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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Transformative Excellence in Academic Medicine (TEAM) initiative for the School of Medicine and SLUCare.

General Questions

What is TEAM?

Initiative Two of the University’s strategic plan calls for SLU to become “a market leader in health promotion and the highest quality medical care.” The TEAM initiative will focus on future growth to help us achieve that strategic initiative as we expand ways to integrate our clinical, research and education missions.

What is the goal of TEAM?

Through TEAM, we will seek to identify opportunities for improved patient experiences, operational/organizational efficiencies, cost savings and revenue growth that will help us pursue the strategic priorities of our academic health care practice. We will be poised to capitalize upon SLUCare’s position as an academic medical practice, a significant strength that sets us apart from most other medical groups in the region.

 

How does TEAM differ from the Operational Excellence Program?
 

TEAM will take a deeper look into the operations of the medical school — as well as SLUCare.  The Operational Excellence Program is now focused on improvements to university-wide operations and growth strategies. TEAM will help us address the bigger questions we need to ask moving forward as an academic health care system, an important part of the university mission. 

What areas of the School of Medicine and SLUCare will be reviewed?  
 

The program will broadly examine our clinical, research, education and service missions in the School of Medicine and SLUCare. This comprehensive evaluation will help us meet the needs of our patients, faculty, students, staff and stakeholders, all of whom will be partners and share in our success. Access and quality both are key in the transformation.

How are decisions made?
 

Decisions will be driven by data. TEAM began with a comprehensive assessment of all School of Medicine and SLUCare operations — a process that included collecting data, conducting surveys, interviewing stakeholders and reviewing performance benchmarks. The executive leads will oversee the process that keeps the TEAM project moving forward. They will coordinate the efforts of faculty and staff who are responsible for specific aspects of the TEAM initiative. They will report to the vice dean for medical affairs and SLUCare CEO. 

How will the larger School of Medicine and SLUCare communities be engaged?
 

All medical school and SLUCare faculty, clinicians and staff were asked to complete a survey that focused on how the community’s culture supports our mission and goals. We also have established other ways to share input and ask questions, including open forums, department meetings, small group dialogues and one-on-one interviews and through emails.

What information will be shared with the community?

We will communicate extensively because true transformation can occur only if we all understand and are a part of the process. In identifying opportunities to improve access and quality and more closely align research, education and patient care, we’re forming teams of faculty and staff to seek and implement solutions. Our goal is to implement change as thoughtfully and rapidly as possible, and we are committed to appraising you every step of the way. Your input, comments and questions along the way are encouraged.

What is the program’s timeline?

This will be a multi-year program, which could take about three years. We have collected data, reviewed performance benchmarks, interviewed stakeholders, held open forums and conducted focus groups. We have designed a structure and developed action plans that will allow us to reach our goals. We have begun delivering on our promise, implementing change thoughtfully and as rapidly as possible to realize our potential.

Will this program impact patient care?

We are seeking to become a regional leader in delivering world-class tertiary and quaternary care through our compassionate, patient-centered approach to medicine. In undertaking this program, we will strive to enhance the patient experience, particularly through improved access and measures focused on quality improvement, which are a top priorities.

What is the guiding vision for the School of Medicine?

We will set the standards for quality patient-centric care and academic excellence, become the desired destination for faculty, staff and students by ensuring they are developed and empowered, and grow to achieve leading financial results and a leadership position in the market, benefiting our mission, faculty and staff.

What are our strategic priorities?

TEAM is an all-encompassing transformation that touches on many aspects of the School of Medicine. TEAM focuses on six key areas: clinical quality; patient access; research and education; integrated organization; supporting capabilities; and strategic planning. Within each area are specific initiatives to meet goals. Together the 21 initiatives will drive a culture of excellence and accountability and deliver quality and growth in all we do.

How does our Jesuit and Catholic identity influence our growth and development as a leading educator and healthcare provider?

Our very identity informs our emerging mission, which is “for you, we teach research-inspired, high-value, humanistic care.” It fuels our commitment to care for those who are in need, including those who are un- or under-insured. Our faculty will continue to pass along that tradition as they supervise our medical school students in activities such as caring for those who otherwise could fall through the cracks at our student-run medical clinic, the Health Resource Center. Our Jesuit values call upon all of us to ask the hidden questions, motivating students to think critically and prepare to create new and better medical protocols that will advance the practice of medicine.

