In 2019, Cleveland Clinic reported strong financials, improved patient safety measures, served more patients than ever before and continued to expand its footprint, President and CEO Dr. Tom Mihaljevic highlighted in his annual State of the Clinic address on Wednesday morning, Feb. 26.
Last year the Clinic earned $390 million in operating income—up 47% from the year prior—on $10.6 billion in operating revenue, up 18.7% from 2018.
Mihaljevic credited caring for more patients, a strong economy and growth in Florida for that growth, which followed a 19% dip in operating income in 2018 and a slight growth in operating revenue compared to 2017. Finances in 2019 were also bolstered by a record $261 million gift from the Lord Foundation of Ohio.
"Throughout generations, we've always stayed true to who we are. patient-centered, organized as a team, led by clinician. We have accomplished so much together," Mihaljevic told the crowd of roughly 800 employees in attendance at the Intercontinental Hotel. "In 2019, Cleveland Clinic cared for more patients and families than ever before. Your dedication made it a year to remember."
Mihaljevic laid out five goals of the Clinic's strategy: transform care as lifelong partners to patients, engage caregivers as members of the care team, embrace digital tools to enhance patient and caregiver experience, optimize resources as stewards of the organization and expand its reach to double the number of patients served.
The final was an ambitious five-year goal that Mihaljevic announced at last year's State of the Clinic address. He said after Wednesday's speech that the Clinic is on track to double its patient population in that timeframe. He assured caregivers that they wouldn't be asked to see twice as many patients; the care team will grow in parallel.
Mihaljevic said that one in 200 Americans has the opportunity to experience care at the Clinic, though everyone could benefit from it. He called serving as many patients as possible an "ethical obligation."
Last year, the Clinic saw 2.4 million patients, (20% increase over the year prior) accounting for 9.8 million visits, a 16% increase.
He also highlighted successful safety improvement efforts the Clinic has undertaken.
"We care for patients in the most vulnerable moments of their lives. We do everything to keep them safe and healthy. Becoming the safest place for health is a journey that never ends, and we know that it is not easy. Due to your hard work, I can stand before you and proudly say Cleveland Clinic is a safer place today than a year ago. A safer place for our patients and their families and a safer place to be a caregiver."
Last year, the Clinic decreased serious safety events during surgery by 46%, according to a news release. Between January 2017 and August 2019, the system reduced central-line infections by 23%, sepsis mortality by 12% and patient falls with injuries by 11%. The release also points to a stat from Vizient, which states that overall, patients have a 34% greater chance of survival at Cleveland Clinic compared to the average U.S. hospital.
The Clinic's daily huddles to immediately address safety issues, safety checklists before procedures and a focus to encourage caregivers to speak up when safety issues arrive have all contributed to these improvements, Mihaljevic said.
He notes that despite best efforts, serious safety events that result in harm to the patient do happen and can be prevented.
"We're one of the few health systems to publicly report serious safety events," he said. "I call on every health care organization to do the same and for every rating organization to make it a requirement because we owe this to the patients and to the families who trust us with their care."
Mihaljevic highlighted several "firsts" the Clinic accomplished in 2019, including: the world's first robotic single-port kidney transplant, birth from deceased donor uterine transplant (a first in North America), the Midwest's first purely laparoscopic living donor surgery for liver transplant, Northern Ohio's first in-utero spina bifida surgery.
The Clinic continues to expand its footprint locally and beyond.
In a video, Bill Peacock, chief of operations, provided an update on Cleveland Clinic's physical growth. He highlighted the following:
- Cleveland Clinic London, on track for completion in 2021, with a new medical office building slated to open later this year.
- Construction of a new Neurological Institute building on main campus to consolidate services and incorporate new technology
- Renovation and expansion of the Cole Eye Institute to grow its footprint for patient care and research
- An upgrade and expansion of Fairview Hospital, including a new Moll Cancer Center, medical office building and a parking garage
- A new hospital to be constructed in Mentor, with the groundbreaking scheduled for this spring and an open date in 2021
- A new cancer building under construction alongside Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, slated to open in 2022
- Cleveland Clinic Connected's consulting work on a new hospital in Shanghai, China
- Cleveland Clinic Canada's expansion in Toronto, offering virtual visits directly through Canadian employers
- Expanding facilities in South Florida to serve more patients and renovation of the Weston bed tower
Other 2019 highlights include:
- The formal addition of four hospitals and nearly 1,000 beds in Florida as the Clinic acquired Indian River Medical Center and Martin Health in January 2019
- The Clinic signed a letter of intent with Sisters of Charity Health System to explore the possibility of Mercy Medical Center in Canton becoming a full member of the Clinic. Mihaljevic said they are still doing due diligence.
This article was originally published in Crain's Cleveland Business.