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MUSC Annual Report 2011-2012

Letter from the President

Dear Friends:

There are many exciting developments these days on the campus of the Medical University of South Carolina. Some are easily visible, such as the new Drug Discovery and Bioengineering buildings. Others may not be quite as obvious to the casual observer, but are just as important. In the 17 years that I have been at MUSC, I have never seen as much focused activity on new and innovative ways for providing care and improving the health of South Carolinians.

For example, the rural parts of our state have the dual misfortune of high rates of disease with relatively limited access to primary, much less specialty care. Recently, however, we have begun to make in-roads into removing geography as a limitation in terms of access to the best care possible. Through support from the Duke Endowment, telemedicine networks have been established to allow specialists at the Medical University to be connected instantaneously with their colleagues around the state and jointly care for patients with life-threatening conditions. Today, the patient in Kingstree, or Hartsville, or Dillon can have the same access to stroke specialists at MUSC, as do patients in downtown Charleston.

Raymond S. Greenberg, MD, PhD, President

Even in our own backyard, we are finding ways to work more effectively with other health care providers. Until quite recently, when a patient was admitted to an emergency room in any Charleston hospital, the laboratory tests, x-ray studies, and medical reports from other hospitals had to be obtained by calls to the other facilities, manual pulling of the records, and transmission by facsimile image over telephone lines. It is easy to appreciate how inefficient and expensive it was to do all of these tasks manually, and that it often led to unnecessary duplication of expensive tests. Moreover, the time it took to retrieve these records resulted in treatment delays, crowding of emergency rooms, and patient dissatisfaction. Again, the Duke Endowment stepped in to help, providing a grant to create an exchange of health information between all of the Charleston area hospitals. There are few such networks operating in the country, and preliminary data suggest that the Charleston system already is saving money and time, and improving the quality of care for patients.

These are just two examples of the ways in which technology is transforming how care is delivered. More advances are highlighted in this report, but the truth of the matter is that we are just beginning to realize the full potential of how technology can revolutionize health care in Charleston, South Carolina and beyond.

Thanks for your continued support of the Medical University and helping us to achieve our goal of Changing What's Possible.

With best wishes,

Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D


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