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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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  • February 08, 2018
    HealthTech Magazine highlights an ambitious project at MedStar SiTEL, which uses virtual reality headsets to bring clinicians together in lifelike, 3D simulations.
  • February 05, 2018

    Washington, D.C., May 2, 2018 — MedStar Health has announced plans to transition the leadership of MedStar Washington Hospital Center to Gregory J. Argyros, MD, MACP, FCCP, who will become the hospital’s President and a Senior Vice President of MedStar Health effective July 1, 2018. Dr. Argyros succeeds John Sullivan, who is retiring after successfully leading Washington, D.C.’s largest and busiest hospital since 2010. In announcing Mr. Sullivan’s retirement, M. Joy Drass, MD, MedStar’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, expressed “immense gratitude for his outstanding leadership during the past eight years.” Among other accomplishments, she cited his role in developing MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute and expanding it as a system-wide service line, the integration of the hospital’s cancer services into the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute, and the development of a world-class multi-disciplinary stroke program.

    Dr. Argyros, who joined the hospital in 2012 and was named Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer in 2014, has made a “prompt and lasting impact on quality, patient safety, medical education, and research” at the Hospital Center. “His partnership with … physicians and nurses to reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs) is a system case study for improvement through multi-disciplinary teamwork,” Dr. Drass said in the announcement. She also commended Dr. Argyros for his leadership in guiding the hospital team through recent high-profile patient care experiences, including the intensive trauma and post-operative care that saved the life of Congressman Steve Scalise last June.

    Prior to joining MedStar, Dr. Argyros spent 25 years in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army, serving as Chief of Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Director of Education, Training and Research for the National Capital Region. 


    About MedStar Washington Hospital Center
    MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 912-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. U.S.News & World Report consistently ranks the hospital’s cardiology and heart surgery program as one of the nation’s best. It operates MedSTAR, a nationally-verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.

    About MedStar Health
    MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org

  • January 31, 2018

    Joan Bardsley MBA, RN, CDE, FAADE, assistant vice president of nursing and research integration for MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Corporate Nursing, spoke with SmartBrief on the importance of diabetes education with patients living with chronic conditions. Read more.

  • January 30, 2018

    As part of expanded partnership, MedStar Health becomes exclusive naming rights partner at all MSE training facilities

    Washington, D.C., – Today, MedStar Health and Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) announced an expanded, innovative and fully-integrated medical partnership that will make MedStar the naming rights partner for the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, Capital City Go-Go, Washington Mystics, Washington Wizards, and Washington Wizards District Gaming (DG) training facilities. Specifically, the Capitals training facility will immediately become MedStar Capitals Iceplex. The new practice facility, opening this fall at the St. Elizabeths campus in southeast Washington, D.C., for the Wizards, Mystics and Go-Go, will be named MedStar Wizards Performance Center. The Wizards District Gaming training facility immediately becomes the MedStar Wizards District Gaming Studio.

    Additionally, MedStar continues to serve as the Official Medical Provider of the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, Capital City Go-Go, Washington Valor, Baltimore Brigade, and Wizards DG. MedStar also continues as the official training camp and practice jersey patch partner of the Capitals and Wizards.

    For a sizzle reel highlighting the MedStar and MSE partnership, click HERE.

    As part of this expanded agreement, MedStar and MSE will create a groundbreaking new medical partnership model, which establishes a Medical Council that assesses best practices and applies new, cutting-edge medical training techniques to each team. An Organizational Medical Director will oversee the team medicine operation to ensure maximum performance efficiency. MedStar and MSE will also join forces on six health-related public awareness campaigns, designed to impact the health and wellness of the community. 

    “MedStar Health is a trailblazer in health care in the Washington and Baltimore communities,” said Ted Leonsis, CEO and Majority Owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “We are thrilled to enter into this innovative partnership with them that will bring MedStar’s unparalleled excellence in health care to every single team in the Monumental Sports family.  We hope that this expanded partnership will help reimagine the way teams in professional sports approach delivering the very best medical care.”

    “We are also very proud to have MedStar join us in bringing their powerful brand to southeast Washington,” Leonsis added. “We are focused on making the MedStar Wizards Performance Center a vibrant part of the community in Anacostia, and we are thrilled to have MedStar partner with us in this effort.”

    “The evolution and expansion of this exciting agreement, the breadth and scope of which is truly unique in health care and professional sports, reflects the strengths and expertise of our respective organizations, people and services,” said Kenneth A. Samet, FACHE, President and CEO, MedStar Health. “We welcome the significant opportunities this collaboration with Monumental Sports & Entertainment will bring to our organizations, the teams and sports we support, and most importantly, our patients and communities.”

    In addition to the Capitals and Wizards performance facility naming rights, MSE’s NBA2K esports team, Wizards District Gaming, will now train in the MedStar Wizards District Gaming Studio, a new, top-of-the-line esports training facility adjacent to Capital One Arena. Esports are one of the fastest-growing sectors in sports and entertainment with a huge—and young—global audience. MedStar and MSE are expanding their partnership into esports just as its audience is growing at an exponential rate.

  • January 30, 2018
    Three investigators from the MedStar Health Research Institute have been awarded grant funding for three research initiatives through the Charles and Mary Latham Fund. The research projects are focused on patient outcomes in diabetes, palliative care, and brain injury. The fund was established by established by Ella O. Latham, to support medical research in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
  • January 29, 2018

    WASHINGTON, D.C. —Improving electronic health record (EHR) systems, to eliminate challenges that can lead to patient harm and make EHRs more efficient and less time-consuming for clinicians, can be achieved with certain policy changes that allow for sharing of information among end users, researchers and developers, according to an opinion piece published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The article was written by Raj Ratwani, PhD, a leading EHR usability expert with MedStar’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare, and two collaborators, Michael Hodgkins, MD, of the American Medical Association, Chicago, and David W. Bates, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

    Currently, a barrier to improving EHR usability and safety is that the contracts between EHR vendors and healthcare systems contain “gag clauses” that prevent providers from freely and openly discussing challenges and sharing solutions. For example, providers cannot share screenshots or videos of the usability or safety issues they encounter, without permission from the EHR vendor, a process that can be lengthy and cumbersome. Vendors cite protection of intellectual property for such contract provisions, but end users and safety experts argue that patient safety and clinician needs should take precedence. In comparison, medical device companies are required to share usability and safety issues. While EHRs represent a major technology advancement in health care, they have introduced new challenges and some specific types of safety issues, which Dr. Ratwani and others have documented, written about frequently, and given as testimony to federal policymakers and congressional committees.   

    “One of the biggest challenges has been that many clinicians report that EHRs are difficult to use, require too much time to perform certain tasks, and create frustration in performing other tasks, especially those performed infrequently. EHR usability, which is the extent to which this technology can be used efficiently, effectively, and safely by clinicians to deliver care, has emerged as one of the most pressing issues in health care,” they write in the current article. They further contend that the lack of transparency about EHR usability issues “represents a market failure.”

    Congress has sought to address this issue with specific language in the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 that prevents vendors from prohibiting or restricting the communication of EHR usability information. Now, it is up to the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology to define the provisions and what constitutes blocking.

    Dr. Ratwani and his co-authors recommend three criteria to create transparency that would promote more usable and safer EHR technology:

    • Policies to ensure vendors support usability testing by enabling use of test environments and rigorous test cases
    • Policies to prohibit vendors from blocking their healthcare organization clients from participating in usability and safety studies
    • Policies to require vendors to permit the timely dissemination of information relating to usability and safety issues to enable a comparison of specific challenges across products

    # # #

    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.     

    About Raj Ratwani, PhD

    Dr. Ratwani is the Director of MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare and is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine. His research is focused on improving the usability and safety of health information technology. 

    In addition to his research efforts, he works to inform health policy. He has testified in front of, and advised, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee and several other federal advisory committees focused on improving health information technology safety and accessibility for patients. He has been selected to serve on the 21st Century Cures Act Health Information Technology Advisory Committee to advise the Department of Health and Human Services.

    He holds a PhD in Human Factors and Applied Cognition and B.S. in Cognitive Science. He was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

    Previous Research on EHR Usability and Safety: Dr. Ratwani has published extensively on EHR usability and safety. Major articles include the following, and additional publications are listed here:

    • Examining EHR usability and patient safety.

    Ratwani, R.M., Savage, E., Will, A., Fong, A., Karavite, D., Muthu, N., Rivera, A.J., Gibson, C., Asmonga, D., Moscovitch, B. and Grundmeier, R., 2018. Identifying Electronic Health Record Usability And Safety Challenges In Pediatric SettingsHealth Affairs, 37(11), pp.1752-1759.

    Howe, J. L., Adams, K. T., Hettinger, A. Z., & Ratwani, R. M. (2018). Electronic Health Record Usability Issues and Potential Contribution to Patient HarmJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 319(12): 1276-1278.

    Ratwani, R.M., Savage, E., Will, A., Arnold, R., Khairat, S., Miller, K., Fairbanks, R.J., Hodgkins, M. & Hettinger, A.Z. (2018). A Usability and Safety Analysis of Electronic Health Records: a Multi-Center Study. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

    • Examining EHR vendor usability processes.

    Ratwani, R.M., Fairbanks, R.J., Hettinger, A.Z. & Benda, N. (2015). Electronic Health Record Usability: Analysis of the User Centered Design Processes of Eleven Electronic Health Record Vendors. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

    • Examining EHR vendor adherence to usability and safety policies.

    Ratwani, R.M., Benda, N., Hettinger, A.Z., & Fairbanks, R.J. (2015) Electronic Health Record Vendor Adherence to Usability Certification Requirements and Testing Standards. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 314(10):1070-1071.

    • Comparing policies on EHR usability and safety to other industries.

    Savage, E., Fairbanks, R.J., & Ratwani, R.M. (2017). Are informed policies in place to promote safe and usable EHRs? A cross industry comparison. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association

    • Demonstrating the impact of EHRs on clinician performance.

    Benda, N., Meadors, M., Hettinger, A.Z & Ratwani, R.M. (2015). Emergency Physician Task Switching Increases with the Introduction of a Commercial Electronic Health Record. Annals of Emergency Medicine.

    • A framework for comparing the usability of EHRs and challenges with comparing usability.

    Ratwani, R.M., Hettinger, A.Z., Kosydar, A., Fairbanks, R.J. & Hodgkins, M. (2016). A Framework for Evaluating Electronic Health Record Vendor User Centered Design and Usability Testing Processes. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Ocw 092.

    Ratwani, R.M., Hettinger, A.Z., Fairbanks, R.J. (2016). Barriers to Comparing the Usability of Electronic Health Records. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

    • Implications of EHR downtime on patient safety.

    Larsen, E., Fong, A., Wernz, C., & Ratwani, R. M. (2018). Implications of electronic health record downtime: an analysis of patient safety event reportsJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 25 (2), 187-191.