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12 AUGUST 1999 • Volume 1 • Number 22


Medical Records sets high standards
for excellence, financial performance

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Director of Medical Records Rich Sahlfeld gives employees an overview of the department’s performance. By shaping the data into charts and graphs, Sahlfeld can track the entire department’s goals versus actual outcomes to monitor daily progress.

When hospital administrators around the country look for examples of how to properly manage a medical records department, they’ll likely find KUMC at the top of a very short list.
In a recent benchmark study by the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), the KUMC Medical Records Department was recognized as one of the top performers in the nation. It also received high praise during the recent Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) survey.
“Our staff is extremely proud of the recognition they’re receiving for their efforts,” said Rich Sahlfeld, department director. “We’ve been operating at a high level of efficiency for a number of years. We’re proud of our accomplishments.”
In an article in the July-August ’99 issue of the Journal of AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association), UHC awarded the department “Best Practices” status for its excellence in managing unbilled dollars, file retrieval time and retrieval rate, loose sheet filing, release of information, operating cost and coding accuracy. Sahlfeld said UHC and JCAHO were very impressed with the department’s management of unbilled dollars and its compliance with JCAHO delinquent record status for the past 14 years.
“On any given day, we’re probably holding about $2.2 million in charges,” he said. “Our goal is to have our records finished within three days of discharge, far less than the national average. By meeting that goal, we keep cash flow running smoothly for the hospital.”
Sahlfeld added that the department pulls and files approximately 1.5 million records each year, yet maintains a remarkably high percentage of retrieval of records for patient care purposes. While requests for release of information pour in at a rate of nearly 26,000 each year, turnaround time is low. In addition, loose sheets, which arrive at the rate of 51 inches per day, routinely reach patient files within 24 hours.
Sahlfeld credits much of this success to his staff of 64. Each staff member, he said, shows dedication to the job, willingness to work as a team and a desire to meet lofty goals.
“We have a long average length of employment and that experience definitely helps us,” he said. “I also appreciate the willingness of our staff to learn different jobs within the department so we can move them where the need is highest on any particular day.”
Sahlfeld said another major factor in the department’s success is a state-of-the-art computer system, which helps staff track files, manage data and produce reports.
“Almost every part of our department is computerized,” he said. “Each day, we generate reports showing what we must do today and what we did yesterday. We carefully monitor these reports to make certain we’re meeting our goals. Only a handful of hospitals in the nation have our level of tracking.”
As for the future of medical records, Sahlfeld said more computerization is a virtual certainty.
“One of my major goals for the future is to have a Lifetime Clinical Record—fully computerized records for each patient,” he said. “I hope to see completely paperless records in my lifetime. I think our institution is farther ahead than most when it comes to computerized records. A great deal of our medical record information is already available on the hospital’s computer system.”

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School of Nursing students Lindsey Beil, Tegan Feuerborn, Lynn Butler and Robert Dary provided health screenings to employees of the Blue Valley School District last week.

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Samantha McClanahan is co-owner of Hair Quarters Styling and Nail Salon located across from the Main Cafeteria. Her shop is open to employees, patients and the public Monday through Friday.

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University Police Officer Troy Rice provided Identi-Kid Photo ID kits Aug. 7 at KU Medical Center’s Bike and Safety Fair at the Wyandotte County Fair. More than 400 people visited the KUMC exhibit.


Executive Forum

Genetic medicine institute is next step

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Michael Welch, MD
Vice Chancellor, KUMC

