Carolinas HealthCare System

National Recognition for Effective Teamwork

Our teammate engagement is truly amazing at Carolinas Rehabilitation, and being honored with the coveted Press Ganey Guardian Awards is indicative of the positive and successful work environment we provide for our teammates. Achieving a 98th percentile ranking for teammate engagement is a testament of the Best Place to Work culture that we foster each and every day. Kristie Simmons-Abney accepted the award at the 2013 Press Ganey National Client and Executive Leadership Conferences held in Orlando, FL. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was the keynote speaker.

A Fun-filled Day of Football for Pediatric Patients

Cam Newton, quarterback for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, provided many smiles and amazing memories for some of our younger members of the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program (ASAP) at Carolinas Rehabilitation, as well as pediatric rehabilitation patients at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC. The Cam Newton Foundation, Carolinas HealthCare System’s Foundation and ASAP worked together to organize a fun day of football and provide star treatment for these children and their families on December 22, 2013, during the Panthers versus Saints game. Surprises included personalized Carolina Panther jerseys, visits from Sir Purr, the team’s mascot, the TopCat cheerleaders and Santa Claus. Participants enjoyed watching the game from a suite box and a private meet-and-greet with Cam Newton after the game. More smiles during the holidays were just what this bunch needed, as each child faces his or her unique obstacles to living an active and full lifestyle. “I cannot express the joy that you have brought to Rhett and our family. We are so very blessed to have all of you in our lives. The time that Jeff [father] and Rhett shared [at the Panther’s game] would have never been possible without ASAP,” said Telea Roberts, mother of ASAP participant, Rhett Roberts.

Developing Best Practices in Quality and Safety

Carolinas HealthCare System’s Quality and Safety Operations Council (QSOC™) provides an organized approach to identifying and implementing best practices that drive quality and safety across the system. Twenty-two QSOC™ teams cover functional areas such as infection prevention, readmissions and surgery.

A Regional Leader

In January 2014, Carolinas Rehabilitation will become the newest team member, with the establishment of a Rehabilitation QSOC™. In the first quarter of the year, the Rehabilitation QSOC™ will develop a charter, a list of goals and a roster of members.

“We want to bring in all of the people who touch the patient in a rehabilitation setting, which will include multiple disciplines,” said Leslie Doyle, an outcomes specialist who will assist in setting up the Rehabilitation QSOC™. “We have been working on a set of metrics that allow us to cross-compare to other rehabilitation facilities outside of Carolinas HealthCare System,” said Robert G. Larrison Jr., FACHE, MBA, president of Carolinas Rehabilitation. “We have a database called Exchange Quality Data for Rehabilitation (EQUADRSM) that allows for benchmarking and best practices, as well as enables us to make an apples-to-apples comparison with rehabilitation facilities similar to ours.”

Sharing Best Practices across the System

Carolinas Rehabilitation recognized that the EQUADRSM database also provides an opportunity to identify and share best practices within Carolinas HealthCare System, which has grown to become the largest provider of rehabilitation services in the region. “We might find best practices at any one of our inpatient locations in Charlotte, at Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, SC or at Cone Health in Greensboro, NC,” said Larrison. “But because we have not routinely been comparing data, aggregating it and putting it in a dashboard format – but instead operating in a siloed fashion – we might not be identifying those best practices in a timely manner.” Identification and implementation of best practices will result in significant benefits. For the System, it will demonstrate the quality benchmarks that payers require, such as a reduction of fall rates in Carolinas Rehabilitation compared with fall rates in other rehabilitation facilities. For patients, preventing falls means a reduction in out-of-pocket costs by eliminating the needfor CT scans or MRIs. It also equates to faster recoveries since there would be no interruptions in the continuity of care. Given the broad scope of Carolinas Rehabilitation locations across the region, the Rehabilitation QSOC™ will begin collecting and comparing best practice data specific to inpatient facilities, with plans to expand to outpatient facilities in the future.

What’s New at Carolinas Rehabilitation?

Michael J. Kennelly, MD recently accepted an invitation to join the National Spinal Cord Injury Association's Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee. Dr. Kennelly brings with him extensive urological and spinal cord injury expertise.

Janet Niemeier, PhD, director of research at Carolinas Rehabilitation in Charlotte, NC, was asked to join the Function, Integration and Rehabilitation Sciences (FIRS) Subcommittee of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institutes of Health. Applications evaluated by this subcommittee propose multi-center clinical trials or seek career development awards, research training grants, research grants or conference grant support. Dr. Niemeier was commended not only for the superb contributions she makes to rehabilitation research but also for the contributions this research experience, plus her vast peer review experience, will allow her to make to the FIRS Subcommittee and ultimately to the field of rehabilitation research.

Laurie Crookenden, BS, RN, CWOCN, CRRN, was recently sworn in as president of the North Carolina Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Group.

Carolinas Rehabilitation has a newly certified phlebotomy team as part of the Maximizing Top License Practice Initiative at Carolinas HealthCare System. Eight nurse assistants went to school and were certified in phlebotomy to better meet the needs of our patients.

Robins & Morton won an Award of Merit from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (Carolinas Chapter) in the Healthcare $25 to $50 million category for the long-term,
acute-care hospital on the campus of Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville in Charlotte, NC. The award was presented at
the 12th Annual Excellence in Construction Evening of Excellence.

Todd Bennett, vice president and administrator of Carolinas Rehabilitation-NorthEast in Concord, NC, achieved fellow status in the American College of HealthCare Executives.