From Reds to Riches: Clean Work Makes the Dream Work

Engaged medical staff working together

Inspired leadership, process analysis and teamwork raise quality of care


Presented by
Charity Gerald, RN, BSN, CCRN-K, Medical Nursing Director
McLeod Regional Medical Center
Seth Sherard, MBA, Service Excellence Process Manager
McLeod Regional Medical Center

It wasn’t exactly a happy new year. Team members on 9 Medical at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, South Carolina, thought of themselves as “The Bad News Bears.” Not surprisingly, the unit’s HCAHPS scores reflected that frame of mind. During the first quarter of 2016, scores in 87.5% of the HCAHPS domains cratered below the 50th percentile. The unit had endured three leadership changes over the past 12 months, affecting team members and the care they provided.

PRC research revealed that 9 Medical’s No. 1 Key Driver of Excellence® was Teamwork, followed closely by Cleanliness. By the end of the second quarter, 62.5% of HCAHPS domains fell below the 50th percentile, a modest improvement, but nowhere near the results it would take to restore morale and motivate loftier patient perceptions.

And then it all came together, thanks to inspired leadership, a Service Excellence Deep Dive, and refreshed and refocused team members who connected with one another, with the care they delivered and with the patients they helped. Join Charity Gerald and Seth Sherard, the Medical Nursing Director and Service Excellence Process Manager who helped spark the turnaround, to see how they did it.

During their presentation, Charity and Seth track what took the 9 Medical team from worst to first, including a look at initiatives that:

  1. Connected staff with their purpose and established a culture of trust
  2. Trained team members to understand what goes into HCAHPS questions and patient perceptions so that they could understand how their behavior affected how patients felt about the care they received
  3. Recognized and rewarded caregivers, including case managers, office workers and environmental staff who all contribute to quality care
  4. Applied the Team Nursing concept to enable staff to work smarter while promoting accountability and effective communication
  5. Facilitated team-led solutions that applied lean management principles

The shift in culture on 9 Medical has been remarkable. By the end of 2016, 9 Medical had reached a point at which 100% of HCAHPS domains were registering scores above the 50th percentile, with the team itself achieving the highest Overall Rating in the entire McLeod Health System, moving from the 38th to the 99th percentile.

About Our Presenters

Charity Gerald, RN, BSN, CCRN-K
Medical Nursing Director
McLeod Regional Medical Center

Charity Gerald, RN, BSN, CCRN-K, serves as the Director of Nursing for a 34-bed Med/Surg unit at McLeod Regional Medical Center. She has devoted 10 of her 17 years in healthcare to McLeod Health. While studying at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charity worked as a CNA. After earning an undergraduate degree in Biology on the Pre-Med track, she worked as a Patient Care Tech at HealthSouth Rehabilitation hospital for a year before returning to school to pursue a nursing degree. She initially worked at McLeod Health as an extern in 2004 while in nursing school. After graduating with a BSN from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2005, Charity traveled across the country with her mother and sister for three years, taking on a variety of nursing assignments — including stints in the ER and in Med/Surg, Cardiac Telemetry, Rehab, Observation, and Oncology — in South Carolina, North Carolina, Arizona, Florida and Texas. In January 2010, Charity returned to McLeod Health and began her career as an ICU nurse in the CCU. In 2011, she transferred to the MICU to take a Patient Care Supervisor’s position and later took on the role of Clinical Nurse Manager in the MICU. In 2015, she became the Assistant Director of the MICU and MPCU. In April 2016, she moved into the Interim Director’s role in the Medical Unit and was later made the permanent Director of Nursing.

Seth Sherard, MBA
Service Excellence Process Manager
McLeod Regional Medical Center

Seth Sherard, MBA, serves Mcleod Regional Medical Center as a Process Manager for Service Excellence. Prior to his work with McLeod Health, he served as an Administrator, Executive Director, and Vice President in the long-term care arena. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Healthcare Management from Lander University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Anderson University. Seth is responsible for researching, facilitating, and leading improvement work teams in specific areas within the hospital. His work impacts every aspect of patient experience within the hospital and across the health system. With a focus on patient-centeredness, Seth helps facilitate the implementation of evidence-based best practices, contributes to the development of standard work around new processes, provides teams with relevant performance data, and expedites continuous education across the system.

About McLeod Health

A regional healthcare leader, McLeod Health serves more than a million people across 15 counties in northeastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina. Facilities include its flagship medical center in Florence, South Carolina, community hospitals in Dillon, Darlington, Loris, Little River, Manning, and Cheraw, a home health agency, an accredited cancer center, two urgent care facilities, and approximately 70 medical practices. McLeod Health has achieved Healthgrades rankings in the Top 5% nationwide for General Surgery, Vascular Surgery and Cardiovascular Services. Healthgrades also has designated McLeod Health a 5-Star Recipient for the Treatment of Heart Attack, Stroke, and Total Knee Replacement.


Interested? Fill out the form below to view the webcast!