Today, we study isolated diseases with genetic linkages. However, we will soon be able to apply knowledge from the human genome project that will take us into the era of genetic medicine.
In the future, each of us will carry our genome “card” from birth, which contains our complete genetic profile. With this information, we will know if our body is at risk for disease. Parents, as well as physicians, will know how to help their children prevent diseases they may be susceptible to later in life. For example, if you have a genetic abnormality that causes trouble with the way your body handles fat in the blood, you should not be allowed to develop a taste for bacon.
Increasingly, medical research is focusing on missing genes and the gene mutations that cause diseases. Understanding the biological systems of the body, influenced by genes, will radically change the practice of medicine.
Here at the University of Kansas, genetic research has been going on for some time. There is a transgenic and gene knockout facility, where our scientists can study how replacement or loss of genes might produce models of human disease. The next step is development of an Institute of Genetic Medicine, which would include basic science as it translates to clinical research.
In the Institute, the basic and clinical scientists will work closely together to unravel the genetic basis of cancer and its treatment, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and neurological diseases. In addition, it will study how to genetically repair organs and tissues, such as kidney and blood vessels. The Institute will require advanced human imaging to track the new genetic therapies and show how the gene therapies affect the body. The University of Kansas medical research has the potential to lead the nation in disorders of the life span, from pediatrics to geriatrics.

Data comparisons help direct change

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Bob Page-Adams
Vice President, Organizational Improvement
KU Hospital

Much work is taking place to develop the hospital into an organization known for delivering excellent quality care and service at a competitive price. To make this happen, many systems and processes must work together. We’ve been asked how we know where to focus our efforts and analyze operations to improve performance. People also want to know how we coordinate these activities to benefit our organization. I’ll try to answer these questions.
First, data and information help us focus the organization on areas needing the most improvement. Through various processes, we gather performance results related to quality, service and cost. This information is compared to similar information from other hospitals. This allows us to compare our performance and see where we have the greatest opportunity for improvement. The data can usually be broken down by department, by DRG and other factors to help us further focus our improvement efforts.
Once the performance data comparisons are available, the executive team, quality council and medical director-hospital director partnerships review the information. These groups analyze data, identify and prioritize improvement opportunities. Changes can be implemented at a unit, departmental or institutional level to achieve the necessary results. Changes can include training, education, reengineered processes or increased technology.
Our mission statement stresses our commitment to excellence. Our continuing efforts to improve organizational performance confirm this commitment. JCAHO recently cited the medical director-hospital director partnerships and staff competency as a “best practice.” The organization has worked diligently to achieve a “best practice” ranking. This is how we work together to achieve our mission and goal to be an organization known for excellence!


Dental services now available at KUMC

Christopher G. Cumming, DMD, PhD, clinical professor, department of otolaryngology, will head the new KUMC dental clinic, located on the third floor of Sudler Hall.
The oral medicine staff will provide dental services, including dental extractions and the treatment of all forms of oral and dental diseases, not only to hospitalized KU patients, but also to ambulatory patients.

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Dr. Cumming

Dr. Cumming is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he completed residencies in oral medicine and periodontology. He provides oral surgery services and is trained to care for dental problems in immune suppressed patients, those undergoing radiation therapy and transplantation or cardiac surgery.

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Dr. Gier

Ronald E. Gier, DDS, clinical professor, department of otolaryngology, is a graduate of Washington University, St. Louis. Dr. Gier completed a residency in oral medicine at Indiana University. He provides general dental services and is trained in the treatment of facial pain as well as dental management of medically complicated patients.
To make a dental appointment, call the otolaryngology clinic at ext. 6701.

Bleich joins SON

Michael R. Bleich, PhD, arrived Aug. 9 to be associate dean for clinical and community affairs in the School of Nursing. Dr. Bleich holds a BSN from Milton College, a master’s in nursing and public health from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in organizational development from the University of Nebraska.

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Dr. Bleich

He is also a graduate of the Wharton Fellows Program in Management for Nurse Executives. Since 1972, he has held positions in clinical nursing, academia and administration. As associate dean, Dr. Bleich is responsible for the SON Corp. and is academic coordinator for primary care/health promotion.


