What’s your life like at the U-M Health System? Where do you work, who are your co-workers, and why is your job important?
We want to hear from you! Post a photo on your Twitter or Instagram account with a brief description and #UMHSlife. Share a photo from around campus, of you and your co-workers, or anything else that shows what it’s like to be a part of our UMHS community.
We’ll share your posts in Health System Headlines and on our UMHS social media pages. And, we’ll be awarding prizes for the best posts and photos.
So what are you waiting for? Tell the world about your #UMHSlife. Check out some of the first posts below:
Reminder: Please do not post photos of patients or patient information.
The books moved out two years ago, and the construction crews moved in. And today, the University of Michigan’s Taubman Health Sciences Library reopens as a transformed space for learning, teaching and gathering.
After a $55 million renovation, the 35-year-old building on the U-M medical campus has emerged from a metamorphosis that has made it into a new kind of library, and much more. The transformation turned the 143,400-square-foot facility into all-digital, light-filled, dynamic learning space for future physicians, scientists and other health professionals.
Starting today – the first day of the Medical School’s academic year – it will serve as the central learning hub for U-M’s nearly 780 medical students.
With dozens of classrooms and small-group meeting rooms, a realistic simulated clinic, and advanced educational technology, it greatly expands and enhances students’ options to develop the knowledge and skills they’ll need as doctors, under a new curriculum now being phased in.
The building also provides lecture and advising space for the Medical School’s more than 1,100 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical sciences. U-M students studying public health, dentistry, pharmacy, social work, nursing and kinesiology can join medical students in many learning spaces specifically designed for new inter-professional education programs that emulate the health care teams they’ll find in their future careers.
“Simultaneously creating both a new curriculum, and the space to implement it, has presented us with a rare opportunity – one we’ve worked to take full advantage of,” says James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of the Medical School and Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine. “Thanks to the vision and effort of hundreds of faculty, students and staff, we have strengthened our ability to train the future medical leaders that health care and biomedical science need.”
A library for the future
Just as health care has gone from paper to digital systems, so have library services. U-M’s 518,942-volume print health sciences collection now resides off campus. The library space in the renovated building has been reconfigured for the way faculty and students learn in the 21st Century, and sits just inside the main entrance on Catherine Street.
“Today’s library can be anywhere, thanks to technology, yet there is still a desire for a physical location that facilitates collaboration, study and learning,” says Jane Blumenthal, associate university librarian and THSL director. “We continue our 150-year tradition of medical information expertise to serve U-M and beyond.”
U-M community members can still request books and other printed materials for delivery from an off-campus location, and delve into the historical collection of medical tomes at the Hatcher Graduate Library. They can work with specialized health sciences librarians called informationists via online chat, text and email, as well as in classrooms, offices and laboratories.
Designed to last
The building’s namesake – U-M benefactor A. Alfred Taubman, whose 1977 gift helped fund the original construction – did not live to see the reopening. But using his architectural experience, he had provided valuable input to the renovation planning.
The project was designed by TMP Architecture and Ballinger Architecture and Engineering, and constructed on time and on budget by the Christman Company with many Michigan-based subcontractors and suppliers.
“This new space is truly designed by educators, and it shows in every detail,” says Medical School associate dean for medical student education Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D. “For example, students can write on erasable walls and tables to help facilitate discussions and teamwork. There’s supportive technology infused in every element, not so that it stands out, but so it’s an integral part of the learning environment. There are well-crafted spaces to lounge and relax, while students take a break and connect with each other. That is what we strove for, and I think the team did a great job in achieving these goals.”
Key features of the new Taubman Health Sciences Library:
It stands on the site where U-M’s second hospital began taking patients in 1891 – one year after the Medical School adopted a then-revolutionary four-year curriculum.
Learning spaces are spread over five levels of the building – two below street level.
Learning technologies include a large touch-screen table for exploring human anatomy virtually, and facilities for teleconferencing and computer-based testing.
The Clinical Skills Suite includes 30 realistic patient care rooms complete with simulated medical technology, and facilities for the trained medical actors – called “standardized patients” and actual patients who help medical students learn and test hands-on skills.
