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pulmonary health

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Time and cost savings a major benefit see more

    The CEO of MUSC Health has seen firsthand how helpful a pocket-size device that’s going systemwide at MUSC can be when it comes to quickly figuring out what’s wrong with a patient.

    “Just a couple weeks ago, I had a family member in the hospital at MUSC Health-Charleston. He needed some fluid taken off his lung, and the pulmonologist pulled the Butterfly out of his pocket and began to take care of him right away,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D.

    The Butterfly, an ultrasound device about the size of an electric razor that connects to a smartphone or tablet to give an on-the-spot reading, immediately showed the pulmonologist what Cawley’s family member’s condition was. That meant the doctor was able to start treating the problem with precision – and without delay.

    Ultrasounds are considered essential tools for diagnosing and taking care of patients. They use sound waves to create clear images of the inside of the body without the radiation that can come with other types of scans, such as X-rays and CTs.

    Cawley called MUSC’s adoption of the Butterfly ultrasound devices and the system that supports them, the Butterfly Blueprint, a leap forward. “For a long time, hand-held ultrasound has been out there. Different companies have offered different technology. But the second we saw the Butterfly technology, we knew it could be transformational in a way that other portable ultrasounds have not been to this point in time.”

    The device has 20 presets, meaning it’s capable of doing ultrasounds on 20 different areas of the body, using artificial intelligence. It earned the broadest Food and Drug Administration approval ever for an ultrasound system. Another feature hospital leaders like: The Butterfly is powered by a small chip instead of the piezoelectric crystals traditionally used in ultrasounds, making it more affordable.

    Some doctors had already made the Butterfly leap, buying devices for their own use. But until now, the results didn’t go into patient health records. They were just in-the-moment updates. That changes with the implementation of Butterfly Blueprint, technology that allows for systemwide integration of the information gleaned through Butterfly ultrasounds.

    Rami Zebian, M.D., chief medical officer of MUSC Health Florence and Marion medical centers, was an early user of the Butterfly ultrasound. He’s had his own device for a few years and was part of the push for MUSC Health to begin using it on a large scale in its hospitals and clinics.

    “The portability of it is the biggest game changer, the price of it also because it’s much cheaper than a regular ultrasound. I think that it does not replace a formal ultrasound, right? This is not to replace radiologist or radiology imaging but serve as an adjunct. And the wow factor is still there. Every time I take it to clinic and I connect it to my phone and show patients what I’m looking at. They love it.”

    Florence, Marion and Charleston are the initial focus of the device’s rollout at MUSC Health. Aalap Shah, M.D., co-director of the Emergency Ultrasound Division in MUSC’s College of Medicine and an emergency medicine specialist, said the new technology could be a game changer for clinics and hospitals that aren’t in big cities.

    “A lot of providers have been practicing medicine for most of their lives without having been able to have access to this sort of technology. And so it’s important to find a really robust system to make sure they’re able to train and feel comfortable with the indications that they’re going to be using this for and provide quality care to their patients.”

    Shah, who is also an assistant professor in the College of Medicine, likes the fact that the Butterfly will become part of the training that students receive as well and be available to researchers at MUSC.

    Cawley, the CEO of MUSC Health, agreed. “If we start training clinicians and providers on the front end – using a device that’s intuitive and easy to use, it will push us forward in all kinds of ways,” Cawley said.

    Zebian said it could save time and energy in the process. “A lot of times, people don't use an ultrasound because we’re running, in a rush. You can schedule an ultrasound for a patient, but that takes a few days. But if you take a quick look with the portable ultrasound, you may still say, ‘Hey, I still want an official read,’ but if you look and you see a blood clot or something like that, then you would say, ‘No, we need to do something today.’”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    MUSC SJCH only children’s hospital in South Carolina to be ranked see more

