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2 December 1999 • Volume 1 • Number 38

Customer service task force promotes patient satisfaction

A dedicated group of KU Med employees is working 
to put the philosophy of “everything we do is for the patient” into action. 
The Customer Service Leadership Group, a task force of approximately 90 employees from various hospital departments, meets twice a month to evaluate patient satisfaction surveys and determine ways to better meet patients’ needs. 
“We are absolutely committed to serving our patients, and the Customer Service Leadership Group is evidence of that commitment,” said Bob Page-Adams, vice president for organizational improvement. “With this group, we can target specific service issues and increase overall patient satisfaction.”

Customer Service Leadership Group Team Leaders, shown with Vice President of Organizational Improvement Bob Page-Adams and KU Med Senior Vice President and COO Jon Jackson, center, include Bill Marting, left, Chris Ruder, Kate Conrad, Lynda Hunter, Terry Rusconi and Dave Cobb. Team Leader Sally Brandt is not pictured.

Each week, patient satisfaction surveys are distributed at KU Med. Hospitals nationwide administer the same survey, allowing KU Med to compare its results with those of other institutions. The Customer Service Leadership Group looks at these results and develops strategies to continually improve levels of service. 
To better address issues covered in the survey, the group has divided into seven teams, each focusing on a specific survey section. These sections include admitting, tests and treatment, rooms, visitors, discharge, response rate and personal issues.
Each team will develop a plan of action for improving patient service. For example, the tests and treatments team is creating a “patient information sheet” which patients could receive nightly, listing tests and treatments scheduled for the following day. By reviewing these sheets with their nurses, patients could better understand their own treatment processes. 

United Way total exceeds $165,000

When United Way campaign organizers asked KU Med (hospital) and University employees to give their “personal best” to help deserving families in Wyandotte County, employees across campus heeded the call. With all pledges now in, the combined effort raised a total of $165,093.48.
In addition to raising the most money of any KUMC campaign, the 1999 effort met its goal of increased participation. During the campaign, 32 people—10 more than last year—participated in the “Red Feather” program by pledging $1,000 or more, and the medical center enlisted its first-ever Torch Bearer, an individual who pledges at the $3,000-5,000 level.
“I was extremely pleased with the assistance and participation from our KU ambassadors, employees, faculty and staff,” said University campaign co-chair Rhonda Bailey, University Human Resources. “I’m sure that many programs will prosper because of KU’s generosity.” 

“On behalf of the hospital, I’d like to thank all United Way supporters for their help, especially the department and nursing unit ambassadors,” said KU Med campaign 
co-chair Mel Allen, Radiology Administration.

Executive Forum

Are we really serious about service?

Irene Cumming
President and CEO 
KU Med

During the employee service training sessions, the question always asked is . . . are we really serious about service? Then the follow-up question is . . . are we going to hold everyone accountable for these service standards? The answer is simple . . . “yes” and “yes.”
Employees want to believe that we are serious about “service,” 
that we will live by this vision. I don’t know how else to answer this question, except to say, “Yes, we are definitely serious about service . . . for our patients, physicians, co-workers, students and everyone we interact with.”
Our management strategy is fairly simple. First, we set performance goals. Months ago, we established and communicated long- and short-term goals about patient satisfaction. The management team identified immediate steps that could be taken to make KU Med patient and service focused and to find ways to address larger system issues that might be blocking us. The management team is supported through training and is provided critical information needed for success.
Right now all employees are being trained in the skills necessary to meet and exceed patients’ personal and practical needs. Management is provided patient satisfaction survey results weekly. Teams have been formed to identify satisfaction issues that need to be addressed to enhance service for our patients. 
While our patient satisfaction performance has improved, we are not progressing quickly enough. Our patients continue to view our service as “inconsistent.” Some hospital areas continually meet and exceed patient satisfaction goals . . . and others do not. This inconsistency is unacceptable. Performance will be evaluated and each of us will be accountable for service, and the resulting patient satisfaction.
Now it is time for each and every one of us to understand, commit to and meet our service expectations and patient satisfaction goals.
For those who are meeting and exceeding our patients’ expectations . . . thank you, job well done. For those of you who do not believe service is a priority . . . I am saddened. Poor service will no longer be tolerated. If we do not focus our efforts on improving our service, our patients may not give us a second chance.

Diversity in December . . .

