Healthcare is being transformed with new alignments of medical personnel, digitalization and personalization, focus on prevention and internationalization, according to Cleveland Clinic CEO Tom Mihaljevic. Cleveland Clinic is leading the way in a number of these areas. I interviewed Tom on The CEO Show, and he outlined some of the key features that have earned top-ratings for Cleveland Clinic and his vision of the future of healthcare.
Cleveland Clinic is an international healthcare provider employing 60,000 caregivers. The majority of its hospitals are around the City of Cleveland, Ohio, and they have hospitals in southeast Florida, Las Vegas, Toronto and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. They are now building a hospital in London.
I asked Tom what sets Cleveland Cleveland apart as it earns its top ratings in clinical care and outcomes year after year.
“The most important differentiator for Cleveland Clinic, in our belief, is in our model of care. Cleveland Clinic is organized in such a way that we work as teams,” Mihaljevic said.
He said that every patient who goes to Cleveland Clinic is taken care of by a team of providers that have complimentary qualifications. “As a team, we can best address oftentimes very, very complex issues in healthcare.”
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He added, “We’re very focused not only on quality of care but also the experience of care. We believe that patient experience is an important part of recovery and healing process, and this combination of quality patient experience and teamwork is what differentiates Cleveland Clinic from very many other providers in the field.”
“One more differentiating feature is that Cleveland Clinic, since its inception almost 100 years ago, has a salaried physician model. So we do not incentivize our providers on anything other than the quality and experience of care that they provide.”
Cleveland Clinic has been at the forefront of robotic surgery, particularly in cardiac care, and Mihaljevic said that the robotic surgery that is done at Cleveland Clinic is becoming a standard of care for other diseases too. Earlier in his career Mihaljevic was a heart surgeon specializing in robotics.
“What robotics does is it allows us to enter any part of the body through tiny incisions, reducing the invasiveness of the surgery,” he said. “The other big attributes of robotics is that the instruments that we use are much more precise …. But a third and a very exciting potential opportunity in robotic surgery, in general, lies in the fact that we could perform the operations at a distance.”
“It’s easy to envision that we should be able to offer surgical services by having a surgeon in one part of the world and a patient in another part of the world.”
The second half of the interview focused on the future of healthcare in general.
Mihaljevic said that 80% of human health is influenced by social determinants of health such as access to good nutrition, education, economic disparities, quality of living, and availability of social services, and only 20% through the quality of an actual healthcare provider.
“Every individual and every society is looking to get greater value from healthcare, meaning higher quality with lower cost. And that can only be accomplished if we focus, not only on treating patients when they are ill, but also on helping them maintain their health … and focus on their wellness and well-being and prevention.”
“Value-based care … is something that will positively transform healthcare in the United States.”
The Cleveland Clinic CEO said, “When we speak about healthcare over the next decade, I believe that there are going to be several really important trends that we will be shaping. The first is transformational trends in the way that healthcare is being delivered. I think that the healthcare of the future is going to be primarily team-based healthcare. I think that our patients will rightfully expect that their care will be delivered through the coordinated efforts of a number of different individuals with complementary qualifications.”
“The second big trend that we’re going to see,” Mihaljevic said, “is the increased penetration of digital platforms in healthcare. I believe that about 50%, maybe even 75% of current of current visits to primary care physicians and family practices will probably be delivered … through a tele-medicine platform.”
“And the last big trend that I believe that we’re going to see here in the United States is a stronger movement towards value-based care.”
“On the international front, I believe that we’re going to see a greater internationalization of healthcare, meaning that the large healthcare providers from the United States will look to broaden their presence in international markets, and I also do believe that here domestically, we’re going to see a greater agglomeration of our healthcare providers … in a larger system.”