Check and double check

During the initial assessment phase of KU Medical Center’s Year 2000 preparations, each department of the hospital was asked to itemize all of its information systems, identifying each one as either critical or non-critical.
With technology, however, change not only is constant, it’s rapid. Hardware, software and operating systems all have brief useful life spans. So, information systems inventories have recently been revalidated with each department.
All personal computers have been tested and should display a Y2K sticker. If you see a PC without a sticker, call the Hospital Information Systems Help Desk at ext. 4894.
All Level II and Level III patient care equipment should also bear a Y2K sticker. New equipment goes to BioMedical Technologies first for electrical safety and Y2K testing/stickers. According to hospital policy, if equipment does not have a sticker, it may not be used. If you have a question concerning patient care equipment, call BioMedical Technologies at ext. 2195.
All new system installations, upgrades and changes are tested for Y2K before being used in a “live” environment. Most installations are performed with a representative from Hospital Information Systems. If you are aware of system changes not tested for Y2K, or if you have questions about your system, call the Help Desk at ext. 4894.
Continuous updating of listings of applications and systems is essential to all Y2K preparations. With the participation of all employees in this ongoing process, KU Medical Center
can be ready for Y2K.


Front & Center

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On the job last week at the KU Children’s Center were Medical Receptionists Jennifer Rolen, left, and Heidi Linville.

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Charles DeTorres, MD, clinical assistant professor, pediatrics, examined five-year-old LaVeon Moore of Kansas City, Kan.

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Among the KUMC-sponsored runners in the Sixth Annual Susan G. Komen Kansas City Race for the Cure Aug. 8 were William Jewell, MD, professor of surgery and director of the Kansas Cancer Institute, Sheila Jewell, project consultant for the KU Cancer Center, and their sons Raymond and John.

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Brad Edward Amstein received his white lab coat from Deborah E. Powell, MD, executive dean and vice chancellor for clinical affairs, School of Medicine, at the White Coat Ceremony Aug. 6 in Battenfeld Auditorium. He was among 175 first-year medical school students participating in the annual ritual.


Physicians’ Update

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Dr. Brandell                                Dr. Griebling

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Dr. Olyaee                                  Dr. Korentager

In this issue, we continue our recognition of physicians who have recently affiliated with The University of Kansas Medical Center. Drs. Brandell, Griebling, Olyaee and Korentager represent a variety of departments supporting a broad range of services and continuity of care provided to patients at KUMC and KU MedWest.
Roy A. Brandell, MD, is assistant professor, department of surgery. Dr. Brandell practices at KUMC and KU MedWest, where he specializes in urological surgery with a sub specialty in male infertility and erectile dysfunction. Dr. Brandell received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and attended Vanderbilt University Hospital where he completed an internship in
general surgery as well as a residency in urology. He completed a fellowship
in male infertility at New York Hospital’s Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Brandell is board certified with the American Board of Urology.
Tomas L. Griebling, MD, is assistant professor of urology, department of surgery. Dr. Griebling practices at KU and KU MedWest, specializing in urological surgery, urinary incontinence and other voiding dysfunctions, geriatric and female urology and interstitial cystitis. Dr. Griebling received his medical degree from the University of Iowa, where he also completed a residency in urology and a fellowship in geriatric and reconstructive urology, urodynamics and outcomes research. In addition to his work in the department of surgery, Dr. Griebling has also been appointed assistant scientist at KUMC’s Center on Aging.
Mojtaba Olyaee, MD, is assistant professor, department of internal medicine. Dr. Olyaee practices at KUMC and KU MedWest and specializes in gastroenterology with an interest in motility and inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Olyaee completed medical school and an internship at Mashad University of Medical Sciences, Iran. He attended the University of Kansas, Kansas City, where he completed a residency and fellowship in internal medicine and Loyola University, Maywood, Ill., where he completed a fellowship in gastroenterology. Dr. Olyaee is board certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Richard Korentager, MD, is assistant professor, department of plastic surgery. Dr. Korentager practices at KUMC and KU MedWest, specializing in cosmetic surgery, breast reconstruction, hand surgery, skin cancer treatment and burn surgery. Dr. Korentager completed medical school and a residency in plastic surgery at the University of Toronto, Ontario. He completed a hand and micronerve fellowship at St. Joseph Health Center, Ontario, and a breast reconstruction fellowship at Etobicoke General Hospital. Dr. Korentager is board certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.


