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May 2018

In this edition 

Dear Mercy Health physicians and clinicians,

Good Monday morning! Thank you for your continued readership and feedback about Vitals. I’m trying a new approach to this section this month, highlighting a few exciting announcements that you may not yet have heard. Let me know what you think at vitals@mercy.com.

Did you know:Fries

  • Mercy Health – Cincinnati was chosen for the fifth time as a Truven Top 15 Health System and every hospital received an “A” grade for patient safety from Leapfrog.
  • Ambulatory providers can sign up for “Thrive after GoLive” classes that can help you work with CarePATH more efficiently.
  • Navdeep Kang was recently selected from 20,000 applicants as a member of the first class of Obama Foundation Fellows. His selection received extensive media coverage, including this story in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
  • Not only is JAMA commenting on the epidemic of physician burn-out, but Mercy Health Physicians is developing a comprehensive framework to promote provider wellbeing.
  • Mercy Health – Cincinnati is rolling out the advanced version of PerfectServe Synchrony throughout the next quarter.

There are always so many exciting initiatives at Mercy Health, helping us advance our mission to make healthcare easier for our patients and you. This edition of Vitals has information not only on the points above, but also a status update on our merger with Bon Secours, an ethics case, and highlights from our most recent Clinical Operations Performance Report.

Thank you for all you do every day to care for our patients.

Be well,

Erin Fries, MD

Mercy Health – Cincinnati Chief Clinical Officer

Welcome our new clinicians

James Brockman, MD – Family Medicine Provider

Mercy Health – Tri County Primary Care

Barbara Burke, MD – Breast Surgery Specialist

Mercy Health – Breast Surgery, Kenwood

Samantha Wood, DO – Internal Medicine Provider

Mercy Health – Fairfield Internal Medicine

Nadia Yaqub, MD – Endocrinology Specialist

Mercy Health – Endocrinology, Cholesterol & Diabetes, Fairfield

Bradley Barnes, PA-C – Orthopedic Surgery Physician Assistant

Mercy Health – Orthopedics and Spine, Fairfield

Allysia Billow, CNP – Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner

Mercy Health – Cleves Primary Care

Marci Conroy, CNP – Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner

Mercy Health – Liberty Falls Pediatrics

Gwen Johnson, CNP – Wound Care Nurse Practitioner

Mercy Health – Wound Care, Clermont Hospital

Carrie Pohlman, CNP – Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner

Mercy Health – Tri County Primary Care

Elizabeth Robinson, CNP – Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Mercy Health – Silverton Paideia Academy Health Center

Sarah Wilson, PA-C – Physician Assistant

Mercy Health – Eastgate Family Medicine

Link to the most recent version of the Global Provider List on the Hub.                                   


Dr. Navdeep Kang, Mercy Health Director of Operations for Behavioral Health Services, Selected for Obama Foundation FellowshipKang

The Obama Foundation selected Dr. Kang to join its inaugural 2018 Fellowship. He was one of 20 selected from more than 20,000 applicants from 191 countries. He joins other civic innovators awarded the fellowship to scale the impact of life-changing community-driven work. Dr. Kang is joining a two-year, non-residential program to create transformational change on one of our community’s most pressing problems – the opioid epidemic. Click here to read more about this prestigious accomplishment. Congratulations, Dr. Kang!

Dr. George Shybut, Orthopedic Surgeon, Receives National AwardShybut

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recently recognized Dr. George Shybut as a 2018 Achievement Award winner for orthopedic surgery. He is one of 106 national surgeons selected to receive this honor for outstanding teaching, publications, research, service and advocacy. Congratulations, Dr. Shybut!

Click here for the full list of winners.

Dr. Darcey Thornton, Internal Medicine Provider, Exemplifies Mercy Health’s Mission


Dr. Darcey Thornton’s approach to caring for the Bhutanese refugee population embodies the Mercy Health standard of Amazing Patient Care. She collaborates with members of the Cincinnati community who have ties with the Bhutanese population. She invited a minister from the Bhutanese Emmanuel Church of Cincinnati to speak at her office about the culture of the Bhutanese population. She is collaborating with a professor from Cincinnati State University to form relationships with Nepali students who can earn credit towards their degrees, while helping improve the care of Nepali and Bhutanese patients. The care she provides exemplifies our mission as Mercy Health. Dr. Thornton, thank you for everything you do!

COPR takeaways for Cincinnati clinicians

  • Beginning in March, Dr. Anton Decker and Brian Smith convened a monthly clinical quality and patient safety close report, mirroring the process of the monthly financial close. This report demonstrates performance on key quality domains such as readmissions, length of stay and patient safety. Click here to review Cincinnati’s April report.
  • After a high-volume month in January due to the flu epidemic led to a decrease in patient experience scores, February brought a rebound back to baseline for both ED and inpatient experience across the region. Provider communication is an important factor in how our patients feel about their experience with us; thank you for making sure your patients see just how much you care for them!

Link to the most recent issue of the COPR here.

Ethics case

Endocarditis: Lessons from Knoxville

EthicsIn a powerful New York Times feature – “Injecting Drugs Can Ruin a Heart. How Many Second Chances Should a User Get?” – journalist Abby Goodnough shares an interconnected story of Jerika Whitefield, a recovering addict and endocarditis survivor, and Dr. Thomas Pollard, a Covenant Health cardiovascular surgeon and president of the Knoxville Medical Society. One major ethical question arises – Do defensible limits exist on expending resources for patients who are non-compliant and likely to relapse? Click here to read what Dr. Mercy has to say.

Clinical initiatives

Are You Interested in Providing Care in a High Intensity Medical Home Setting?

In 2013, there was an effort by Mercy Health to implement an alternative to emergency room referrals for urgent management of patients who had chronic illnesses such as COPD, CHF and complications related to diabetes. The implementation of that alternative was halted for several reasons but a desire to provide high acuity care alternatives has continued. The Cincinnati Clinical Integration Oversight Council (CIOC) in conjunction with Mercy Health Select, Mercy Health Physicians and Mercy Health—Fairfield Hospital are now making efforts to reinstitute a High Intensity Medical Home. Click here to find out how you can be part of this initiative.

Efforts to Improve Provider Documentation Efficiency

With the goal of improving the quality of life and reducing the risk of burnout for our providers, initiatives are underway to improve CarePATH documentation efficiency. The Epic Provider Efficiency Profile (PEP) is a new tool that identifies an individual user’s areas of strengths and weaknesses and properly targets training resources. The THRIVE program offers the opportunity for providers at all proficiency levels to upgrade their Epic skills. Epic also offers 26 short (one to two minutes each) videos on the HUB called, “It’s Possible,” for tutorials on Epic functionality. Click here to learn more about these resources.

PerfectServe Advanced Upgrade Project Underway

Mercy Health – Cincinnati is excited to announce the PerfectServe Advanced upgrade project initiation. PerfectServe Advanced is an integrated system of secure communication services for healthcare organizations, which we anticipate activating in the region in August 2018. PerfectServe Advanced offers an exciting suite of new functionality. Click here for details.

News from Mercy Health hospitals

Volunteer Appreciation LuncheonVolunteer Luncheon

On March 28, Mercy Health – Fairfield Hospital hosted its first ever appreciation lunch for volunteers with developmental disabilities who come to the hospital and learn important job skills. We’re extremely thankful for our 14 volunteers who serve the Mercy Health – Fairfield community with their talents.

The photo shows Susan Burns, Volunteer Services; Marvin Bean, Specialties Coordinator and volunteer.

Two Medical Centers Receive National Certifications

Mercy Health – Harrison Medical Center and Mercy Health – Queen City Medical Center are receiving Acute Stroke Ready Hospital certifications from the Joint Commission.