    New rankings from U.S. News & World Report’s (USNWR) 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospitals survey place the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital once again as the only children’s hospital in South Carolina to be ranked. And, the hospital improved one ranking, to #11, in the Southeast region best children’s hospitals survey. The latest rankings are published online and indicate the herculean efforts health care workers provided during the second year of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The highly recognized specialties for MUSC SJCH include the following national rankings: No. 4 for cardiology & heart surgery, No. 30 for nephrology, No. 31 for cancer and No. 41 for gastroenterology & GI surgery. This year, the MUSC Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center received the #1 spot in the nation ranking for outcomes. This phenomenal achievement recognizes that the pediatric and congenital heart center’s expected outcomes are the best in the nation. USNWR issues the annual rankings “to help families with complex and rare conditions find the best medical care for their children,” according to the publication’s website. They’re designed to steer parents and caregivers to the hospitals that are best equipped to treat their children.

    The 16th annual rankings highlight the top 50 U.S. pediatric hospitals in each of 10 specialties: cancer, cardiology & heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

    “The U.S. News rankings recognize on a national stage that MUSC Children’s Health is a leader in pediatric health care and a safe and compassionate choice for parents seeking care for their child,” said Mark A. Scheurer, M.D., MUSC Children’s Health chief of clinical services.

    This is the 15th consecutive year that the 4th-ranked cardiology & heart surgery program has made the overall Best Children’s Hospitals list. Criteria include the survival rate of patients after complex heart surgeries along with the level of specialized staff, services and technologies and the ability to prevent infections.

    The nephrology program at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital ranks No. 30 in the U.S. That means it excels when it comes to the survival rate of children who have had kidney transplants, the management of dialysis and infection prevention and other factors. It maintains its status as the highest-ranked children’s kidney program in South Carolina. The program ranked #3 in the Southeast for overall care and the third best outcomes.

    The GI & GI surgery program is no stranger to the U.S. News rankings, either. For the 15th year in a row, it made the grade, coming in at No. 41, one spot higher than last year. The rankings factor in the survival rate for children who have had liver transplants, the effectiveness of the hospital’s treatment of children who have inflammatory bowel issues and other key measures. Like all of the rankings, the GI rankings also include input from specialists in the field who responded to U.S. News surveys and recommend the hospital for serious cases in GI care. GI & GI Surgery ranked #8 in the Southeast region.

    Finally, the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital’s cancer program ranks No. 31 on the list of Best Children’s Hospitals for Cancer. That’s a 13-level increase from last year’s ranking and a direct result of the #15 national ranking in outcomes. Cancer ranked #3 in the Southeast for overall care and achieved the best outcomes in the region. These rankings are based in part on the five-year survival rate for children with leukemia-related cancer, bone marrow transplant services, programs for brain tumors and sarcomas and infection prevention.

    A critical criterion measured by USNWR is outcomes. Five of 10 MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital programs placed in the top 50 nationally for the outcomes portion of their respective survey, including:

    Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery                         #1

    Cancer                                                                  #15

    Nephrology                                                         #26

    Pulmonary                                                          #35

    GI / GI Surgery                                                  #37

    For the second year, U.S. News featured regional rankings, and the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital tied at #11 for the Southeast region, which is one of the most competitive pediatric regions in the country. Four of MUSC’s pediatric specialties ranked in the top 10: cardiology & cardiac surgery #1, cancer #3, nephrology #3, and GI & GI surgery #8.

    Current methodology combines clinical and operational data, results from a reputational survey of board-certified pediatric specialists and supplemental information from resources such as the National Cancer Institute. RTI International collects and analyzes the data for the rankings. The methodology reflects clinical outcomes, such as patient survival, infection rates and complications; the level and quality of hospital resources directly related to patient care, such as staffing, technology and special services; delivery of health care, such as programs that adhere to best practices and prevent infections; and expert opinion among pediatric specialists. This year, scoring also included an increased focus on the subjects of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts; internal and external affiliations of experts; and clinical issues related to the pandemic.

