Business in Your Backyard: MUSC in West Ashley

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) was named the #1 hospital in the state of South Carolina by US News and is ranked nationally in five adult and five children’s specialties. As a leader in healthcare delivery in the state, MUSC’s ultimate goal is to take care of people safely and reliably – and deliver value to the patients they serve.

Amid an industry that has undergone significant changes within the last decade, namely a rise in costs accompanied by lower general reimbursement, MUSC’s impetus for making a change in healthcare is not surprising. At our Business in Your Backyard on June 27, Matt Wain, Chief Operating Officer of MUSC, demonstrated how changes in the field not only facilitate better patient care, they also help the organization’s bottom line and contribute to its economic impact in the communities it serves.

According to Wain, there are a number of changes that MUSC is making in order to tackle this issue in a unique way. First and foremost, the patient comes first. In an effort to attain perfection in the delivery of safe care, constant reminders of this can be necessary. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that a healthcare organization is treating the “right patient at the right time and in the right place.” MUSC has begun multiple efforts to ensure that this is possible. They have recently acquired four hospitals in the Pee Dee and are in the process of growing their reach in the tri-county area with eight new facilities, like the West Campus opening later this year, in an effort to reduce the need to travel for care.

Another tactic for achieving this is the use of telemedicine – not everyone needs to go to a hospital to be treated. In fact, MUSC has a virtual urgent care program in which patients can get a diagnosis in an hour or less, pay only $25 and still have an interaction with a physician. They can also use telemedicine technology to connect specialists in Charleston to facilities that are farther away, reducing the need for travel as well as improving health outcomes. In 2018, MUSC had over 348,000 telemedicine patient interactions in 527 unique delivery sites.

As Wain emphasized, the patient comes first – improving patient care through technological advances and different modes of delivery ultimately help MUSC achieve their goal of delivering safe and reliable care. However, these changes also represent economic impact that will boost the community: development of the Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital employed an estimated 2,275-2,600 South Carolina employees and generated $5,000,000 in sales tax and the new West Campus will help to revitalize the Citadel Mall, creating a hub of activity and stemming economic development. The changes that MUSC is in the process of implementing demonstrate that they recognize their economic responsibility to be a part of continued development of the area and invest in the communities they serve.

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