Client Overview

The Medical University of South Carolina [MUSC] refreshes its enterprise strategic plan every five years, and in turn, each aligned entity does so as well. MUSC Health, MUSC’s clinical delivery arm, had significantly expanded since the last plan was completed in 2016, growing from a single Academic Medical Center primarily focused on the Charleston region to a state-wide system that included four acquired community hospitals, new joint ventures, and an increasing list of affiliates. Given this hyper growth, MUSC Health’s executive leadership was keenly focused on enhancing integration across its expanded footprint and sought insight and implementation support from KCG to ensure ‘systemness’ was a key element in its 2025 plan.


The Challenge

Clinical delivery at MUSC Health is built on 17 distinct Integrated Centers of Clinical Excellence [ICCE] which oversee all aspects of patient care across the health system. MUSC Health’s executive team determined that each ICCE would develop its own five-year strategic plan to align with the enterprise plan. Furthermore, the executive team needed a way to hold leaders accountable for executing their newly developed plans. Strategic planning on this scale had not been previously done at MUSC Health, and it provided an opportunity to engage physician and operational leaders across the system.


The Solution

KCG, in collaboration with MUSC Health’s Strategic Planning Office, utilized a two phased planning approach to govern the work.

Phase 1: Strategic & ‘Systemness’ Planning
To kick off the process, KCG and the internal strategy team facilitated a series of meetings with each ICCE’s leaders and key system stakeholders to share market and operational data and identify 4-6 overarching strategies that would guide their work over the next three to five years. Development of supportive operational initiatives and metrics / KPIs followed – all of which were presented to MUSC Health’s executive team for review and final endorsement.

Phase 2: Near-Term Operational Plan
Acknowledging that strategy without tactics impedes results, KCG worked with each ICCE to develop a set of near-term operational projects that were identified as needing to be completed within the next 12-18 months. KCG then worked with ICCE leaders to create a robust database to track project details, including timelines, stakeholders, financial / resource requests, KPIs, etc.

As in Phase 1, ICCE leaders then presented their operational plans to MUSC Health’s executive team for feedback and endorsement – which was memorialized in a set of ‘memos.’ The memos then guided the work and set the stage for quarterly assessment and accountability meetings which served as a forum to discuss progress on projects, address any implementation barriers, and highlight new opportunities. MUSC Health’s executive team now had insight into all strategic and operational plans to ensure ICCE leaders were realizing the goal to drive integration across the entire health system.

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About the Author
Chrissie Hamilton

Chrissie Hamilton, Manager, joined KCG in Fall 2018. Her experience and interests align with engagements that drive operational or financial efficiencies and improvements. Notable projects include: the redesign of a client’s process and structure for completing its operating budget and the development of a strategic investment fund for a health system to invest in core initiatives and programs.

Prior to KCG, Hamilton spent six years in commercial banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Washington, DC area. As a Portfolio Management Officer, she was responsible for underwriting credit requests for a portfolio exceeding $900 million in loan commitments. Her clients covered both the public and private sector and spanned across various industries. Collaborating with her team, Hamilton worked with clients to understand their credit needs and deliver solutions to help meet their business goals.

Hamilton earned an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a BS in Business Administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.