How is this related to the School of Medicine’s strategic planning?

Through our accreditation remediation plan, we will improve our medical education program and our processes. We have crafted a draft strategic plan that is designed to articulate our mission and vision for the School of Medicine to ensure that we continue to provide an excellent educational experience to our current and future students. These efforts will inform the larger, more comprehensive TEAM initiative, which ultimately will strengthen the medical school.

Where does our LCME remediation process stand?

SLU is working diligently and as quickly as possible to correct issues that resulted in our School of Medicine being placed on probation. We developed a robust action plan and will answer detailed questions from the LCME, which will guide its follow-up site visit that is expected to occur next summer. The LCME's decision on lifting the probationary status, which is based on the site visit and answers to its questions, could come as early as fall of 2018, and no later than February 2019. It's important to note that our medical school remains accredited.
We are using our LCME remediation work as an opportunity to emerge as a more innovative and better school of Medicine and already have begun implementing aspects of the plan to strengthen our medical school.  

Why are support staff being centralized?

We are a group practice and we want all of our patients to have a wonderful caring experience across all of our clinical subspecialties.  The better coordination of clinical staff can help us achieve this goal. Our new centralized Clinical Affairs organization will provide infrastructure support to patient services, such as clinical staffing, scheduling and our patient contact center. Staff who work in these areas will report to the Clinical Affairs organization. This more efficient approach will offer talented staff members increased opportunities for professional development and advancement and allow us to better manage our faculty to focus on research-inspired, high-value humanistic care. Not all support staff will be centralized.

Will staffing levels or reporting structures change?

Staffing levels and reporting structures will be evaluated as part of this program. It is too early to know whether adjustments will be recommended. Any decisions regarding personnel will be taken by our leadership, and potential changes to our organizational structure will be considered in a manner consistent with SLU’s mission and values.

Can we expect layoffs?

Unlike University-wide layoffs (most occurring March and June of last year), the School of Medicine and SLUCare are not reducing our workforce to meet a cost-reduction target. There are no plans for a systematic reduction in force (or layoffs) across the School of Medicine and SLUCare to achieve a specific amount of cost-savings.  It is possible that centralization could result in changes to some staff positions as well as the elimination of some staff positions. It’s far too early in the process to determine what types of changes will occur. In the event of position eliminations that result in loss of employment, we will ensure impacted individuals are treated fairly and with dignity, according to the principles and values of Saint Louis University. 

How do you plan to grow our research endeavor?

We will focus on what we already do well and on areas of promise. We will make targeted investments and pursue additional large programmatic grants in established research programs of excellence that already are thriving. At the same time, we will develop new research programs of opportunity to fuel growth in clinical programs, faculty recruitment and student engagement. Through meetings with the research faculty in our clinical and basic science departments, we will together identify multiple mechanisms to grow our science, advancing our research programs.

How can I offer input and learn what’s happening with the program?

One of our guiding principles is to be as open as possible about the process, and we are committed to seeking significant input from the community. Stakeholders will provide input via interviews, focus groups and open forums. Throughout the process, regular updates will be provided through messages, a newsletter and on our dedicated website, slu.edu/team.  Those with suggestions or comments can share them through team@slu.edu,with TEAM project managers and on the TEAM website

 

Feb. 8 Listening Session Questions

When can we expect information on staff reorganization?

Related questions:  When will the new structure be revealed for support needed? Will the research coordinators/nurses be centralized? Who determines the role or position each SLUCare staff member will be assigned?

We are currently completing a Time Study to collect information about the work we do within our departments and are coordinating efforts to develop a plan for the best use of our resources through centralized support for the practice. We will have more information on possible changes to our administrative structure and the potential centralization of certain roles following the completion of the Time Study. As information becomes available, we will work with direct supervisors and managers and executive leadership on staff alignment.

Will there be layoffs?

Related questions: What number of people are you expecting to  lay off? Will I lose my job?

Unlike University-wide layoffs (most occurring March and June of last year), the School of Medicine and SLUCare are not reducing our workforce to meet a cost-reduction target. There are no plans for a systematic reduction in force (or layoffs) across the School of Medicine and SLUCare to achieve a specific amount of cost-savings.  It is possible that centralization could result in changes to some staff positions as well as the elimination of some staff positions. It’s far too early in the process to determine what types of changes will occur. In the event of position eliminations that result in loss of employment, we will ensure impacted individuals are treated fairly and with dignity, according to the principles and values of Saint Louis University. 

Will my job title change?

Related question: Will I need to reapply for my job?

The Time Study will allow us to better understand the work we do every day and will help us to define a standard role for each job. As the Time Study evolves, new roles and titles may be created for the future state of our administrative operations. If your current job exists in the future state, then you may not need to reapply for your job. As new position opportunities present themselves in the future state, you will have the opportunity to apply for those positions.

If I am let go, will there be severance? 

Related question: What will it look like?

The goal of the TEAM Initiatives is to deliver quality and growth in everything we do. These initiatives were not created with the goal of reducing costs. The University maintains a position elimination policy that outlines severance in the event of a position elimination. In the event that it becomes clear position eliminations will occur as part of the TEAM initiatives, the University will evaluate the potential for developing an enhanced severance package that is more generous that the University’s standard position elimination benefit.

Is there a new compensation plan with higher merit salary increases  for SLU staff? 

The benefits of working at Saint Louis University go beyond base salary. The University maintains generous healthcare and retirement plan benefits, tuition remission for employees and their dependents and significant paid time off.  We recognize the importance of salary as part of the total compensation and benefit package that attracts and retains the talented individuals we need to make SLUCare a premier healthcare provider in the region.  As part of the TEAM Initiative, we are reviewing our compensation practices to ensure that we are offering an attractive and competitive total compensation and benefit package so we can remain competitive in the current market. We will keep you updated as the work on these initiatives continues.

One Grants Operations center has been established, but the GO centers planned for the health sciences areas have been put on hold. Is it the plan to eventually establish those GO centers for the health sciences campus?

While there are no immediate plans to establish those centers, it is important to know we are working with basic science faculty to streamline the administrative process.

How will the role of the business managers/directors change?

It is too soon to speculate on changes for these positions. After the Time Study has been completed, the working group for this initiative will begin looking at how we can standardize these job classifications.

Will the SLU staff move to the new hospital?

Yes. As we continue to work through our Time Study and are designing the structure of the new Ambulatory Care Center, we will have a better idea of how staff will be allocated in the new model.

Is there any plan to increase the number of  hospital-based clinics? 

Hospital-based clinics will continue. Our goal in moving forward is to provide increasingly better quality of care to our patients. An increase in hospital-based clinics would be guided by best practices in providing care for our patients.

Will an education and training department be created to meet the needs of staff?

Yes, we believe it is important that all staff have standardized education and training. We would love to hear from you on what you want/would expect from this department.

 

Feb. 19 Listening Session Questions

How will centralization help alleviate the heavy workload issues many are faced with and trying to balance?

The Time Study results will be important to answering this question fully; however, we can note that centralization has helped other organizations to streamline and standardize processes which should act to alleviate workloads and assist employees in finding the work-life balance they desire.

Would a person who does multiple jobs, such as travel, reconciliations, credentialing, appointments and event planning, be assigned to a centralized service?  

The results of the Time Study along with the professional skills and competencies of staff will give us an indication of where each staff member should be assigned in the future state. Not all functions will be centralized. Some functions may undergo standardization of processes and procedures without co-location or centralization.

Will staff in academic departments remain in their current positions?

Also asked: Will the staff centralization effect program coordinators? Is there a plan to centralize licensed clinical research staff?

The Time Study results will give us more insight into movement within academic departments.  While the Time Study is currently primarily focused on clinical departments, as part of TEAM Initiative 14, we will also be looking across the entire SOM organization for opportunities to standardize and/or centralize.  Please contact TEAM Project Managers Katie Troll, katie.troll@health.slu.edu, or Jackie Jones, jackie.jones@health.slu.edu, with any questions regarding this initiative.

Can you give us examples of the types of staff jobs you are looking at centralizing?

Also asked: Will the staff centralization effect program coordinators? Is there a plan to centralize licensed clinical research staff?

As you may be aware, huge steps have already been made in standardizing and centralizing our billing and coding functions. We are in the process of standardizing and centralizing certain scheduling and referrals/pre-authorizations functions. We are constantly looking for ideas and thoughts on standardization and centralization of other functions. Please contact TEAM Project Managers Katie Troll, katie.troll@health.slu.edu, or Jackie Jones, jackie.jones@health.slu.edu, or visit the TEAM website to provide ideas and feedback on future standardization and centralization endeavors.

How will centralization of credentialing work?

Also asked: What about centralizing primary source verifications? Centralizing the collection of data? What about credentialing on the medical school side? Will academic departments be part of the centralization of financial and grant support?

The focus for credentialing will be on standardization first and foremost. We will be forming a work group to discuss the possible centralization of one or more credentialing functions. Stay tuned for volunteer opportunities.

Will support staff be consulted for input on job descriptions so the decision makers will have a realistic idea of the duties they perform?

If staff have any ideas for the future state of their job descriptions, they are encouraged to speak with his or her supervisor and/or visit the TEAM website to provide feedback. 

Do you foresee the administrative staff for individual departments to all be added into one pool?

The Time Study results will be important to answering this question fully; however, it is important to note that not all administrative staff will be centralized. We will look at skills, abilities, performance and alignment with the future state needs of the organization when making any decisions regarding administrative staff.

Has there been any discussion as to where these larger groups of "centralized" staff members might be housed?

SLU facilities personnel and members of team working on Initiative 14 are in active negotiations with landlords of a potential site for the contact center.  This is an off-site location, close in proximity to the SOM campus.  We want to make sure that our staff succeed in their new environment and are making every effort to obtain work appropriate space that will improve collaboration and the morale of our employees.

Is there a plan for a career ladder for licensed clinical research staff?

Absolutely! Members of the team working on Initiative 13 has begun the process of developing professional development opportunities and career ladders for various SOM staff positions, including licensed clinical research staff.  For questions regarding this initiative, please contact TEAM Initiative 13 Project Manager Jackie Jones at jackie.jones@health.slu.edu, or visit the TEAM website to give feedback and ideas.

Is there a role for mid-level providers, e.g., NPs, PAs to work in clinical research support at SLU?

The Time Study results will be important to answer this question fully.  We can report that as part of the time study process, we have already gathered data regarding the functions of all staff of clinical departments.  We are beginning interviews with business and/or clinic managers to clarify the data submitted.  Once the data and interview results are compiled, we will align these results with the skills, abilities and performance needed for the future state of the organization.

Will the training be online, with an instructor, or both?

Both, as specific circumstances require.  We would love to hear your ideas and feedback regarding what types of training are most important or of interest to you. Please contact TEAM Initiative 13 Project Manager Jackie Jones, jackie.jones@health.slu.edu, or visit the TEAM website to give feedback and ideas.

What is the likelihood that layoffs will occur as a result of centralization?

Unlike University-wide layoffs (most occurring March and June of last year), the School of Medicine and SLUCare are not reducing our workforce to meet a cost-reduction target. There are no plans for a systematic reduction in force (or layoffs) across the School of Medicine and SLUCare to achieve a specific amount of cost-savings.  It is possible that centralization could result in changes to some staff positions as well as the elimination of some staff positions. It’s far too early in the process to determine what types of changes will occur. In the event of position eliminations that result in loss of employment, we will ensure impacted individuals are treated fairly and with dignity, according to the principles and values of Saint Louis University. 

When will we find out the specifics of a severance package for those employees whose jobs are eliminated?
The goal of the TEAM Initiatives is to deliver quality and growth in everything we do. These initiatives were not created with the goal of reducing costs. The University maintains a position elimination policy that outlines severance in the event of a position elimination. In the event that it becomes clear position eliminations will occur as part of the TEAM initiatives, the University will evaluate the potential for developing an enhanced severance package that is more generous that the University’s standard position elimination benefit.
What exactly is meant by centralization?​

Also asked: Can you clearly communicate the end result of this – what will it look like – results expected?​ Can you share any of your insight about how this will evolve?​

Centralization is the combining and co-location of persons with the same job function. The Time Study results will be important to fully answering these other questions; however, as reported during the listening session, we are still very early in the development of what standardization and centralization looks like for the SOM.  As such, we welcome your ideas and feedback.  Please continue to provide your feedback by attending TEAM Listening Sessions and Town Halls as your schedules allow and/or via the TEAM website.

Are you aware of so many employees leaving SLUCare because of the unknown?​

Contrary to anecdotal conversation around the School of Medicine, Human Resources reports that turnover rates have not spiked in the last six months.

What more can you do to alleviate fears of staff who are worried about losing jobs?​

The goal of the TEAM Initiatives is to deliver quality and growth in everything we do. These initiatives were not created with the goal of reducing costs or eliminating jobs.  We are very early in the development of what standardization and centralization looks like for the SOM.  We believe communication is a very important part of making our standardization and centralization efforts successful, so we encourage you to discuss your suggestions, ideas, fears and concerns with your direct supervisor, TEAM leadership and/or via the TEAM website.

Are basic science business offices being centralized along with clinical?

If the centralization would lead to an improved research plan for the SOM, this is something we would consider. Please submit any ideas or feedback to the TEAM website.

Will the evaluation process remain the same?​

The performance evaluation process, as well as most other HR processes, are being reviewed as part of Initiative 13 of TEAM.  Please contact TEAM Initiative 13 Project Manager Jackie Jones, jackie.jones@health.slu.edu, or visit the TEAM website to give feedback and ideas.

Will you have to move to a different office and if we move, who replaces our duties?​

Results from the compilation of Time Study data and information gained through the related interviews with business and/or clinic managers will ensure that we do not leave any gaps in the offices due to centralization.

Who assumes the duties of people pulled to work in the GO Center?​

It is too soon to tell whether or not we will have GO Centers as they do on the North Campus. However, if we do pull staff for a GO Center on the South Campus, we will ensure that there are no gaps left behind through a similar process as described in the response to the previous question.

How will this affect program coordinators?

The Time Study results will give us more insight into movement within academic departments.  While the time study is currently primarily focused on clinical departments, as part of Initiative 14, we will also be looking across the entire SOM organization for opportunities to standardize and/or centralize.  Please contact TEAM Project Managers Katie Troll, katie.troll@health.slu.edu, or  Jackie Jones, jackie.jones@health.slu.edu, with any questions regarding this initiative.

Are we creating single points of failure?

Standardization and centralization will better prepare us to avoid such failure.  Standardization allows for more efficient performance of tasks.  Centralization allows for more task-focused training and cross-training, which together provide flexibility to level the workload in times of staff shortages and/or when positions are required to be backfilled.

What is your thought process about how to determine staffing changes, e.g., the Time Study?

The Time Study results will be important to answering this question fully.  We can report that as part of the Time Study process, we have already gathered data regarding the functions of all staff of clinical departments.  Next week, we will begin interviews with business and/or clinic managers to clarify the data submitted.  Once the data and interview results are compiled, we will align these results with the skills, abilities and performance needed for the future state of the organization.

 

Feb. 28 Listening Session Questions

What are the plans on centralization in regards to surgical schedulers that are now working in the clinic setting?

We are not at the point of centralizing surgery schedules yet. For surgery scheduling, there are a lot of components and partnerships to work through, as well as communications and the reservation process. We are doing quality control with hospital partners to see what current issues and errors they see and how we can improve the process.

What is the timeline for completion of centralization?

Centralization is an evolving process and there is not a deadline for completion. We are working on what makes sense strategically for all TEAM Initiatives. The call center was the first to be centralized, with 30 percent of the practice participating. The focus of the call center is referrals, authorizations and scheduling and the goal is for entire enterprise to participate. In order to do so, we first need the right resources in place. This process will continue for the next couple years. Then, the goal is to centralize master scheduling and nurse triage further down the line.

When is the centralized scheduling going to start?

We’ve started and are already doing these functions with a third of our practice. We are still improving the processes and operations; however, progress is being made. Last year at this time, the average call wait time was 1 minute and 21 seconds. Now, it is down to 21 seconds. This is just one way we are improving the patient experience.

How is it determined who goes where?