In addition to the library, the entrance level includes a new café with coffee and light fare.
A medical student lounge offers kitchen facilities and entertainment options.
An all-glass exterior of nearly 18,000 square feet of low-e glass replaced the former windowless brick walls on all sides of the building, providing natural illumination
About 6,000 square feet were added in the renovation, including a monumental staircase.
A wide array of “green building” features make the building eligible for Gold LEED status, a measure of environmentally conscious facility construction and operation.
The building has indoor connections on several levels to other Medical School buildings.
Construction teams used 1,700 tons of concrete, recycled 1,780 tons of material, and installed more than 67 miles of data cable and 2,011 data jacks.
Every year, central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) lead to thousands of illnesses and deaths throughout the U.S. These serious, but common infections are caused when the catheter tube (central line) used to give patients medicines and fluids or collect blood samples, lets germs into the bloodstream.
Although CLABSIs are prevalent, they are still preventable. Last week, two of our units were recognized for going more than an entire year without one. The Nick and Chris Brandon Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the 4A/4S Unit received the “365 Days of Safety Award” in a ceremony hosted by Jeff Desmond, M.D., interim chief medical officer, and Marge Calarco, Ph.D., RN, senior associate director and chief of nursing services.
“The focused work of these teams truly shows their true commitment to keeping our patients safe,” says Calarco.
“The 365 Days of Safety Award recognizes the tremendous efforts made by our teams in decreasing or eliminating hospital acquired infections,” adds Dr. Desmond. “It also provides an opportunity for teams to share improvement practices and opportunities.”
‘Scrubbing the Hub’
The 4A/4AS unit has been CLABSI-free since 2012. Staff on the 32-bed unit care for patients in Neurology and Neurosurgery services. 4A also includes a six-bed stroke unit.
Staff from 4A/4AS unit with Marge Calarco, Ph.D., RN, senior associate director and chief of nursing services; and Jeff Desmond, M.D., interim chief medical officer.
“We are always striving to improve patient safety and outcomes,” says Cinda Loik, RN, BSN, MBA, nurse manager on the floor. She emphasized the culture of cleanliness that employees apply to their work area, specifically for CLABSI prevention.
One of the most important behaviors for their team members is cleaning the ‘hub,’ which is the cap at the end of central lines that comes in contact with the patient.
“’Scrubbing the Hub,’ seems to be engrained in our culture. It is stressed in orientation and even patients will comment, ‘oh, I see you’re scrubbing my hub.’”
During Multi-Disciplinary Rounds, nursing and medical staff in the unit also collaborate to decide whether a device or line could be removed. This includes central lines and Foley catheters.
Staff from the NICU pose with Marge Calarco, Ph.D., RN, senior associate director and chief of nursing services; Jeff Desmond, M.D., interim chief medical officer; and Paul King, executive director of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.
A CLABSI can cause serious complications for an infant including increased length of stay, problems requiring longer use of a breathing machine, and even death of the patient. Because CLABSIs are fairly common, they were considered almost an accepted side effect in the field of neonatal medicine at one point in time.
“In 2008, we started a quality improvement initiative to reduce CLABSIs that focused on culture change,” says Sarah Poley, RN, leader of the initiative to reduce CLABSIs in the NICU. “We worked to change the belief that CLABSIs were inevitable to the mindset that just because a patient has a central line does not mean they will get an infection.”
“Our unit’s culture has evolved into one supportive of best practices for infection prevention,” she says. “We are receptive to new practices and modifications and regularly share lessons learned from past infections.”
Part of the unit’s improvement program was encouraging parents to join in the effort. Healthcare providers wore buttons with a caricature of a germ that said “Ask Me.” The buttons encouraged parents to ask about the button and to remind providers to wash their hands when they came in the room. Parents and visitors are also reminded to wash their hands frequently.
“When we distributed the buttons to our teams, each one included a card with the story of a patient who had a CLABSI,” she says. “That helped remind staff of the risks and potential complications. It helped everyone stay focused on reducing the number of infections. We are now invested in the belief that CLABSI’s truly are preventable.”
