iLocal News Archives

Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., Outlines 2018 Successes, 5-Year Strategy in Annual State of the Clinic Address

During today’s annual State of the Clinic address, Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., outlined the successes of 2018 and announced a five-year strategic plan to double the number of patients served over the next 5 years, while making Cleveland Clinic “the best place for care anywhere, and the best place to work in healthcare.”

“We are a beacon of hope for millions,” Dr. Mihaljevic told caregivers Wednesday morning in the ballroom of the InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland. “The world looks to us for innovative solutions to the greatest challenges in healthcare.”

2018 marked Dr. Mihaljevic’s first year as CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic. Throughout 2018, Cleveland Clinic cared for more than 2 million patients – the highest annual total in its history. Operating revenue increased 6.2 percent to $8.9 billion. Contributions to state and local economies – in the form of jobs, wages and taxes – totaled $17.8 billion. The heart and urology programs were ranked No. 1 in the nation by US News & World Report. And the Cleveland Clinic footprint continued to expand – in Northeast Ohio, with the addition of Union Hospital in Dover and the opening of Cleveland Clinic Children’s new home; and in Florida, with the addition of four hospitals in 2019.

Several innovative initiatives launched in 2018 to focus on important issues of quality, affordability, patient safety and caregiver wellbeing. To position Cleveland Clinic to thrive in today’s complex healthcare environment, Dr. Mihaljevic unveiled a five-year strategy based on healthcare industry trends, the needs of the communities we serve, and Cleveland Clinic’s history.

“We will stay true to who we are – working as a team with the patient at the center of everything we do,” said Dr. Mihaljevic. “We will care for patients and families across their lifetimes, with proactive care, supported with the very best of digital technology. And we will grow and double the number of patients we serve over the next five years.”

In 2019, Cleveland Clinic will continue to focus on the four care priorities it introduced in 2018 – care for patients, caregivers, the organization and the communities we serve.

Care for Patients: “Our vision for Cleveland Clinic is to be the best place for care anywhere. It is the reason why we are here.” –Dr. Mihaljevic

Patient safety is “our non-negotiable priority,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. Serious safety events – such as wrong-site procedures, patient falls with injury, retained foreign bodies, or other occurrences that may cause patient harm – decreased in 2018. “But we have to do better. Our goal for serious safety events is zero. To eliminate them.” To accomplish that, safety issues must be heard and addressed quickly.

Last year, Cleveland Clinic ushered in a “transformative innovation” called tiered daily huddles, which tackle real-time problem-solving in 15-minute, stand-up meetings that occur daily in every part of the organization. Nearly 25,000 caregivers take part every day. Problems are resolved on the spot or escalated to a higher tier. At exactly 11 a.m., the CEO and top leadership meet to analyze quality, patient safety, and patient and caregiver experience issues across the enterprise, including the operating performance.

To further encourage caregivers to bring safety issues to light, Cleveland Clinic will present a new “Speak Up Award” for individuals and teams. “Silence is the enemy of safety,” he said. “Cleveland Clinic supports a culture where every caregiver can speak up, without fear, on matters of patient safety.”

Care for Community: “We want every community we serve to be the healthiest community possible.”–Dr. Mihaljevic

Cleveland Clinic is “committed to the wellbeing of every community we serve,” not only for the health and well-being, but also economically.

In 2016 (the latest report issued), Cleveland Clinic added $17.8 billion to the local economy through wages and taxes. In 2017, the Clinic provided more than $906 million in community benefit (including financial assistance, Medicaid shortfall, subsidized health services, outreach programs, education and research).

In 2019, Cleveland Clinic employs 66,000 caregivers worldwide, including 4,200 physicians and scientists, 2,800 advanced practice providers and 16,600 registered nurses. As an organization, Cleveland Clinic is committed to improving the wellbeing of our local community by focusing on two pressing issues – opioid addiction and infant mortality – alongside our partners in the community.

Caregivers, too, are committed to the community through community service initiatives. Cleveland Clinic will support those efforts through a new volunteer initiative – Community Service Time Off, which will offer caregivers an opportunity to volunteer on paid time with designated agencies.

Care for Caregivers: “Our vision is to become the best place to work in healthcare. We will do so by taking care of each other like family.” –Dr. Mihaljevic

Burnout among healthcare workers has become a national problem. Last year, Cleveland Clinic launched the Office of Caregiver Experience, the first in healthcare. Following more than 11,000 interviews with Cleveland Clinic caregivers, the office is addressing caregiver burnout and promoting resilience.

“We are approaching burnout by leveraging technology, teamwork, and improving wellness,” said Dr. Mihaljevic. “We have hired scribes and deployed voice recognition to make documentation more seamless. We expanded the care team by doubling the number of advanced practice providers in the last four years.”

Diversity and inclusion will continue to be a cornerstone of Cleveland Clinic’s culture. “We do not tolerate discrimination in race, religion, nationality, culture, age, sexual orientation & identity, or veteran status. Our diversity is our strength,” he said. “By 2024, we will have leadership that fully reflects the diversity of those they lead.”

Care for the Organization: “It’s our moral obligation to open our doors as wide as possible for those in need.” –Dr. Mihaljevic

Healthcare is under immense economic challenges, as costs rise and reimbursement falls. At Cleveland Clinic, a new Healthcare Delivery Science Center will study care processes to determine the most effective and cost efficient approaches.

“We have to fight to keep costs low and care affordable for our patients,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. Access, too, is critical. “Last year, we cared for over 2 million patients – more than ever before. Despite adding more facilities and more caregivers, we barely made a dent in demand for our services,” he said. “We can’t take this demand for granted. It’s our moral obligation to open our doors as wide as possible for those in need.”

Through physical and digital growth, Cleveland Clinic will care for more patients with each passing year.

New investments in infrastructure will provide additional access to the Neurological Institute, the Cole Eye Institute, Fairview Hospital and in the Mentor community. In Florida, Cleveland Clinic welcomed four new hospitals from Indian River and Martin Health in 2019. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is expanding into cancer care. And Cleveland Clinic London is scheduled to open in 2021.

Telemedicine will further expand access, making Cleveland Clinic care “available to patients in every corner of the world,” Dr. Mihaljevic said. “Everything we do and everyplace we are and will be, will bear the unmistakable stamp of One Cleveland Clinic – with the same quality and experience at every location. This is the Cleveland Clinic way.”


About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 66,000 employees are more than 4,200 salaried physicians and researchers and 16,600 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 16 regional hospitals (11 in Ohio, five in Florida), more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2018, there were 7.9 million total outpatient visits, 238,000 hospital admissions and observations and 220,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries.

Visit us at Follow us at


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *