University Benefits Office Hours at UIHC

Have a question about/for University Benefits? The University Benefits Office has open hours at the UIHC every month. The times for the month of April are below:

  • Wednesday, April 10
    • 10am – 12:30pm, C500-1 GH (5th floor near elevator B).
    • 2pm – 4pm, C500-1 GH (5th floor near elevator B).
  • Saturday, April 13
    • 7pm – 10 pm, Marketplace Dining Room
  • Wednesday, April 24
    • 2pm – 4pm, E178 GH, (1st floor near elevator AA)
    • 7pm – 10 pm, Marketplace Dining Room
  • Saturday, April 27
    • 6:30 – 9:30am, Fountain Dining Room

A flyer to post in your area can also be found here.

Drs. Ashwath and Misurac Named Medical Directors of the PSC.

The Stead Family Department of Pediatrics is pleased to announce new medical directors for the Pediatric Specialty Clinic. Dr. Ravi Ashwath will be the new Medical Director, and Dr. Jason Misurac will be the Associate Medical Director. These roles will be effective as of today, April 1, 2019.

Dr. Ashwath completed his MD at Mysore Medical College in India, pediatric internship and residency at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, NY, fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and a fellowship in Advanced Imaging from Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Ashwath practiced at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital for almost 13 years prior to joining Iowa in 2017. Dr. Ashwath has been the Imaging Director in Pediatric Cardiology and directs the cardiac MRI imaging. He is also the Program Director of cardiology fellowship program.

Dr. Misurac completed his MD at Indiana University School of Medicine, pediatric residency and pediatric nephrology fellowship at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Since coming to Iowa in 2015 Dr. Misurac has been very active clinically, both here at the hospital and at outreach clinics in Cedar Falls and Johnston.

Please welcome Drs. Ashwath and Misurac into their new roles. We would also like to thank Dr. Warren Bishop who has served as the Medical Director of the Pediatric Specialty Clinic since 2014. His guidance has been crucial to expanding pediatric specialty services within the Department and around the state, and he has always been a true champion for improving the healthcare for children and their families.

Scribe Project FAQ

As many are aware, the Department initiated a pilot project testing the use of Scribes with providers in clinic. Heidi Hansen has been facilitating this project and we connected with Heidi asking her more about the Scribe project.

What are Scribes?

Scribes are documentation assistants who follow faculty into their appointments to help document the visits so that the faculty can focus more on the patient’s needs instead of worrying about writing what is going on in the visit.

Which providers are using them?

Currently we are piloting this model with four providers. The providers who were selected and agreed to trial this are Drs. Leyser and Tewar in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; and Drs. Kanner and Pesce in Endocrinology.

Will their presence impact patient or clinic flow?

No, the workflow of the clinic should not change at all. The patient however, could be impacted. They could see more face-to-face interaction with their doctor and more attention to their needs during the visit among other potential positive impacts.

What is the benefit of using Scribes, and what is the goal of the program?

There are numerous benefits to using scribes. Just a couple include the increase of provider job satisfaction by reducing the amount of time that they have to do documentation outside of the work day; also, patient satisfaction is a benefit and a goal of this project. Patients should see an increase of provider engagement during their visits.

Specifically, the program is tracking the following metrics to determine if the goals are being met:

  • Provider’s daily time in Epic
  • Physician Burnout Survey
  • Epic Status Board usage to measure:
    • provider in room time
    • patient time in waiting area
  • Patient survey/feedback for Scribes in the room
  • Chart completion time
  • RVUs/Productivity

Do the physicians still sign off on the clinic notes themselves?

Yes, the physician is still 100% responsible for the documentation; the scribe fills in the information then sends it to the provider for review, additions, and signature.

How long does the pilot project last, and is the goal to expand the program or make it permanent in the future?

The plan is to pilot this for six months and then step back and evaluate the results. If it is successful we may look at expanding the program where it is appropriate and would be a benefit to all involved.

Where do the Scribes come from, internal source or external?

Who do they report to? Currently our scribes are contracted through ScribeAmerica. They technically report to the manager at Scribe America but Heidi Hansen is the UIHC contact within pediatrics.

Do the Scribes have access to Epic?

Yes, the scribes go through LIP training at HSSB so they can gain access to EPIC and be trained in the basics of EPIC documentation. They then have modified access so they can access the different pieces of EPIC to assist the providers with note documentation, patient histories, instructions, and orders.

Anything else you would like to add about the program?

There has been some learning curve to this project and the providers involved have been very supportive and flexible with this venture. Here are some of the positive comments which we have received from providers using scribes recently.

  • “Significant increase in the quality of interactions with patients and their families now that I don’t have to share my time between the screen and them. Real face-to-face interaction!”
  • “I feel much less burred out than previously without the current need of typing.”
  • “From a teaching standpoint, I can allow students to see more of my patients if we decide they don’t need to focus on note writing with me but instead history taking or presentations.”
  • “Today I closed all of my encounters at the end of the clinic. I am modifying the way I work in order to find a better balance in my life.”