Many know us for great care and research, but we’re also home to employees who help patients in unique and unexpected ways.
Just being there Social Worker Rhonda Fields always knew she wanted to help others. She began her career helping children get a better education and now works to comfort families in the health system’s Children’s and Adult Emergency Departments.
“Our patients and families go through so much emotionally and physically,” she says. “My job is to just be there for them, listen, and make sure they get the best care possible.”
Rhonda remembers meeting a mother of a nine-month-old girl who was having trouble breathing. The girl’s older brother was at the hospital too and scared for his sister’s life.
“All of a sudden this boy walked over and hugged me. He didn’t need medical care or a toy, he just needed comfort,” Rhonda says. “Being able to help a family at a traumatic moment like that has been really powerful for me. I may never see them again, but I made a lasting impact.”
Journeying with the patient
Chaplain Rev. Jamie D. Hawley also helps others deal with difficult emotions that often come with being sick.
“I try to journey with our patients without posing any beliefs on them,” he says. “We take a holistic approach to healing and what that means to each person. Sometimes just sitting and talking with someone is enough to lift their spirit.”
Jamie says UMHS chaplains work in a variety of faith traditions and even support those who don’t consider themselves religious.
“People often think that if prayer is not needed, then a chaplain is not needed. However, we feel we are sent to serve our patients and their families no matter what they believe or are going through.”
Jamie appreciates the scope of his work and the impact he makes in all phases of a patient’s life.“We are here to help whether that’s during the sacred moment a life enters this world or the sacred moment when a life leaves it.”
Helping with the bill
Like Rev. Hawley, James Goebel, U-M MSupport Coordinator, is used to seeing families in need.
“I step in when patients are having trouble paying their medical bills,” he says. “This means catching them during one of the worst parts of their experience at the health system and attempting to make it one of the better ones.”
James works with U-M social workers, Patient Financial Counselors, the Patient Customer Service team, Guest Assistance, and outside agencies such as Washtenaw Health Plan, to make the payment process easier for patients and their family.
There was one patient Goebel remembers who sent him a Christmas card every year after he assisted with her balance and helped her to better understand Medicaid. Another patient insisted on coming to see James, even though he was suffering from terminal lung cancer. The patient was grateful his bills were one less worry for his family.
“Hearing how my efforts have given a patient hope or helped them with their debt makes the job worthwhile.” says James, who has been with the health system for 15 years. “Working here and making a difference in the lives of others is an integral part of who I am.”
Eating right and living well Shirley Kadoura is a nutrition specialist at UMHS who gets her motivation right from the patients she serves.
“Our amazing patients are why I get up in the morning,” she says. “The people who work to improve their health and want to benefit from my coaching and support are why I work here.”
Shirley remembers one patient who was diagnosed with pre-diabetes that showed incredible initiative to do everything she could to get healthy.
“She was committed from the start and came to appointments with her mom who was also working on weight loss,” Shirley says.
“Together they were excellent support for one another—planning meals, tracking food daily and exercising together. After the patient lost weigh she ‘paid it forward’ by continuing to encourage and support others on the same journey to better health.”
“And did I mention she is no longer pre-diabetic? She is one of our many patients who got healthier through regular checkups and medical nutrition therapy.”
From social support and spiritual guidance to helping with bills and healthy eating, our employees stand apart from the rest by raising the bar on patient care.
Earlier exposure to patient care, plus leadership training, inter-professional education and expanded, enhanced learning space greet new class
This Sunday, 170 aspiring physicians will step onto the stage of the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium, and don the short white coats and stethoscopes that tens of thousands of U-M Medical School students before them have worn.
But this class will experience medical school differently from their predecessors stretching back to 1850 — or from their peers around the country today.
As part of the transformation of the curriculum, this class will experience new components that are part of this next phase of the revision, one that will continue over the next few years and will better prepare students to lead the change that’s needed in the modern world of patient care.
