MUSC's Medical Magazine // 2015 Year in Review

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Progressnotes Year-In-Review 2015

Strong Solutions Quality

Discovering new ways to strengthen patient safety and quality is an expectation of every member of the MUSC Health team. In 2015, infection control experts succeeded in reducing infection rates, clinicians built more evidence-based practices into Epic electronic medical records, and managers adopted a business-world methodology that leads to controlling costs. For many years, MUSC Health has been building a nursing culture that engages nurses and involves them in organizational decision-making.

In 2015, the American Nurses Credentialing Center recognized that culture with Magnet® designation. A Gallup survey estimates that Magnet® hospitals experience 7.1 percent fewer safety-related incidents than the industry norm. Culture and commitment come together at MUSC Health for strong solutions, strong lives.

Innovations in the Clinic

Innovation reaching the clinic in 2015 thanks to MUSC Health clinician/researchers includes new drugs for heart failure and cystic fibrosis; new medical devices such as the first MRI-safe implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and a novel spinal surgery rod; and a diagnostic tool that will remove the ambiguity from lung cancer diagnosis. Clinical trials at MUSC Health are setting the standards for care nationwide and offering patients in the region access to revolutionary cancer treatments, including precision therapy and immunotherapy, as well as novel treatments for many other diseases, such as a thermosensitive gel for Menière’s disease and a gene therapy for sickle cell disease. New centers are fostering a culture of innovation and helping translate that innovation into improved patient care.

New Care Delivery Models

Health care resources in South Carolina are concentrated in its metropolitan areas, limiting access for many of its rural residents and threatening to divide its population into health care “haves and have nots.” The state’s burden of chronic diseases, such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, is high, with increased complication and mortality rates among rural minority populations. Too often, patients with limited access to care have relied on emergency departments as a last resort, receiving care too late and at a high price tag for the state. South Carolina is responding with an ambitious telehealth initiative that will begin to erase health care inequities by delivering high-quality, affordable care, including preventive care, to all its residents.

Translating Discovery

Tomorrow’s clinical innovations will spring from today’s research only if models of discovery evolve to promote translation. The South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute, which received a $23.7 million follow-on grant in 2015 from the NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Award program, provides research teams with the infrastructure to move innovation into the clinic. Better collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians will also be needed if research is to yield clinically meaningful answers, and multi-institutional collaborations will provide the required diversity of expertise and scope of resources.

New models of funding, including industry/academia partnerships and entrepreneurial ventures, are also necessary. This strategy has worked well for MUSC, which garnered $247 million in research funding in fiscal year 2015, representing a 12 percent increase in overall funding and a 32 percent increase in corporate funding since last year.