Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I'd like to start by saying I greatly appreciate everyone's patience and understanding today!

This week marks the start of a new chapter for MedStar Health system with its new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, PeopleSoft. It will create streamlined data and process standards to support efficient, standardized operations and facilitate future benchmark capabilities, across all MedStar entities. Once fully implemented, it will connect the human resource functions (time-sheets) to the research grants/contracts to all financial functions (supplies, bills, etc). We know that on its first day going live that PeopleSoft is not perfect but this is not uncommon with the implementation of such a large, systemwide new platform so I appreciate everyone keeping the long term goal in mind as we work through the short term needs. 

Enter Time & Labor Online

What is most important today is to ensure that you are able to access time and labor through PeopleSoft. Use your MedStar Network ID and password to log into Be sure to fill in your time for last week (October 20-26) and this week (October 27-November 2) so that you are paid for a full two weeks on November 8. If you are not able to log in, please contact the Command Center at 301-560-7360 or (Please note that we are currently experiencing problems with adding combo codes to the timesheets. We will let you know once it has been resolved.)

Need help? Call the Command Center

A command center dedicated to helping MedStar Health Research Institute associates with issues related to PeopleSoft will be operating Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are at UTC, you can drop into Conference Room A. Otherwise, call 301-560-7360 or email *If you have an urgent issue before or after MHRI’s command center hours, call the IMPPACT Command Center at 1-877-777-8787, Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Online Resources

PeopleSoft: use your network ID and password to log in

ePaystubs: use your social security number and password to log in

IMPPACT information:

We talked at the fall town hall meetings about "system-ness" and initiatives that are going to bring the MedStar Health entities closer together. Please also remember to be nimble and have patience--PeopleSoft is one of these initiatives that will take time, and in the long run, be an efficient and good tool for us all.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Do You Hear Me Now?

As president of the Research Institute, I learn about the new grants and contracts that allow us to conduct very interesting, innovative and meaningful research that will create knowledge and advance health. I thought you would like to hear more about these new areas of research so I have asked Katie Carlin to be a 'guest blogger' to occasionally highlight some new grants/contracts.  Below is one that we learned about this week.

 Guest Blogger Katie Carlin, Director of Research Development and Planning

Congratulations to Kathryn A. Walker, PharmD, BCPS, CPE and David Brennan, MBE who were recently awarded funding from the Verizon Foundation ( to support a project entitled: "Using the Power of Mobile Technology to Support Advanced Heart and Lung Failure Patients through Early Palliative Care Intervention." The project represents the best of innovation, research and care delivery as it will provide funding for palliative care providers to connect via tablet devices following hospital discharge.  Through the tablet technology, the palliative caregivers will test the ability to continue establishing goals of care and symptom management for patients with heart and lung failure.

The project is truly collaborative as Kathryn is a Palliative Medicine Clinical Specialist at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Dave is director of Telehealth Initiatives for the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2) and the project will also include the MedStar Visiting Nurses Association. What is more, Kathryn and Dave were first connected at the MHRI spring health services research investigators' retreat – hopefully this is the first of many successful collaborations. Congratulations to Kathryn Walker and David Brennan!

Kathryn A. Walker, PharmD, BCPS, CPE
David Brennan, MBE

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

By Guest Blogger: Katie Kuehn, marketing and communications manager

I'm excited to announce that MedStar Health’s newly integrated website——launched this week. This website delivers the strength in one system website and incorporates research into each hospital/clinical service line. This also means that is now redirected to a website with the same content, but with a new look and feel. You’ll also notice some information has been moved to different sections, in order to ensure easy navigation of the new website. 

The system site brings together 16 external websites into one, giving patients and visitors easier access to physicians and services across MedStar Health. It also will integrate research into clinical services more than in the past!  

At, visitors can:
  • Search for any MedStar physician with one easy-to-use tool, Find a Doctor, which is accessible on every page 
  • Search for a MedStar Principal Investigator
  • Register for any MedStar class or program 
  • Find information on all services offered at MedStar 
  • Search the enhanced health encyclopedia for health topics from A to Z
In the meantime, we are still working out some of the "kinks." If you have questions or notice any issues or missing information on, please let me know. You can email me at I appreciate your patience!