Faculty Recruitment Request for AY 2019-2020

Dear faculty members,

Thank you for the time and effort you provided to help fulfill the department’s obligations towards mentoring and facilitating small groups of M1-M2 medical students. The department reached the needed contribution level for the 2018-2019 academic year which allows us to maintain the funding and recognition that we get from the College. This is never possible without help from all divisions.

Now it is time to start the process for the 2019-2020 academic year. Attached is a catalog with descriptions and schedules for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semester activities. Faculty can sign up by accessing: this site or by contacting Carrie Bernat (carrie-bernat@uiowa.edu) or by phone 335-7641. Signing up sooner will optimize chances to get into preferred activities. The course coordinators can often work with you if there is a scheduling conflict. As a reminder, meeting educational contribution is a condition to participate in divisional clinical incentive program.

New this year: As part of the recently approved individual education incentive in our department, these M1-M2 medical student activities are among the activities that will be counted towards the education incentive.

As Iowa’s only comprehensive pediatric academic medical center, our mission includes educating our medical students and the next generation of pediatric healthcare providers. I thank you again and I look forward to seeing more faculty participation to continue emphasizing our educational mission. I will update your division directors on the status of our department’s contributions.

–Riad Rahhal, MD, MS Clinical Professor Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology Department of Pediatrics Fellowship Director Vice Chair for Education Stead Family Department of Pediatrics

Baby Photos from the 4/26/19 Employee Appreciation Breakfast

Below are the baby photos from the “Who Are They?” game from the employee breakfast, identified to the matched individual.

Melissa Whisler
Dr. Polly Ferguson
Dr. Alex Bassuk
Dr. Aliye Uc
Dr. Edward Bell
Cody Ching
John Heinemann
Dr. Ian Law
Dr. Paul McCray
Rachel McGuire
Dr. Patrick McNamara
Dr. Carla Nester
Stefanie Pirkl
Dr. Amy Stier
Dr. Lane Strathearn

Holiday Message from Dr. Hirsch

As the holidays are approaching and this calendar year will soon be coming to an end, I would like to extend my thanks to each and every one of you for your contributions towards our Department’s achievements in patient care, education, research, and public health. I look forward to working with all of you in the coming year to help make the world a better place for the children and families we serve. I wish you and your families a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy new year.

The 2018-2019 Performance Review Period is Now Open

The annual performance review cycle is underway.  The Department of Pediatrics has established a goal to have all performance reviews completed no later than February 28, 2019.  Below is an outline of the necessary steps to complete this process. Please review the Self-Evaluation Guidelines for assistance on completing a well-rounded self-evaluation. You will need to send your completed self-evaluation form via the online performance review tool to your supervisor no later than December 14, 2018.

P&S Review Process

  1. Employee initiates “Create New Review” in Online Performance Review Tool.
  2. Employee completes self-evaluation, either using the system tool or utilize paper self-evaluation form that can be uploaded into the system (attached). This should be completed and sent to supervisor in the online performance review tool by December 14th.
  3. Supervisor utilizes request feedback option in Online Performance Review tool.
  4. Supervisor completes supervisor comments and rating in the Performance Review tool (does not finalize). Supervisor should upload employee’s self-evaluation into system at this time.
  5. Supervisor has discussion with employee.
  6. Supervisor clicks “Finalize Performance Review” which sends the form to employee for acknowledgement.
  7. Employee electronically signs form and adds additional comments.
  8. Performance Review is automatically uploaded into employee’s ePersonnel file.

 You can access the Performance Review tool and last year’s review through Self-Service under the Personal tab.

If you need a copy of your current job description to use as a reference during this process, you may email the general Pediatrics HR email address (listed below).  In the event your job duties and responsibilities have changed or evolved over the last year, please work with you supervisor to update the attached job description and return an updated copy to Pediatrics Human Resources.

Please do not hesitate to email PedsUIChildrensHR@healthcare.uiowa.edu with any questions.

Department Receives $4.5 Million Gift

The Department received a generous gift of $4.5 million from the Jacobson Foundation based out of Des Moines. This gift from the Jacobson Foundation will create an endowed chair for the Division of Medical Genetics and Genomics, as well as an additional Chair to be named, for $2 million apiece. The gift will also provide $500,000 to support training and recruitment of needed pediatric specialists for the state of Iowa.

Department to Kick-Off Strategic Planning Initiative

The Department of Pediatrics has had remarkable success over the past decade in advancing our missions and pursuing our goal to be a world-class pediatric program. We are now initiating a multi-phase strategic planning process to set the vision, goals, and strategy for our department for the next decade. This process will afford us the opportunity to critically assess the progress we have made and determine where we need to go next in our pursuit of excellence. Our division and department leaders, including Division Directors, Vice Chairs and the Executive Leadership Team will drive this initiative.  Additionally, all staff will be invited to participate during one or more phases of the process.

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