    “Our MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital care team members continue to be recognized for the outstanding care, service and commitment they provide, even in challenging times,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and executive vice president for Health Affairs, University. “The strength of our specialty outcomes is a testament to the quality of care our team members seek to provide to patients and their families on a daily basis.”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    MUSC team the first to place MRI in the back of an ambulance, drive around and take pictures see more

    Compliments of MUSC Catalyst News

    An interdisciplinary team of researchers at MUSC has received an inaugural Blue Sky Award for their study to determine whether equipping ambulances with a portable MRI scanner could reduce the time to treatment for South Carolina stroke patients in a cost-effective way. The team is led by MUSC Health neuroradiologist Donna Roberts, M.D.,  a professor in the College of Medicine, and evaluation expert Jillian Harvey, Ph.D., an associate professor in the College of Health Professions at MUSC. The Blue Sky Award, which will provide $100,000 in funding to test the feasibility of the idea, was created to reward such creative, out-of-the-box thinking and cross-disciplinary collaborations.

    When a patient experiences a stroke, the clock starts ticking for receiving effective, emergent care. For patients with strokes caused by blood clots, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), an important clot-busting drug, can help clear blocked vessels if given within a narrow time window. Because tPA carries a risk for increased bleeding, scans are needed before treatment to ensure that the stroke is not a brain bleed.

    “We know that the faster we treat people, the better the outcomes and the lower the risk of complications from the tPA,” said MUSC Health stroke neurologist Christine Holmstedt, D.O., a professor in the College of Medicine and a collaborator on the project.

    MUSC Health has worked to dramatically shorten its door-to-needle time – the time from when a patient enters the hospital until the tPA is infused. For example, stroke neurologists already conduct virtual pre-scan evaluations of patients en route to the hospital, shrinking the time to treatment from 40 to 20 minutes.  However, Roberts and her colleagues thought more could be done to cut the crucial time lost while patients are transported to the hospital.  Enjoy the complete article here, compliments of MUSC Catalyst News.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    7 years in a row for MUSC see more

    MUSC Health University Medical Center in Charleston was named by U.S. News & World Report for the seventh year in a row as the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina, with three of MUSC Health’s specialty areas ranking among the best in the entire country: ear, nose and throat; gynecology and cancer.

    Seventeen other MUSC Health programs are considered “high performing” specialties, procedures or conditions in the 2021-2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings: gastroenterology and GI surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, heart attack, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, back surgery (spinal fusion), hip replacement, kidney failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer surgery, pneumonia, stroke, colon cancer surgery,  rheumatology, orthopedics and urology.

    In addition, MUSC Health Florence Medical Center is designated as “high performing” in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure.

    “Once again, South Carolinians can take great pride and comfort in the knowledge that their only public, statewide hospital system is consistently cited as one of the best in the country,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and MUSC vice president for Health Affairs, University. “It’s a transformational time in health care and these rankings are a testament to our care team’s commitment to ensure that our patients are receiving the right care, in the right place and at the right time. The achievements in our Charleston and Florence divisions made despite the pandemic should remind us all what’s possible through innovation, teamwork, and growth.”

    U.S. News & World Report unveiled the 32th edition of the Best Hospitals rankings at Designed to help patients with life-threatening or rare conditions identify hospitals that excel in treating the most difficult cases, Best Hospitals 2021-22 includes consumer-friendly data and information on 4,750 medical centers nationwide in 15 specialties and 17 procedures and conditions. In the 15 specialty areas, 175 hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News & World Report recognized hospitals as high performing across multiple areas of care.

    “I am so proud that U.S. News & World Report has recognized MUSC Health Florence Medical Center as high performing in four areas  – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure,” said Jay Hinesley, MUSC Health Florence Division CEO. “The last year has been a challenge for everyone in health care, and these recognitions are a true testament to all the hard work of our care team members and their dedication to our patients, families and communities. We are committed to continuing to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina and beyond.”

    The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals methodologies, in most areas of care, are based largely or entirely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators.

    1. - U.S. News & World Report’s produced Best Hospitals with RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.