Making a Difference: April 2016 Highlights

May 19, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Employees across UMHS continue to make a difference through their hard work and dedication.  Recognizing the contributions employees make to UMHS helps our team to become more motivated, drives better teamwork, and gives each individual a sense that they are an integral part of achieving organizational goals.

You may not always realize the impact you make during each customer interaction (both internal and external, but it’s a vital part of the relationship-building process that the UMHS team uses to engage with patients and each other. Here are a few examples of team members who made a difference last month:

Patient Recognition

Matt Helfen, MRI technician, radiology

“I recently had an MRI of my kidneys done at (UMHS). For 11 years, I was having kidney pain that was getting progressively worse. I had three previous MRIs done at other facilities that basically showed nothing … after insisting that something was wrong, my doctor reluctantly ordered another MRI, but this time at your hospital. I remember telling the technician, who was very kind, how frustrating and scary all this was and that I truly felt the other MRIs were missing something. He listened to me better than all of my doctors did. He took his time to get everything right and I believe he took a few extra images as well. As it turned out (and it was because he took such excellent care of me!) his MRIs showed that I had clear cell renal carcinoma in both kidneys. Not only did a facility get the wrong kidney, they missed the cancer in my kidneys altogether! I want to thank (Matt) because I think he’s one of the reasons I am living today. What a wonderful, kind, and caring employee! What could have been just another routine MRI turned out to be a life-saving test because he cared enough to really listen and go the extra mile. I am truly grateful to Matt and the U-M Radiology Department. Thank you so much!”

Orthopedic Surgery Department

“After fracturing my wrist (recently), I was told by my local orthopedic surgeon (not affiliated with U-M) that I would have to wait nearly two weeks for my initial evaluation. While I was trying to figure out what to do, I received a phone call from U-M’s South Main orthopedics who had received a referral for me (in error). They were calling to confirm that the referral was indeed in error and that I didn’t need their services. After sustaining multiple fractures, I was in a fair amount of pain and needed my arm re-splinted so I asked if there was any way they could get me in sooner. Three hours later I was able to get in to have my arm evaluated, get a new splint, be seen by Occupational Therapy, and set up surgery for a few days later. Some of the most outstanding service! Five months later, I’ve returned to work and am back doing what I love – horseback riding. The entire staff was amazing – thank you!”

Staff Recognition

Tom Simonelli, Informatics Pharmacist, Home Care Services – HomeMed

“Recently, we had computer network issues due to backend configuration changes, which led our TPN compounder to not be able to connect to the network. The TPN compounder is critical equipment used to compound TPN bags for patient safety since there are several drug components mixed together inside the bag. Tom came up with an idea to use an encrypted USB drive to direct the compounder to fetch orders. He downloaded all patient file orders created by our software onto the USB drive, then changed the compounder configuration to point to the USB drive and download individual patient TPN formulation onto the compounder. This allowed the clean room staff to continue compounding the TPN bags for delivery to our patients’ homes. If Tom hadn’t come up with this unique idea, we would have had to manually add each patient’s TPN formulation to the compounder. Thank you, Tom!”

Janelle Staviski, Social Worker, Social Work

“Janelle is an informed advocated and skilled clinician for family and patient needs. Recently, a patient was transferred via HVA from an OSH to the Emergency Department, with family and friends arriving shortly after. The patient was suffering from a gunshot wound and area law enforcement agents were highly concerned about investigating. Law enforcement refused to allow family or friends to have contact with the patient and they escorted the patient in and out of his medical procedures. After the patient was stabilized, the family was still not allowed to see him per law enforcement. Janelle recognized the hardship this restriction placed upon the patient’s parents and she advocated tirelessly for them to be allowed contact. After an extended period of time, the family was instructed that they would be able to visit once the patient was stabilized in the BICU. This sounds small, but clearly is no small matter. Thank you, Janelle, for your commitment and excellence truly made a difference for this family and set a positive example for your coworkers!”