Cleveland Clinic's new CEO: AI, analytics and digital health are the future

Chief Executive Tom Mihaljevic, MD, announces a new Office of Caregiver Experience to reduce burnout, urges staff to focus on harnessing tech tools to improve care quality and safety, and reveals other new initiatives.
By Bernie Monegain
12:11 PM
Cleveland Clinic CEO Tom Mihaljevic

In his first State of the Clinic, Cleveland Clinic CEO Tom Mihaljevic, MD, called on the health system’s 57,000 employees around the world to focus on caring: “how we care for patients, care for each other, care for the organization, and care for our communities,” he urged.

Mihaljevic succeeded Toby Cosgrove, MD, who held the top executive position for more than 12 years. Mihaljevic joined Cleveland Clinic in 2004 as a cardiothoracic surgeon, served as CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi since 2015 and took over the post here in the U.S. on January 1, 2018.

In his speech, Mihaljevic called on staff to continue to improve healthcare by best using new technologies, notably artificial intelligence and the latest in data analytics as well as digital platforms.

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[Also: With patient experience, 'We need to dream bigger,' Cleveland Clinic leader says]

Mihaljevic also revealed new initiatives for 2018, including efforts to improve patient safety and reduce caregiver and physician burnout.

Cleveland Clinic reduced readmissions, improved care coordination, and increased hand-washing among caregivers in 2017. “We have a right to be proud of our work in patient experience,” he said. “It is inseparable from quality. But we need to go further.”

He said Cleveland Clinic would continue to bolster its culture of safety, become an ultra-high reliability organization, and he promised to set bold goals, particularly regarding hospital-acquired infections and serious safety events.

[Also: Cleveland Clinic's remote revenue cycle program saves money and makes employees more productive]

A recent survey within the Cleveland Clinic, for instance, found that more than one in three physicians met the criteria for burnout.

“We are here for patients first,” Mihaljevic said. “But we can’t succeed unless we take care of ourselves.”

To that end, he announced that Cleveland Clinic has established the new Office of Caregiver Experience to address wellness, burnout and career development.

Mihaljevic also praised Cosgrove’s achievements and his legacy.

Today, Cosgrove has a new title: Executive Advisor and former CEO and President. He has been with the Cleveland Clinic for more than 40 years – as cardiac surgeon, department chair and ultimately CEO.

Under Cosgrove’s leadership Cleveland Clinic saw increases in revenue, patient volume, research funding and community benefit.

Mihaljevic delivered the State of the Clinic speech late last month.

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