WHY DO YOU THINK CHARLESTON HAS BECOME A REGIONAL MEDICAL HUB?
Charleston is fortunate to have quality medical training programs that bring individuals to our community who are interested in advancing the state of medicine. Like most of us, these students quickly learn why Charleston is such a great place to live, and many of them choose to remain here after they complete their training.
WHAT AREAS DOES CHARLESTON AS A WHOLE AND YOUR HOSPITAL IN PARTICULAR EXCEL?
I think you would be hard-pressed to find too many areas in which the Charleston health care community doesn’t excel. East Cooper Medical Center is probably most widely known for our maternity and orthopedic services. We have the highest number of Disease Specific Joint Commission Gold Seals in the state, with 9. These include laminectomy, heart failure, pneumonia, primary stroke, diabetes, colorectal, hip replacement and knee replacement, and we were the first in the state to receive the Gold Seal for perinatal care.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR HOSPITAL/SYSTEM’S PLACE IN THE LARGER CHARLESTON HEALTH CARE COMMUNITY?
East Cooper Medical Center has historically been viewed as a niche player in the community. What we do, we do very well, but we haven’t had the breadth of services of some of the other health care providers. While we have focused more on maternity and elective surgery in the past, the tremendous growth in our immediate market has led to us increasing our scope of services. For instance, we recently received a certificate of need for a diagnostic cardiac catheterization lab and plan to begin offering that service later this year.
HOW IS YOUR HOSPITAL MANAGING IN THE NEW NATIONAL HEALTH CARE ENVIRONMENT? WHAT SORT OF CHANGES MIGHT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT CREATE IN CHARLESTON’S OVERALL MEDICAL LANDSCAPE?
The full impact of the Affordable Care Act is yet to come, and there are still a number of unknowns regarding what the medical landscape will look like in the future. Our primary strategy is to focus on quality, safety and service.
WHAT STUDIES/MEDICAL RESEARCH AT YOUR HOSPITAL ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
East Cooper Medical Center’s Joint Program is quite comprehensive, including dedicated pre-operative evaluation and education classes, minimally invasive MAKOplasty partial knee replacement, anterior approach to hip replacement, physical rehabilitation program with a group exercise room, coordinated post-operative care and support from past patient volunteers. We are constantly studying every aspect of this program in an effort to deliver personalized, advanced, first-class care that exceeds patient expectations while maintaining the highest quality care.