The Medical University of South Carolina and Georgetown Hospital System have announced a formalized affiliation agreement between the hospital systems.
“This is not to duplicate anything Georgetown is doing but to augment and provide additional services that aren’t in the community,” said MUSC President Ray Greenberg.
The initial agreement was approved at MUSC’s last board of trustees meeting on Feb. 11 and 12. It is more of an umbrella agreement, with more specific agreements coming out of it in the next year, Greenberg said.
“Georgetown has been an important referral community for us,” Greenberg said. “Nationally, we’re seeing a trend of hospitals affiliating with other hospitals. It’s part of improving the quality of care for patients.”
Through this agreement, there will be increased opportunities for Georgetown patients, MUSC medical students, telemedicine and clinical trial programs.
“By combining the strengths of our medical staff and hospital employees, facilities and existing services with those afforded by an organization with the established reputation and well-known expertise of MUSC, local residents have additional access to expanded medical services without leaving the community,” said Bruce Bailey, CEO of Georgetown Hospital System.
A telemedicine program is already in place at Georgetown for stroke patients who are connected to a stroke specialist at MUSC, and there are discussions about operating a similar program for patients with heart disease.
The agreement also opens more training opportunities for medical and physician assistant students to work in Georgetown.
“As we look to train more providers, realistically it can’t all be done at the MUSC campus,” Greenberg said. Students practicing family medicine will also gain broader exposure at a community hospital versus a specialized one, he said.