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  • January 06, 2022

    Christine R. Wray announces Jan. 2022 retirement after 42 years of service in healthcare

    CLINTON, Md.Christine R. Wray, FACHE, president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital who also serves as a senior vice president for MedStar Health, announced that she will be retiring on January 28, 2022.

    Wray was named president of MedStar Southern Maryland in September 2014, two years after MedStar Health acquired the hospital located in the Clinton area of Prince George’s County. With Wray at the helm, MedStar Southern Maryland saw the development and growth of several new service lines.

    In 2016, the hospital received national recognition from U.S. News & World Report, having ranked among the top 50 of best hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery. In 2017, MedStar Southern Maryland joined the prestigious MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute-Cleveland Clinic Alliance. Wray also helped facilitate the opening of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center in February 2020. This 25,000 square foot facility offers unmatched medical expertise, leading-edge therapies, and access to robust clinical research, all under the same roof.

    Moreover, the construction of MedStar Southern Maryland’s new Emergency Department (ED) expansion project took place under Wray’s leadership, and remained on schedule despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The $43 million ED expansion project has been deemed the largest construction project in the hospital’s history. The new emergency department opened its doors in April 2021 to provide local residents with seamless access to the most advanced care.

    Wray’s focus on providing quality care has helped MedStar Southern Maryland build a foundation of excellence that will serve local communities for decades to come. MedStar Southern Maryland is grateful for the innumerable and lasting contributions that Wray made throughout her 42-year healthcare career.

    “I have so cherished working with all of you in our commitment and service to our wonderful communities. It has truly been an honor and a privilege,” Wray said in an announcement that was emailed to hospital associates. “Please always be proud of the work you do and how you care for each other as you care for our patients. It is incredibly important work and you are the best of the best!

    Dr. Stephen Michaels, who currently serves as the chief operating and medical officer for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, will take over as president of MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

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  • January 05, 2018

    Raj M. Ratwani, PhD, in collaboration with other researchers, has identified five recommendations to the federal government in developing a certification program for electronic health records that will aid in addressing challenges clinicians face when providing pediatric patient care. The study team hopes that their efforts will improve safer and high-quality care for the pediatric population when relying on electronic health records. Learn more. 

  • January 05, 2018

    WASHINGTON, DC —Electronic health records (EHRs) may present a significant risk to the health and safety of children, according to a new study published today in the November issue of the health policy journal Health Affairs. Of 9,000 analyzed pediatric reports, more than one third described a medication error that was related to EHR usability. The findings emerged from the analysis of pediatric patient safety event reports that were likely to be related to EHRs and medication, gathered from three healthcare systems. The most common type of medication error associated with EHR usability was an over- or under dose.

    The report, “Identifying Electronic Health Record Usability and Safety Challenges in Pediatric Settings,” was based on a study conducted by MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and with funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    Of the 9,000 reports, 3,243, or 36 percent, were confirmed to have an EHR usability issue that affected the medication process. In 609 cases, or 18.8 percent of the 3,243, the EHR-related medication error reached the patient, and many of these cases might have resulted in harm.

    Based on these findings, the authors recommend that the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which oversees EHRs, should include safety as part of a pediatric-focused voluntary certification program, and that rigorous test-case scenarios based on realistic clinical tasks should be employed in all phases of EHR development and implementation. The authors also conclude that the Joint Commission should assess EHR safety as part of its hospital accreditation program.

    EHR usability issues have been previously documented by the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare and were reported in a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in March 2018. In the current study, researchers sought to put the risk in context of one of the most vulnerable patient populations – children – whose unique needs were recognized in the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 that calls for the federal government to establish new criteria for designing EHRs used in the care of children.   

    Raj Ratwani, PhD, director of MedStar’s Human Factors Center and a lead researcher and author, said, “While there are many benefits to EHRs, usability is a recognized challenge and can have safety implications. We sought to identify the specific types of EHR usability issues and associated medication errors in pediatric settings. These new findings reinforce precisely why it’s imperative for the ONC to act swiftly to ensure safety is part of the EHR voluntary certification program. One patient harmed is one too many, and we all have a heightened responsibility to protect all patients, especially children.”

    The report states, “Pediatric patients are uniquely vulnerable to EHR usability and safety challenges because of different physical characteristics, developmental issues, and dependence on parents and other care providers to prevent medical errors. For example, lower body weight and less developed immune systems make pediatric patients less able to tolerate even small errors in medication dosing or delays in care that could be a result of EHR usability and safety issues.”

    The researchers found these usability issues to be the most common in the reports analyzed:

    • System feedback (82.4 percent), such as failure of a critical alert being triggered when an unusually large medication dose was ordered, or the system defaulting to a different date or time than ordered for administering the medication, resulting in a missed dose
    • Visual display (9.7 percent), defined as confusing or cluttered information display
    • Data entry (6.2 percent), defined as difficult or impossible entry of information
    • Workflow support (1.7 percent), defined as a mismatch between the EHR workflow and expectations of the clinician

    In addition to Dr. Ratwani, the study authors are Erica Savage, Amy Will, and Allan Fong, of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare; Dean Karavite, Naveen Muthu, and Robert Grundmeier of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; A. Joy Rivera and Cori Gibson of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; and Don Asmonga, Ben Moscovitch, and Josh Rising of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

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    About the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare The MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare occupies a unique position in the United States as the largest human factors program embedded within a healthcare system. It brings together human factors scientists, systems safety engineers, health services researchers, clinicians, and other experts to create a safer and more efficient healthcare environment through four core services in research, usability, safety advisement, and education. The center is part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation and is also affiliated with the MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. MedStar Health, the parent organization, is the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region, with 10 hospitals and an extensive ambulatory services network, and is the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University.  

  • January 05, 2018

    The researchers from MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, led by Ron Waksman, MD, found, in their first-of-its-kind trial, that transcatheter aortic valve replacement in patients with low surgical risk showed no deaths or disabling strokes within 30 days of undergoing the procedure. This is a “strong signal” that it is safe for these patients as an alternative to the current standard of care.  Read more.

  • January 05, 2018

    Newborns at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital will sport a different look for the month of February. Casting aside traditional pastels, the Women’s Health & Family Birthing Center is participating in the American Heart Association’s Little Hats Big Hearts campaign to raise awareness of congenital heart defects.

    Members of the community are invited to knit or crochet newborn-sized hats using red cotton or acrylic yarn. These donations will be shared with the families who deliver babies during February at MedStar St. Mary’s. Parents will be given resources about congenital heart defects and can add the hashtag #littlehatsbighearts to their social media posts. Sample hat patterns and more information are available at

    Donations are appreciated throughout January and February and may be dropped off at the Volunteer Services office in the hospital’s main building in Leonardtown. Please include the crafter’s name, address, and phone number with all donations.

    For more information, contact Mary B. Cheseldine, volunteer and student services coordinator, by emailing or calling 301-475-6453.

  • January 04, 2018
    Only Top Ten Percent of Nation’s Hospitals Achieve the Quality Rating
  • January 04, 2018

    Washington, D.C., (December 4, 2018)
    —MedStar Heart in partnership with CardioCell has been approved to conduct an investigational new drug clinical trial, called STEMVAD at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. The goal of this study is to determine whether stem cell therapy improves myocardial function in patients with severe heart failure. “Innovative therapies to improve heart function and outcomes of patients with advanced heart failure are sorely needed,” said Selma Mohammed, MD, PhD.  Read more.

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