Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Instant Messaging Comes to MedStar

Guest Blogger: Clark Bean, Director, Office of Information Technology, MHRI

Effective tomorrow night, August 19th, MHRI will implement Microsoft Office Communicator- an application that will allow associates to communicate and collaborate with any individual, or group of users on the MedStar network using an instant message feature. While the greater goal of this tool is to ensure timely communication in case of an emergency, it's important associates know how to use the tool effectively.

Instant Messaging can also be used to quickly communicate questions or ideas to co-workers and improve day-to-day productivity.  As we become accustomed to this tool, we encourage departments to be creative with the use of this new capability.  

Because we, as a system, are so diverse, we may find this tool opens doors to different and effective ways of communication. 

Again, because the main purpose of this feature is to effectively communicate in before, after, or during an emergency, it's important that associates have the instant messaging feature functioning at all times. 

For more information and FAQs on Microsoft Office Communicator, visit our internal website portal here: http://starport.medstar.net/msh/IS/Pages/Office-Communicator.aspx

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Finn Has Arrived

While this is the blog of 'the president of MedStar Health Research Institute', I often get comments from you that you enjoy when I share personal stories so here goes.....

This weekend, the Weissman family expanded by one -  no, don't get any crazy ideas (my wife and I are too old for that!) - to my son's delight, we got a puppy!

Finn is a 8 week old English Cream (Golden) Retriever.  Its been a blast playing with him and seeing all the goofy energy, love and enthusiasm he has.  Even sweeping the floors today was a new experience with a puppy chasing after you. A special treat was when his 14 month old step brother (same father) came over for a visit - wow, he will get big!

Here are some pictures to share the enjoyment.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Plan on a Page

Did you know that MHRI creates an operating plan each year to lay out what we need to do in order to move the organization forward?

This plan is created from several different sources - we seek input from the managers (through the management councils), we conduct an internal assessment (called enterprise risk management) and we align with the MedStar system plan.  Some of the initiatives are multi-year undertakings so there is also some carry-over from year to year.

When we create the plan, we keep our 4 pillars in mind:
1. How do we grow and support the research across the system (Research Development)
2. What is the best way to maximize associate engagement, recruitment and retention (People)
3. How do we maximize the quality of our research so it is compliant and minimizes the risk (Compliance)
4.  And finally, how can we conduct research in an efficient manner to enhance productivity and workflow (Admin and Finance).

In short, we want to do top notch research, do it right and do it effectively and efficiently and we recognize that that is only possible with the best and brightest associates.

Take a look at the attached 'Plan on a Page' which is a one-page version of our 2015-2016 operating plan.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How Are We Doing?

Each year, MHRI conducts a 'Customer Satisfaction Survey' to find out how well we are doing supporting research across MedStar Health. While the term 'customer' is not often used in an academic environment, the concept of providing high quality service is fundamental to having an effective research institute. While we have many 'customers' (from the sponsors of research, the participants in research, and even serving each other within the research in institute), a key 'customer' is the investigator - MHRI needs to meet (and exceed) the investigators' needs so they can focus on the science. Besides giving us updated feedback, the survey is also a great source of information as we look forward to continually enhance our research services and offerings. 

I am pleased to report that this year’s results showed we exceeded our 2014 results in all categories. For example, 95% of participants 'Agree' or “Strongly agree” that MHRI personnel provide service in a professional and courteous manner, 79%  feel we consistently provide information in a timely manner, 75% that we promptly follow up on any outstanding issue, 81% that we effectively facilitate resolution of issues, and 82% communicate effectively.  Overall, the results also showed 83% of participants agree or strongly agree that MHRI provides a high-quality of customer service, compared to 71% in 2014. 

MHRI management team started to discuss and synthesize these results last week at our quarterly managers meeting and will review all the written comment.  The suggestions will then be incorporated into our FY16 operating plan so we can continue the journey from good to great!  Thanks to those that participated in the survey and gave us great feedback!