The Jewish Hospital Internal Medicine Faculty Awards

The first annual “faculty roast” occurred last week with the internal medicine residents turning the tables on faculty with “really serious” awards listed below:

  • Barry Brook – Best Laugh Award for laughing with residents, not at them
  • Robert Rubin – NBA Enthusiast Award in recognition of his love of the game. GO LAKERS!
  • Imran Naqvi – Brains and Brawn Award for working out his muscles before work
  • Miguel Islas – Workout Buddies Award for always being there to spot Dr. Naqvi
  • Mudher Al-Shathir – Perfect Attendance Award for highest attendance rate at the noon conference
  • Stephen Feagins – Night Owl Award for most likely to send an email at 3 a.m.
  • Richard Goodman – Duty Hours Violation Award for most likely to make you miss family dinner
  • Daniel Tramuta – TEE Lover Award for being the most skilled TEE Tech and his love of all TEEs
  • Muhammad Khan – Best Home-cooked Food Award for inviting residents for a home cooked meal courtesy of his wife
  • Jeffrey Bloomer – Focus Award for most likely to win a staring contest
  • Tara Adhikari – Best Dressed Award for showing us that class and medicine can go hand in hand
  • Erich Walder – Most Slighted Award for recognition of being the best reviewer who never became Yelp Elite
  • Arshdeep Tindni – Randy Award for most admissions on a single patient
  • Daniel Murphy – Best Jedi Award for most likely to quote Star Wars during rounds

Snapshot from the Eighth Annual Clermont Hospital Lobsterfest



Physicians Precluded from Treating Self or Family in Mercy Facilities

Practitioners shall not serve as an attending practitioner for primary relatives (spouse, parent, child or sibling) in a Mercy Health facility. Practitioners may not serve as a primary proceduralist for primary relatives. Practitioners may not provide care to or obverse any procedure of a primary relative, except those procedures which are permitted to be observed by a non-physician. The Mercy Health Board approved the updated rules and regulations on April 18.

Of interest

Mercy Health and Bon Secours Merge Updates

For the latest news about our merging process, please visit https://hub.health-partners.org/sites/Strategy/growth/SitePages/Home.aspx.

Integration of Be Well Within and MyChart

Have you heard about the integration and streamlining between Be Well Within and MyChart? This integration is making healthcare easier for our employees and equipping Mercy Health providers with additional well-being tools and information. Please view this webinar from Dr. Michael Todd, Medical Director of Employee Solutions, and Anna Derksen, System Manager of Well-being Operations to learn more about Be Well Within program offerings and enhancements in MyChart.

Improving Patient Education through EmmiEngage

EmmiEngage is a patient education program that includes engaging, interactive patient videos on many topics including preventive care, chronic condition management and procedure preparation. Mercy Health has a long-standing relationship with Emmi and benefits from its linguistics expertise through our use of EmmiPrevent, automated, interactive phone calls to motivate preventive action. We are excited to expand this relationship and continue improving education for more than 220,000 Mercy Health Select patients. This new program is NOT limited to Mercy Health Select patients and has a proven return on investment in several areas, including:

  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Increased staff efficiency by reducing time spent delivering patient education
  • Reduced cancellations and no-shows
  • Reduced outpatient procedure times

We’ve already launched several campaigns focused on diabetes and COPD centrally and plan a broader roll out in the near future. For more information, please contact Chelsea Walsh at cmwalsh@mercy.com.

May 2018 Funding Opportunities

The grant guide offers full descriptions of three possible funding opportunities to solicit ideas and concepts for potential projects that align with the interests of the granting agency and the mission of Mercy Health. Opening funding opportunities follow below:

  • NEW Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Program
  • 2018 Mental Health Awareness Training Grants
  • FORECASTED Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)

 For additional information on any specific funding opportunity (e.g. questions regarding eligibility or timeframe), please contact Brandon Leon at bjleon@mercy.com.