Donald Hagen, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor 
University of Kansas Medical Center

In December, it is appropriate to consider the values of our holiday season. It is the time of year when many of the world’s religions begin to celebrate special occasions. 
Often, I have spoken about the value of each and every individual who works here. Recently, at an employee recognition ceremony, we recognized thousands of years of employee service. And, when we looked around us, we resembled the United Nations.
Our employees represent virtually every race, ethnic group and religion. We work together, side by side with a common vision and mission. And, that mission is the most important in the world . . . caring for our fellow men and women. 
It is important, especially at this time of the year, that we value our diversity, learn from one another and respect each other. Always, try to walk in each other’s shoes.
When we look to the future, we must work diligently to encourage all people to succeed in their education and enter health care. Future health care must resemble America, its diversity, in order to meet and exceed needs. We must understand and respect each other, to provide health care.
So during December, this holiday season, pay attention to your neighbor, respect your co-workers and treasure our diversity . . . it, really, is the key to our success.

Each year in December, the University and KU Med (hospital) recognize a variety of religious and cultural celebrations. 

Some upcoming events during the next few weeks include:
Dec. 6, 12, 20 Non-Denominational Advent Sunday Services
11:30 a.m., Spencer Chapel
Dec. 7 Catholic Holy Day Mass
4:45 p.m., Spencer Chapel
Dec. 8 Catholic Holy Day Mass
12:15 p.m., Spencer Chapel
Dec. 10 Ramadan cuisine of Muslim countries
Lunch and dinner, Main Cafeteria


Hospital to answer questions on Y2K event

With only 29 days to go, Hospital Information Systems (HIS) has begun to hear questions about what can be expected during the Y2K event. Over the next few weeks, this forum will answer some of those questions. If you have a question regarding Y2K, e-mail Malcolm Cunningham, <mcunning>, or Keith Anetsberger, <kanetsbe>, or call the Hospital Systems Help Desk, ext. 4894.
How will decisions be made during the Y2K event if there are problems?
On Friday afternoon, Dec. 31, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which is located in the basement of the hospital and is normally activated only during disasters, will be activated and staffed by KU Med (hospital) and University representatives from Administration, Information Systems, Medical, Safety, Security and Public Relations. These individuals will be on-site to make decisions and coordinate all resources during the Y2K event, including information updates, current status and priority requests. 
The EOC will closely monitor outside events in the region and country to identify and coordinate appropriate responses. The EOC will operate continuously as long as necessary. Communication with the EOC will be done through the normal chain of command (for example, a nursing issue that needs EOC approval would be sent via the nursing/staff manager to the Nursing Administrative Coordinator, then to the department’s vice president or representative in the EOC). Please note that any decisions on staffing and scheduling during the Y2K event will be done at the EOC level. Departments will be staffed at their Y2K readiness levels until notified by the EOC. 
Will the SMS system be up at midnight on Dec. 31, 1999?
At this time, the plan is to shut down end-user access to the SMS system at 
11:30 p.m. Dec. 31. After we enter the new year, HIS will test and validate the system, then make SMS available again to users. If all goes well, users should be back online about 1 a.m. on Jan. 1. Clinical Labs, Pharmacy and Radiology also plan to shut down their respective departmental systems to end-users at approximately 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 31, 1999, and to have their users back online about 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1.

Holiday party, gingerbread house contest set for Dec. 15

The holidays are upon us, and that can mean only one thing—time for the KUMC holiday party.
This year’s party, which is jointly sponsored by the University and KU Med (hospital), is set for Wednesday, Dec. 15 in the Fountain Courtyard. Invitations 
will be distributed to all employees. To reduce overcrowding and ensure that everyone has time to visit the refreshment lines, the party will be staged in three 
sessions—2-3 p.m., 3-4 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Invitations will be color-coded based on the session. Employees are asked to bring their invitation to the party, and to attend only during their designated time periods. 
As in previous years, this year’s party will include the KUMC Gingerbread House Contest. All KU Med and University employees are eligible to participate. The house must be 100 percent edible (with the exception of the base), and entries must be registered by 4 p.m. Dec. 14 with Mary Jo Williams, ext. 5248, Sharon Taylor, ext. 5455, or Stacey Snakenberg, ext. 5060. Entries should be brought to the KU Endowment Association, G013 Wahl Hall East, by 10 a.m. Dec. 15. All entries will be displayed at the holiday party. A panel of judges will award prizes in three categories: Most Traditional, Most Unique and Most Calories. All houses must be picked up at the Endowment Office on Dec. 16.
Questions? Call Williams, Taylor or Snakenberg.