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Hildenbrand elected
Wendy Hildenbrand, OTR, teaching associate, occupational therapy education, was recently elected vice chairperson of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Committee of State Association Presidents. With more than 59,000 members nationwide (including occupational therapists, assistants and students), this national professional society was established in 1917 to represent the interests and concerns of occupational therapy practitioners and to improve the quality of occupational therapy services.
Epilepsy fund raiser
A “Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast” fund raiser (serving pancakes too), sponsored by the Alliance for Epilepsy Research, will be held Saturday, Aug. 21 from 7-11 a.m. at the Ridgewood Pleasant Heights RLDS Church, 4341 Blue Ridge Blvd, in Independence, Mo. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2.50 for children 11 and under. Tickets will be available at the door or call 913 588-7135. All proceeds benefit epilepsy research.
Books needed
KUMC recently partnered with Rosedale Middle School to help mentor and donate materials. The school needs reference materials, including educational magazines (National Geographic, Good Housekeeping); books of interest to 10-13 year olds; and literature reference magazines and books, science reference books, health-related materials, etc.
If you would like to donate back issues of magazines or new/old books, please drop them off at the Alumni and Community Relations Office, 1028 Murphy.
Volunteers needed
The new Children’s Center Family room is open, and volunteers are needed afternoons and evenings to help support families of pediatric patients. If interested, call Susan Mong, ext. 6528.
Memorial service
The on-campus memorial service for William Bartholome, MD, MTS, pediatrician, medical ethicist, teacher, and nationally known spokesman on health care issues, will be Friday, Aug. 20 from 2-3 p.m. in Battenfeld Auditorium, with a reception following in Francisco Lounge. Dr. Bartholome died at his home Aug. 2 at the age of 55, after being diagnosed with metastatic esophageal cancer in 1994.
Cancer therapy seminar
On Friday, Aug. 13 at 11 a.m., Karl Tryggvason, MD, PhD, professor of medical biochemistry at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, will present the seminar “Structure of Matrix Metalloproteinase-2: A Target for Rational Drug Design for Cancer Therapy.” This presentation will be held in the Lied Auditorium and will be co-sponsored by the department of biochemistry and molecular biology and the Kansas Cancer Institute. For more information, call Amy Corcoran, ext. 4702.