 Also asked: Will employees be offered specific positions or simply placed? 

We are actively working with the clinic managers and supervisors to assess time allocations with the time study. We are looking at how we can alleviate the pressures that take staff away from their primary duties/roles and best capitalize on their skill sets. After the time study is complete, there will be a collaborative conversation about staff alignment with our internal working group to think through what makes a staff member excel. Then, we will communicate the opportunities with individual employees.

Where will employees be placed? 
 

Employees will be placed in locations, depending on their function. Clinical staff will be embedded in clinics as part of the patient care teams, focusing on direct patient care, while some support functions will be in a central location.

Will there be opportunities to work from home?
 

Yes, a work from home model is something we are looking at with our centralization efforts. It has worked for our billing and coding teams, but will look different in different functions.

Will there be more chances for advancement within the departments?
 

Yes, the goal is for more advancement opportunities. Career progression and ladders are top priorities.

Will phone triage RNs remain SLU employees or become RelateCare employees?

RelateCare was strategically brought here to improve call center applications. This is a short term solution for our long term vision of building an over-the-phone nurse triage contact center. RelateCare will help train our in-house staff and will help us with our larger vision. This partner has lots of experience building contact centers, such as the Cleveland Clinic. RelateCare is also working with our ClientTell list to make outbound calls to patients to reschedule cancelled appointments. This work has shown a 35 percent success rate of work that wasn’t previously being done.

What is the timeline for nurse triage for specialties to be started?
 

There are no immediate plans for pulling this together. We want to be able to utilize the Schmitt-Thompson protocols and are weighing the timeline with the single instance consolidation of Epic, with Cadence and Prelude coming on board in January 2019.

How will centralization affect nurse practitioners?

After this first round of the time study, we plan to include nurse practitioners in a future phase. We know that Advanced Practice Providers are vital to our patient care teams and essential to our practice.

If triage RNs are centralized, is a work from home model possible?

We are looking at all these various functions for a work from home is model.

I work in an office with 40 different providers. Would this office be centralized? 

Also noted: The triage nurses also draw blood, work procedures and do chemo teaching.

The goal is not to centralize all nurses. We still need nurses in the clinics to provide support and direct patient care. The future vision of the contact center is for patients to speak to a patient services representative. If that call requires a nurse, patients have the opportunity to speak directly with our nurses, and will be assessed at that time. Contact center nurses will utilize the Schmitt-Thompson protocols, which are national protocols utilized in Epic. The Cleveland Clinic and the Dean Clinic at SSM are currently using these protocols. The protocols gear step-by-step questions for MAs and RNs and provide recommendations. They can be built directly into Epic and documented.

Will this also affect SLU research departments?

The centralization effort is taking place in phases. Right now, we are focused on the clinical side. Currently, we do not have a timeline for centralization of research departments and will be looking for opportunities of efficiency in a later phase of the time study.

On the topic of career ladders, newer employees are often not able to advance as many supervisors and managers may remain in their positions for many years, until retirement.  How would you address this issue?

We are looking at how other leading organizations are doing this. Our goal is visibility and transparency into career progression, along with rewarding and retaining talent. If you have interest in being part of this working group, reach out to the TEAM Project Managers.

How can we provide better real-time data back to providers on how their visits and procedures were coded and billed? ​

Coders are continually communicating with the physicians. Coders are currently emailing physicians when there are missing elements or questions that need to be completed or addressed. PMO tracks outcomes on all physicians and provides a monthly report to the faculty.

 

​Will the PMO be moving, and if so, where and when? ​

There are no current plans to move the PMO department and we will let you know if this changes.

Will the St. Mary's billing staff be joining the PMO in any capacity or will we remain separate entities?

We partner with SSM Health in many area and sometime, they do our coding and billing work. There are no plans to bring SSM Health employees into the SLUCare PMO department.

What coding education will be provided for schedulers?

We have heard your feedback that schedulers should understand coding at a deeper level. The scheduling work group will work to incorporate this into their learning and development process. If you have suggestions for what this education should look like, please contact TEAM Project Manager Kayla Hurley, kayla.hurley@health.slu.edu.

Will the hospital and doctors continue to bill separately?

Yes, currently there are no plans change this.

Might RNs be allowed to do phone triage from home?