“This is such an exciting milestone in the long history of our medical school. As our next cohort of medical students come to study with us, they will experience a new set of courses and a new direction in our curriculum, as well as an exciting, transformed space to help support their learning,” says Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D., associate dean for medical student education.
Highlights of this new educational experience:
Students will be immersed in the clinical care world of the U-M Health System from their first semester, sooner than classes before them.
They’ll specifically learn about the patient experience, the health care system, and how caregivers work with patients in teams to help improve their health.
They will have a new “doctoring” course to help them learn the many intangible skills that physicians need, along with new opportunities to build leadership skills.
They’ll be able to choose one of an expanding offering of Paths of Excellence – a way to focus their passion in areas such as ethics, health policy, global health, medical humanities and scientific discovery.
They’ll have more chances to learn about, from and with students enrolled in U-M’s other health professions schools, including Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Public Health, Kinesiology and Social Work.
They’ll each get “sorted” into one of four new houses within the M-Home, the learning community newly launched by the Medical School to build ties among classmates, members of other class years and dedicated faculty advisors and coaches, as a way of fostering their learning and professional development.
They’ll have access to an entirely new and much larger medical learning space, in a renovated Taubman Health Sciences Library opening with the start of the medical school academic year.
Mangrulkar explains, “Our goal for our educational program for these students continues to be centered on having an impact on patients and their health, while here at medical school and throughout their career.”
He and Joseph Kolars, M.D., senior associate dean for education and global initiatives, have led a team of more than 300 faculty and students who have worked for over two years to develop the new curricular model.
The Medical School faculty approved the full transformation plan in June, including the “trunk and branches” architecture that will allow students to develop advanced skills and knowledge within clinical domains; along with many competency-based aspects and assessment protocols that focus on students’ ability to master key skills.
The idea is for graduates to be as ready as possible for their eventual residency training in the field of medicine they choose, and be able to lead the future transformation of health, health care, and health care science that patients need.
The new curriculum planning process was fueled in part by a $1.1 million grant from the American Medical Association as part of its 11-school Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative, and by a $6 million investment by the U-M Office of the Provost and other U-M health professions schools to create a new Center for Inter-professional Education. The $55 million investment by the Medical School in the Taubman Health Sciences Library renovation represents part of the significant investment by the school in the curricular transformation initiative.
5,726 people applied for a spot in this year’s class. Only 538 made it to the interview stage – which was an even more selective round than last year.
Nearly 56 percent of the 170 students starting medical school at U-M this month come from Michigan, with the rest coming from 24 other states
55 of them attended U-M as undergraduates, with the rest graduating from 12 other Michigan institutions and 57 out-of-state institutions.
Nearly 56 percent are women, and 15.3 percent are members of groups underrepresented in medicine.
Nearly 60% of incoming students have biological, natural or physical science backgrounds. But the rest come from many diverse fields including engineering, business, economics, humanities, policy and the arts.
More than 55 percent received some form of financial aid.
9 students will pursue both an M.D. and Ph.D. degree through the Medical Scientist Training Program. Three who already hold dental degrees will train in oral & maxillofacial surgery. Many others may choose to pursue a second degree at other U-M schools, through any one of the eight dual-degree programs open to medical students.
The students range in age from 20 to 36, with the average at 24.3 years.
The next major milestone for the SiteMaker Transition project is set for Aug. 28, 2015. At that time, all SiteMaker sites will become “read-only.” Sites will remain accessible for viewing, but after that date, no edits will be possible.
If you no longer need your site(s), contact the ITS Service Center to have them archived and/or deleted.
If you want to keep your site(s), review the options available to you for moving them off of SiteMaker before the service is decommissioned at the end of November 2015. The project team has compiled a list of alternative Web hosting services for consideration.
The Sitemaker Transition project supports the ITS mission of providing an unparalleled IT environment to accelerate creativity and innovation by U-M faculty, students and staff, which in turn supports the university’s teaching, learning and research activities. By replacing unsupported, outdated technology with more robust web development platforms that offer advanced capabilities, we will be able to better meet the changing needs of the university, as well as reduce costs.
If you suspect a patient is involved in identity theft or medical identity theft, please notify your supervisor immediately.