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Two Chiefs pre-season tickets, great seats, sec. 304 row 21, Tennessee Titans vs. K.C., Aug. 15, and Tampa Bay vs. K.C., Aug. 21, asking face value
($37 ea.). Call 913-541-8407 and leave message.
Large sofa, charcoal grey, very nice, looks new, $75; computer desk with overhead cabinet and shelving, slideout keyboard holder and drawer, $40; floor lamp and end table combo., $15. Call 587-9409 anytime.
Tired of doing your laundry at the laundromat? Whirlpool matching washer and dryer, $350 OBO, white, electric, extra capacity, great cond.; oak dining table with 2 ornate chairs, $50, good cond., exc. size. Will deliver subject to certain terms and conditions. Call 785-766-0093 before Aug. 21.
Queen mattress & box, 2 years old, w/metal frame, box never used, 15-yr warranty, $260. Call 671-7930.
Moving Sale: Shawnee, 69th and Nieman, Sat. Aug. 14, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., 2 chairs with matching ottoman, entertainment center, loveseat, small microwave, toys, clothing, shoes, sz 6, gemstone rings, hardware, misc.
Roper electric range: newer style, exc. cond., off-white, $150 OBO. Call Stacey, 913-768-4129.
14-ft, v-bottom aluminum boat, 25hp Evinrude motor, seats, depth finder, storage, trailer. Boat motor, 10hp, Wizard. Call Krista Clark, 816-361-6006.
Fashion ring, 14K gold, size 5, 23 tapered baguettes, appraised at $660, will sell for $500; bridal ring set, 14K gold band w/marquis and 6 tapered baguettes, 16-point diamonds, appraised at $2695, will sell for $1500; white wedding gown with bustled train, size 10, cleaned and preserved, veil and shoes size 8M, will sell for $1000. Call Donna, 362-2349.
Kenmore gas dryer, heavy duty, 5 cycles, fabric dryness and heat controls, wrinkle guard, almond color, exc. cond., $350 new, $175. Call 383-9357.
1997 Honda Civic LX, automatic, CD, power windows/locks, 40K miles, $12,200. Call 422-5010.
1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS, elec. sunroof and windows, 10 disc CD, alarm, 5-speed, 37K miles, $18,000, will negotiate. Call 946-5363.
1989 Dodge Caravan, black with wood grain trim,
no rust, cold a/c, exc. cond., 116K, priced to sell.
Call 642-0254.
1992 Chevy Beretta, red, very clean, single owner.
Call 221-9389.
1989 Nissan Pathfinder, new engine, maroon, good shape, runs well, $6000. Call Andrew or Christen,
For Rent/Sublease: 2BD Duplex in N. Kansas City, 15 min. drive to KUMC, nice area, 2 stories, w/d hookups, most pets ok, large front and backyard cared for by management, off-street parking, walking distance to city park, very safe area, $525/mo., avail. approx. Oct 1. Call 221-9389.
Duplex For Rent: 3917 Wyoming, 2BD, ac, laundry, water pd., $525/mo. Call Anita, 756-2006.
Free Kitten! 5-mo.-old tan tabby, very friendly, fully vaccinated, spayed, wonderful addition to family with children or other cats, spent life indoors, no fleas or health problems, litter trained, free scratching post included. Call 962-4892.
Are you considering taking hormones for menopause? Should you choose scientifically studied medications to treat your menopause, or are you interested in a more natural approach? Wanted for research: menopausal women interested in beginning hormone replacement. Benefits include 2 free bone density measurements, lab testing and hormone replacement. Call ext. 6022.
Preschoolers age 2-5 to participate in noninvasive study of neurocognitive development. Involves 1-2 hour visit to the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab for the recording of event-related brain potentials (ERPs or “brain waves”) and brief parental interview via telephone. For more information, call Jennifer Hill Karrer, PhD, ext. 5956.



Tuesday, August 17:
•    Cognitive Therapy Addiction Treatment, 1-2:30 p.m., Family Medicine.

Wednesday, August 18:
•    Diabetes Self-Management Series, 9-11 a.m., 1107 KU Hospital.
•    Seniors Blues, 10-11 a.m., Wyandotte Room.
•    Community Health Seminar, noon-1 p.m., 1023 Orr-Major.
•    KUMC Interfaith, noon-1 p.m., 3041 Wescoe.
•    Anxiety Support Group, 4-5:30 p.m., Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic, Room 1320.
•    Potty Training 101, 6-7 p.m., KU MedWest, Community Room.
•    Oh My Aching Back, 7:30-8:30 p.m., KU MedWest, Community Room.

Thursday, August 19:
•    “Family Violence: Experiences & Attitudes of Residents in Four Programs,” noon-1 p.m., G567, KU Hospital.
•    Burn Patient Family Support Group, 6-7 p.m., Burn Center Waiting Room.
•    Prostate Cancer Support Group, 7-9 p.m., Reike Auditorium.


Donald Hagen, MD - Executive Vice Chancellor KUMC
Irene Cumming - CEO and President KU Hospital
Ken Arnold - Editor

IN THE CENTER is the employee and student publication of the University of Kansas Medical Center. It is published weekly by the office of Public Relations and Marketing. The deadline for submitting news briefs is noon on the Thursday before they are to appear. Send story ideas to Ken Arnold, editor, G114 Hospital, or e-mail: <karnold> or call ext. 1298.

Ad Policy
Send or bring your ad to G114 KU Hospital, or fax to ext. 1225, or e-mail: <karnold> by noon Thursday of the week before it is to run. Ads run free of charge for employees, students and volunteers. For-sale ads are limited to three items. All ads must include the advertiser’s name and work extension (or medical student box number) for verification. Only home phone numbers–no pager numbers or KUMC extensions–will be published. No ads for commercial services or pets for sale will be accepted. Ads will not be taken by telephone. Only one phone number per ad. Ads may be held a week of space is limited.

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