Comment below and tell us what you like about the new websites!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Handling Medical Errors and Safety Science

In today's New York Times, there is a dialogue on how medical errors should be handled (NY Times link).


Paul Levy (former CEO of Beth Isreal Deaconess Hospital in Boston and author of Goal Play, highlighted previously in this blog) starts off with a brief story of a surgeon who operated on the wrong leg and then several people wrote in to react on how they handled it. What was great was to see the letter from a MedStar Georgetown University Hospital resident describing how MedStar celebrates 'good catches' (on how a medical error was prevented) each Monday. 

What was even more exciting was to then see the piece by our own Drs. Fairbanks and Mayer introducing data from safety science studies (many of which they are conducted at MedStar). In their words: The current health care focus on personal blame has been tried for decades and is not making us safer. Instead, we need to turn our approach upside-down and recognize that bright, well-educated, skilled and well-intentioned providers will make errors. To become safer, we need to allow discussion of these errors — to understand them, learn from them and redesign our systems to reduce their likelihood and mitigate their consequences.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

2013 Medical Innovations Summit

Through our Innovations Alliance, MI2 (MedStar Institute for Innovation) and MHRI have an ongoing relationship with Cleveland Clinic Innovations.  

This week, the Clinic's Innovations group hosted the 2013 Medical Innovation Summit.  This annual event brings together industry leaders, scientists, clinicians and opinion leaders to discuss a focused area of healthcare.  This year it was 'Finding Balance through Innovation: Obesity, Diabetes and the Metabolic Crisis.'

Highlights from the meeting included:  Senator Tom Daschle discussing healthcare policy, the government shutdown and the effect on medical innovation under the accountable care act; Mark Bertolini, the CEO and President of Aetna, presented the challenges for patients to navigate today's healthcare environment and what patients are going to expect in the future; and my personally favorite was the IBM demonstration of Watson (that machine created to compete on Jeopardy) and how they are using this  technology to aid medical diagnosis.  IBM's Medical Watson is currently undergoing a medical education research study at the Lerner Medical School at the Clinic.

There were many talks on wellness and how prevention is good for people and good for business.  At the Cleveland Clinic, their associates lost a collective 400,000 pounds since they started their wellness program! 

For more information about the summit, go to 2013 Medical Innovation Summit or follow it on Twitter at #MIS2013.

In these pictures to the right, our own Dr Michelle Magee (Director of MedStar Diabetes Institute) asks Peter Orszag, PhD (former director of the OMB in the Obama administration and a principle in creating healthcare reform) a question at the lunch session yesterday after he completed an on-stage interviewed  by Liz Claman, Anchor for FOX Business Network

Sunday, October 13, 2013


By Guest Blogger Sarah H. Parker, PhD, human factors research scientist and director of education and academic affairs at MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare

My fellow associates—

Have you ever done something because someone you liked and respected did it? I know I have. What if we can take this idea, that people are influenced by individuals they like and respect, and use it to spread patient safety practices?

Our idea is that “safety is contagious.” We believe that we can leverage existing social networks within healthcare to create a social epidemic of safety.

A team from the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, which includes myself; Raj Ratwani, PhD, a senior human factors research scientist and scientific director; and Alan Fong, human factors research specialist, is one of only eight teams selected by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) from 521 submissions (!) to present our idea in the Pioneer Pitch competition on October 16 in New York City.

We need your help!
If you use social media (Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn), help us get the word out.

Here’s a couple of examples of tweets or posts you could use:

Tweet: MedStar is 1 of 8 finalists presenting at #pioneerpitch on 10/16. Read more:

Post: MedStar has one of eight finalists presenting at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Pitch Day on 10/16. Read about our idea in this Q&A:  

Pioneer Pitch Day is sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and is an opportunity to pitch an idea live and in-person to RWJF program staff and an esteemed group of judges. The foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio is focused on funding transformative innovations in health and healthcare.