If your supervisor believes that the suspicion is warranted, they should call the Office of Clinical Safety at 763-5456 and provide all pertinent information, including the patient’s name and registration number involved in the suspicious activity.
What are Identity Theft (ID Theft) and Medical Identity Theft?
ID Theft occurs when a person’s identity or identifying information has been assumed or used by someone else to profit illegally or commit an unlawful act (e.g., using someone’s personal information to fraudulently apply for a credit card, or selling someone’s personal information.)
Medical ID Theft is healthcare fraud. This occurs when a person has attempted to or actually uses another person’s identifying information to obtain medical care (e.g., using a relative or friend’s identification to obtain medical care so the care would be paid for by the friend’s/relative’s medical insurance.)
What are Indicators of Potential Identity Theft?
Identity Theft is not always easy to recognize. Here are some examples of suspicious activity that may indicate possible identity theft:
Presentation or Receipt of Suspicious Documents
Patient complains that she received a bill, an explanation of benefits (EOB), or some other document related to medical service that she says she never received.
Patient reports discrepancies in her medical record information – the discrepancies do not reflect her history or medical care received (e.g., patient record indicates that patient had a broken arm, but presenting patient had no actual history of broken bones.)
Suspicious Insurance or Credit Activity
Patient complains that insurance coverage for his hospital stay has been denied – his insurance company told him that his insurance benefits have been depleted or a lifetime cap has been reached – the patient tells you he never received medical care/services to that extent.
Complaint/inquiry from a patient about information added to a credit report by a health care provider or insurer.
Dispute of a bill by a patient who claims to be the victim of any type of identity theft.
A notice or inquiry from an insurance fraud investigator for a private insurance company or a law enforcement agency.
Lifeguard defies the odds in a U-M doctor’s rescue
Rudi Ansbacher, M.D., former chair of the U-M Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse. Somehow he still clung to the pool’s lane line.
“A split second and things may have gone differently,” said Julia Walsh, the lifeguard on duty at the U-M North Campus Recreation Building, fighting back tears. “I’m glad it turned out so well.”
Like all lifeguards working at a U-M pool, Julia had taken in-depth training for lifesaving skills, including administering CPR and restarting the heart with an automated external defibrillator (AED). She put these skills to work as she pulled the 81-year-old emeritus professor from the pool, giving him a shock through an AED before starting CPR.
She told the Ann Arbor News she went into “robot mode” when she realized he wasn’t breathing.
“It was just do what I have to do and go go go,” she said. “Then when it was all over I was just bawling. And I’m one of those people who doesn’t really cry ever.”
Dr. Ansbacher and his wife Tissy had their first chance to thank Julia in an emotional meeting yesterday, more than three months after the incident.
Ansbacher said he’s ready to get back to work now that he is fully recovered. He still mentors seven junior faculty members at U-M and focuses on helping women advance into leadership positions in the OB/GYN field.
Julia, an English/Spanish major who graduated from the U-M this spring, was honored from U-M Division of Student Life and the U-M Medical School for her lifesaving efforts.
“This amazing young woman, and the professional and attentive action of this staff made a life-saving difference for our colleague and friend,” said Obstetrics and Gynecology Chair Tim R. Johnson, M.D. “Julia did what she was trained to do and the staff was empathetic and attentive to his wife Tissy who was with him that day.”
“Only 1 in 10 of those who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survive, but what Julia did more than doubled his chances of survival,” said Robert Neumar, M.D., chair of the U-M Department of Emergency Medicine and national advocate for bystander CPR training. “Increasing CPR training, including making it a requirement for high school and college students, could lead to more happy endings for the 400,000 people who suffer cardiac arrest each year.”
While the U-M Health System is known for providing world class clinical care, there are many ways our non-clinical employees help patients heal. Therapeutic music is near the top of the list. Greg Maxwell works for the Health System’s Gifts of Art program as a Certified Music Practitioner (CMP®), singing and playing his guitar in patients’ rooms.
“This type of music creates a space where patients can start feeling better,” says Greg. “All they need to do is relax and experience the soothing effects of live acoustic music.”