Ludwig 12 pc. drum set, refinished red, w/cases & cymbals. Call 913-621-2708.
1991 Ford Probe LX, V6, 5-spd., red w/gray interior, $3,000 OBO;1989 Mercury Cougar LS, V6, white w/blue interior, $1,800 OBO; both cars look and run good, well-kept w/service records available. Call Jim, 913-438-9769.
1988 Z-24 Chevy Cavalier, 204K mi., runs great, $1,200 OBO. Call 422-9091.
1981 Yamaha 1100 Midnight Special, runs great, $1,000 OBO. Call 422-9091.
1995 Ford Ranger XLT, 5-spd., A/C, 43K mi., clean, good cond., $5,900 OBO. Call 816-942-8909.
1996 Lexus LS 400, 37K mi., moonstone (gray) color, chrome wheels, 6-stack factory CD, moonroof, heated seats, traction control, unblemished cond., $39,000. Call 587-8714.
1992 Dodge Dakota LE extended cab truck, white, V6, auto., A/C, cruise, tilt, CD stereo, low miles-69K, exc. cond., one-owner, $6,500 OBO. Call 913-432-2801.
For Rent: Available Jan. 1, 2000, 2BD apartment, 5-minute walk to KUMC, located on State Line Road w/private off-street parking, hardwood floors, large balconies, gas/water paid. Call 753-8834 for more info. and appointment to view.

Adopt-A-Child/Elderly program will help 300

For children and elderly who are poor and hungry, the holidays can be very difficult. That’s why KUMC is again sponsoring the Adopt-A-Child/Elderly Program this holiday season.
Under the program, employees “adopt” a deserving child or elderly citizen from Wyandotte County for the holidays by providing gifts such as new clothes, toys or household items. So far this year, 300 people are still waiting to be adopted. To help a needy resident or learn more about the program, stop by 1028 Murphy, by Dec. 10.
Adopt-A-Child is co-sponsored by 
the Center on Aging and Project Eagle.

KUMC Credit Union Lucky Numbers for December
The KUMC Credit Union Lucky Numbers for December are: 14352, 17701, 18661, 18664 and 30762.
The Lucky Birthday is Dec. 23. Prizes may be claimed at the Credit Union, 1037 Delp.


Friday, December 3:
• OB/GYN Grand Rounds, “Update on Women’s Issues in Migraine,” 8 a.m., Clendening Amphitheater.
• Pediatrics Grand Rounds, “Pediatric Laparoscopic Surgery,” 8 a.m., 
Lied Auditorium.
• Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Residents Forum, 10:30 a.m., Clendening Amphitheater.
Monday, December 6:
• Non-Denominational Advent Services, 11:30 a.m., Spencer Chapel.
Tuesday, December 7:
• Kansas Cancer Institute Research Round Table, “Quality of Life Research in Breast Cancer and Research Directions for the Cancer Information Service,” noon-1 p.m., Lied Auditorium. 
• Center On Aging Research Seminar, “The D3 Dopamine Receptor: Neurobiology and Relevance in Neuropsychiatric Disorders,” 4-5 p.m., Clendening Amphitheater.
• Catholic Holy Day Mass, 4:45 p.m., Spencer Chapel.
Wednesday, December 8:
• CenterNet Mental Health Special, “Bipolar Disorder,” 11 a.m-12:30 p.m., 1014 Orr-Major.
• KUMC Interfaith, noon-1 p.m., 3041 Wescoe.
• Center on Aging Ethical Analysis Seminar, “Liar, Liar: Physicians Willing to Lie for Coverage?” noon-1 p.m., 4050 Wescoe. 
• Catholic Holy Day Mass, 12:15 p.m., 
Spencer Chapel.
• Ophthalmology Grand Rounds, “Herpetic Keratitis: Treatment and Management,” 
4:45-6 p.m., G032 Lied.
Thursday, December 9:
• Breast Cancer Support Group, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Radiation Oncology Conference Room.
• Nutrition for the Y2K, 7-8 p.m., KU MedWest.

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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