We are looking at all these various functions for a work from home model.

Are salary changes coming?

The benefits of working at Saint Louis University go beyond base salary. The University maintains generous healthcare and retirement plan benefits, tuition remission for employees and their dependents and significant paid time off. We recognize the importance of salary as part of the total compensation and benefit package that attracts and retains the talented individuals we need to make SLUCare a premier healthcare provider in the region. As part of the TEAM Initiative, we are reviewing our compensation practices to ensure that we are offering an attractive and competitive total compensation and benefit package so we can remain competitive in the current market. We will keep you updated as the work on these initiatives continues.

Are medication prior authorizations likely to be part of centralization? 

Medication prior authorizations are included in the scope of centralizing prior authorizations and referrals. We understand that nurses need to be a part of this process in continuing to develop that work flow and welcome your input into what this will look like. If you have suggestions for what this education should look like, please contact TEAM Project Manager Karley Berard, karley.berard@health.slu.edu.

Do we need a mechanism for being more inclusive of SSM staff that fill critical roles in the centralization staff?   

Also noted: There are specific clinical roles that oversee programs (e.g. Pediatric ECMO) that are staffed by SSM employees. There seems to be a “wall” between SLUCare and SSM that adds inefficiencies to effective collaboration with these staff.

We are collaboratively working with the hospital presidents on how we should integrate the centralization of these functions, and the potential effect of doing so. If you have any suggestions as to how collaboration can be more effective please contact TEAM Project Manager Katie Troll, katie.troll@health.slu.edu.

How can we better share our success stories in a community forum?

In an effort to better capture your ideas and successes, the TEAM Initiative has created more opportunities for you to make your voice heard. Some of the past and upcoming forums for communication are: the Listening Sessions, a TEAM newsletter, Town Halls, email communication, and the TEAM website. If you have any ideas for additional forums where you can better voice your concerns, please submit your feedback through the TEAM website.

How can we share information about program initiatives that allows for transparency and encourages collaboration across initiatives?

In an effort to better capture your ideas and successes, the TEAM Initiative has created more opportunities for you to make your voice heard. Some of the past and upcoming forums for communication are: the Listening Sessions, a TEAM newsletter, Town Halls, email communication, and the TEAM website. If you have any ideas for additional forums where you can better voice your concerns, please submit your feedback through the TEAM website. In order to maintain collaboration across the initiatives, we plan to have regular Joint Initiative Owner meetings to discuss the different milestones that are achieved and to ensure the overall timeline is on-track. The four TEAM Project Managers work collaboratively with each other and the Initiative Owners to evaluate and progress the overall health of each of the initiatives.

Why do we have to pay for parking?

Also asked:  Why am I paying for parking? I could save $650 annually.

Like many other universities including Washington University, SLU charges for parking. Parking charges for University employees and visitors have not increased in over seven years and help cover the cost of building and maintaining University parking surfaces and garages. Parking fees also serves as a source of revenue, which is built into the budget. A change in the longstanding practice of paying for University parking would necessitate other expense reductions at the University to cover the lost revenue. During the recent Operational Excellence program, creating additional revenue for the University by increasing parking charges was identified as a new revenue opportunity. However, the University determined that it would continue to hold parking charges flat.

How much merging will actually take place?

Also noted: Please be honest about what consolidation rally means for our jobs.

We are currently completing a Time Study to collect information about the work we do within our departments and are coordinating efforts to develop a plan for the best use of our resources through centralized support for the practice. We will have more information on possible changes to our administrative structure and the potential centralization of certain roles following the completion of the Time Study. As information becomes available, we will be transparent with staff, supervisors, managers, and executive leadership as we work on staff alignment.

What about patient satisfaction?

Also noted: Without it, patients leave practice. When patients try to reach doctors and have a long wait, there is low satisfaction. Nurses have to smooth over lots of ruffled feathers to keep patients.

We believe that the patient experience is not about happiness – it's about providing our patients with a safe, quality, timely and patient centered visit. TEAM Initiative 3 is working on developing a patient experience program. If you have ideas about what a Patient Experience Program should look like for SLUCare, please contact TEAM Project Manager Katie Troll, katie.troll@health.slu.edu.