatherings continue to bring together our health science campus family.
Till next time……go Rockets!