Clinical Partners are Key to Ethical Healthcare Fundraising: Grateful Patient Funding Series

Expanded HIPAA laws and regulations guide how development professionals can utilize patient data for the benefit of philanthropic support. These regulations, revised in 2013, provide greater opportunity for our development team to cultivate and foster relationships with clinicians. Under the rules of HIPAA development professionals are permitted use the follow PHI for fundraising:

  • Patient Demographic Data (name, address, phone/email, date of birth, age, gender, etc.)
  • Health Insurance Status
  • Dates of Patient Services
  • General type of department in which patient is serviced
  • Treating physician
  • Outcome Information

Ethical fundraising is top priority for Mercy Health Foundation. By partnering with Mercy Health Foundation, together we can foster unique relationships with our patients beyond their clinical experience while adhering to HIPAA regulations. Many patients find making a charitable gift is an important emotional aspect of their healing.

For more information or to become a philanthropic partner with the Mercy Health Foundation, please contact Tricia Mullins at plmullins@mercy.com or 513-952-4014.

How to Say… “You are Welcome” to Someone in Recovery

A part of recovery is thanking those who helped an individual, including first responders and ED clinicians. On the receiving end, we are not very good at graciously accepting thanks. We say, “no problem,” look away and potentially minimize the moment. The best way is looking the person in the eye and say, “You are welcome. Stay the course!” Remember that body language and small gestures really count.

Upcoming events

What Families Need to Know… When the Diagnosis is Alzheimer’s Disease or Another Dementia

May 15 and May 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Mercy Health West Hospital, Terrace Level Auditorium

Mercy Health – West Hospital is hosting a free, four-part program for the Alzheimer’s Association called, “What Families Need to Know… When the Diagnosis is Alzheimer’s Disease or Another Dementia.” The first two sessions have passed, and the third session discusses legal issues families should consider and the fourth session discusses available resources. For more information, contact the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Cincinnati Chapter at 513-721-4284.

Common Hand & Wrist Ailments

May 16, 5:30 p.m., Anderson HealthPlex

Mercy Health – Orthopedics and Sports Medicine’s Patrick Messerschmitt, MD discusses common ailments that affect the hand and wrist. For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/common-hand-wrist-ailments-tickets-44464533617.

Walk with a Doc

May 24, 9-10 a.m., Kenwood Towne Center

Mercy Health Physician and sleep medicine specialist, Sanjiv Patel, MD, who practices from Mercy Health – Fairfield Sleep Medicine and Mercy Health – Pulmonary, Sleep and Critical Care, Mason, will discuss sleep apnea.

Walk in Awareness

June 2, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Bond Hill Home Office

Mercy Health Physician Keith Melvin’s Cancer Survivors Foundation has teamed with the Cincinnati Health Department to host the first “Walk in Awareness.” The walk aims to support local cancer survivors and provide the community with information on testing, statics and preventive health screenings. Please contact Nikki Bean at 513-885-9291 for more information.

Mercy Health Day with the Cincinnati Reds

July 29, 1:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park

Join us for Mercy Health Day and cheer for the Reds as they play against the Phillies. Mercy Health employees, family and friends can enjoy discounted tickets through this special offer. Come support Mercy Health – Cincinnati Chief Clinical Officer Erin Fries as she throws a ceremonial first pitch. Purchase your discounted ticket at https://groupmatics.events/Mercyhealth by Wednesday, July 25 at 11:59 p.m.

Last laughs

Best of Reasons to Proofread your Dictation

  • Discontinue the Amiodarone toxicity
  • Left nose fracture, but his right nose is OK
  • Titrate oxygen to 0%
  • Hyena hernia
  • Continue discontinuing the Lipitor
  • He was told to have a heart attack in 2004

If you have recommendations for improvement to Vitals or submissions, please contact your site’s VPMA or email Vitals@mercy.com.

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