To achieve our vision and mission, GHS must continue to improve and adapt to the ever-changing healthcare environment. The information below illustrates leadership in access, patient care, efficiency and community enhancement.
The Beat Goes On with PulsePoint
Greenville County, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System and GHS have partnered to introduce PulsePoint, a smartphone app that engages everyday citizens in providing lifesaving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Generous support from Bon Secours St. Francis Health System and GHS has made the app available for free.
Citizens who know CPR, off-duty first responders and healthcare professionals can download the PulsePoint app. Then, when Greenville County EMS personnel get an emergency 911 call that involves cardiac arrest in a public forum, they activate the location-based technology of the app, alerting those citizens nearby who can start CPR right away.
Healthy Greenville 2036 Announces Initial Grants
In 2016, GHS launched Healthy Greenville 2036, a one-of-a-kind initiative that supports our commitment to making a difference in the health and wellness of our communities. Healthy Greenville is an $80 million, 20-year pledge to help make Greenville County the healthiest county in the nation by 2036.
The initiative is led by the Greenville Health Authority (GHA) Board of Trustees (formerly the GHS Board of Trustees), which announced the first grant recipients in September. These nine grants amount to $12.4 million and target chronic issues such as diabetes, mental illness and obesity, as well as social determinants and other factors that impact access to care. These areas were chosen because they were identified as top concerns in the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment.
GHS will provide $4 million a year to the GHA Board of Trustees for grants supporting health-related care, research and education benefiting Greenville County residents. Programs funded will create new jobs and strengthen workforce development through enhanced job training. Nearly 130 organizations submitted letters of intent for consideration during the initial grant cycle.
GHS and Palmetto Health Form Partnership
In June, GHS and Palmetto Health announced a plan to create a private not-for-profit South Carolina health company. Together, the organization will have the scale, scope and resources required to address the serious health issues—including obesity, diabetes and stroke—that plague South Carolinians.
Leadership rests with GHS’ Mike Riordan and Palmetto Health’s CEO Chuck Beaman. While this partnership will bring some changes, many things will remain the same.
- Most important, the partnership does not change the clinician-patient relationship. In fact, it should enhance this relationship over time.
- Palmetto Health and GHS are not combining their medical staffs or clinically integrated networks. They will each retain local control of provider groups and be responsible for their own credentialing, privileging and oversight of clinical quality. Both systems will continue to enhance collaborative activities that improve clinical quality, the patient experience and healthcare value.
Read more on the new health company at www.SCBetterTogether.org.
Map Connects People with Services
GHS, Greenville County, Furman University, United Way of Greenville County and 2-1-1 have unveiled a community information map called imap. The goal of imap is to make it easier for residents to locate essential life services like food, housing and health care in Greenville County.
The map was developed by Greenville County with help from students and professors at Furman University. Together, the team spent months meeting with local organizations to identify essential services across the county and then used geocoding—an automated process that compares a list of addresses against a database to calculate coordinates—to plot 1,000+ services.
This map also can be used by decision-makers (such as health and public safety officials and county planners) or by private businesses and residents to analyze distribution of community assets and service areas to gauge where services need to be added or enhanced.
Community Health Institute Debuts
In partnership with GHS, Furman University has launched the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health. The institute will expand Furman’s research into the health of the community and allow students to pursue more internships as well as research and mentorship opportunities.
Read on to learn about one component of the institute, the Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP):
GHS, Furman University and South Carolina Legal Services have formed the state’s first MLP—and the first of nearly 300 in the country that partners with an undergraduate institution. This collaboration focuses on reducing health-harming problems that have legal remedies while educating clinicians, attorneys and students about those issues facing vulnerable populations. An example is families living in substandard housing with mold, insects or rodents that may be affecting health, such as asthma.
The MLP received 210 patient referrals in its first year.
Seed Money for Healthier Living
Growing, cooking and eating fresh fruits and vegetables received “seed money” from GHS, which joined Clinton Community Garden in a three-year partnership to expand access to fresh food.
Clinton Community Garden will use the money to finish its flagship garden on South Bell Street and start a second community garden. The garden’s mission of promoting healthy eating fits perfectly into the health system’s overall regional goal of a healthier population.
Produce raised in the garden goes to United Ministries. Last July through September, the garden donated 125 pounds of produce.
During FY 2017, the system established or added locations to several practices, increasing patients’ access to primary or specialty care.
New or expanded GHS practices include the following:
- Carolina Cardiology Consultants–Clemson
- GHS Eye Institute–Easley
- GHS Family Medicine–Walhalla
- GHS Family & Internal Medicine–Boiling Springs
- GHS Surgical & Specialty Medicine–Spartanburg
- MD360® Convenient Care–Spartanburg
- GHS Vascular Surgery–Seneca
- GHS Roger C. Peace Rehab Services–Patrick Square (this new medical office is an initiative of Baptist Easley)
Other expansions include adding more on-site clinics in upstate businesses, along with increasing the number of Upstate Pharmacy sites (and hours) and ATI physical therapy locations (GHS is 20 percent owner of ATI).
Additionally, Baptist Easley joined with GHS to expand Baptist Easley’s Hospitalist Services and Emergency Medicine team. GHS is part owner of Baptist Easley.
New Institutes, Divisions, Centers and Clinics
In addition to practice news, a clinical institute and division debuted, as well as several new centers. These entities include the following:
- The Neuroscience Institute consists of the Brain Tumor Center, Neuroscience Associates, Stroke Center and Southeastern Neurosurgical & Spine Institute
- The Division of Pediatric Psychology was announced
- A variety of centers or clinics were established:
- Ambulatory Infusion Center–Simpsonville
- GHS Aortic Center
- GHS Medical Center–Boiling Springs
- GHS Surgery Center–Spartanburg
- Women’s Heart Center
- Muscular Dystrophy Clinic
- Rett Syndrome Clinic
Lab Results Released Quicker to MyChart
In May, GHS began releasing many lab results to MyChart after one calendar day instead of three business days. This change is aimed at enhancing the patient experience.
CT and MRI Schedules Streamlined
To help decompress CT and MRI schedules at Greenville Memorial Hospital, the Patient Scheduling department is routing many routine outpatient imaging studies to ambulatory departments throughout GHS. This effort allows for more timely studies for hospital or emergency patients, and it also avoids prolonged wait times for outpatients. Whenever possible, patients are scheduled at the most convenient location that meets their imaging needs.
Epic is an electronic medical record (EMR) and billing system that began being piloted in GHS outpatient practices in 2015. This software combines GHS’ many different EMRs into one enterprise-wide medical record, reducing redundancy, saving costs and improving continuity of care for patients.
GHS’ Laurens and Oconee hospitals implemented Epic in October 2016. With Epic, clinical information, registration, patient scheduling and billing are on the same efficient system. Plus, clinical information can be shared effectively—and securely—with the entire health community.
Secure Text Messaging Available
GHS has begun implementing a secure text messaging application called TelmedIQ that allows providers to send texts with protected health information. It has many features, such as one-button responses and integration with on-call schedules. TelmedIQ is HIPAA compliant and was first piloted at Greer Memorial Hospital.