Greg began singing when he was only 7, playing ukulele at 8, and guitar by 11. But it wasn’t until he was driving home one day from his office job in Detroit that he considered playing music for a living.
“I heard a radio report about the Bedside Music program and had a light bulb moment,” he says. “Playing music for patients sounded like the greatest idea I had ever heard.”
He soon began playing as a volunteer musician in waiting areas at University Hospital. Then he took the 18-month Music for Healing and Transition (MHTP) program, where he learned how to bring therapeutic music right into a patient’s room. Greg started part-time at UMHS in 2008 and became a full-time employee in 2011.
“Ever since my first day, I’ve been motivated to continue because it’s the coolest job I could ever imagine.”
Bedside musicians are trained to monitor patients’ physical and vital signs as they play. Using a process called entrainment, they play music that is a close match to the patient’s breathing and heartbeat, as can be seen on their monitor. They also look for physical signs of stress like labored breathing or tense shoulders. As the music continues, patients often relax their breathing, have reduced heart rate and lower blood pressure. The musician responds by slowing the music to mirror the patient’s condition.
Greg works with a team of music practitioners, who are all gifted musicians and graduates from the MHTP program. Each one has a special skill that can help different patients including harp, viola, guitar and voice. On any given day, the team works from a list of about 50 patients who have been referred to them for a music visit.
“The most rewarding part of this job is the feedback we get from patients and clinical staff. Seeing my music make a difference in a patient’s well-being or having a staff member tell me how our music makes their unit better is the ultimate reward.”
“We often see patients lean back, relax their shoulders, or close their eyes while we play,” says Greg.
Greg still remembers the first time he saw a patient react to his playing.
“He was tense and in pain when I arrived. As I played, he almost seemed to melt back into his bed,” he says. “One of the greatest compliments we get from a patient is putting them to sleep.”
Therapeutic music can be requested for patients by nurses, doctors, social workers, palliative care staff, spiritual care or the patients themselves. A bedside music visit can even be ordered through the MiChart system.
“Our program is different from other hospitals because of the wide range of services we cover,” says Greg. Bedside musicians can visit patients in most inpatient areas of UMHS as well as intensive care units, neonatal units and dialysis, burn/trauma and pre-and post-surgery areas.
The summer travel season is here. If you plan on using or accessing UMHS data resources while you’re away, your preparation must include taking steps to protect privacy and security.
The UMHS Compliance Office, MCIT and MSIS, together with U-M Information and Technology Services (ITS), offer the following tips for travelers:
All Devices (Laptops, Smartphones, Tablets and Removable Media)
Take only those files, devices and applications that are absolutely necessary; avoid taking any sensitive information or PHI if at all possible.
Make sure all devices are encrypted, whether they are University or personally owned. (If you are planning to travel outside of the United States, and have a UMHS encrypted device, such as a laptop, please contact the MCIT Service Desk at 734-936-8000 to find out if there are any restrictions for bringing such devices into the country where you are traveling.)
If your personally owned device is not encrypted, consider borrowing a device from your department’s IT provider.
Keep devices close at hand or locked away; if your hotel has a safe, use it.
Use up-to-date antivirus software.
Install the UMHS VPN, which is required if you wish to connect to the UMHS network (instructions here).
Use cellular networks when available; if you must use open WiFi networks, protect your connection by using the UMHS VPN.
Disable wireless, GPS and Bluetooth when not in use.
Change your UMICH (Level-1) password when you return home; this will block anyone who may have gained access to your accounts while traveling.
Mobile Devices (Smartphones and Tablets)
Enroll your smartphones and tablets in AirWatch, the UMHS-supported mobile device management system, if possible.
Enable security settings, including passcode, auto lock, and device-tracking features such as “Find My Phone” on any smartphone or tablet not enrolled in AirWatch.
It is also important to remember that using hotel or other public computers could put your accounts at risk. These types of devices are often compromised and infected with malicious software that could capture your usernames and passwords. Do not use these devices to log into resources that give access to sensitive institutional data (including PHI) or your own private personal information.