At deadline, it was announced that Tom Jackiewicz, CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, was leaving the organization to become president of the University of Chicago Medical Center and chief operating officer its parent health system. Prior to that transition, which will happen in late August, Jackiewicz said his boldest move helped put USC in a position to better engage patients.
What was your riskiest decision? After 20 years of working at academic medical centers across the country, I left my position as CEO of UC San Diego Health to become CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, an academic health system startup. In 2009, Keck Medicine was created when USC regained control of its hospitals and wanted to become a leader in academic medicine. This was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to build a health system that would have a lasting impact on how healthcare is delivered in the second-largest city in the country.
Why was that move risky? The odds of building a successful academic health system from scratch were not always in our favor. The legacy of for-profit ownership meant that our culture was very individualistic. Everyone was used to fending for themselves instead of working together. Quality and patient-satisfaction scores were lagging, and staff morale was low. The list of what needed to be accomplished was huge.
What was the outcome? Last summer we made the U.S. News & World Report list of top 20 hospitals in the country for the first time. We accomplished that with the highest case-mix index in the country and in the L.A. healthcare market, which is one of the most competitive in the U.S. What went on behind the scenes during the last 10 years to accomplish that needs to be acknowledged. We doubled the total number of USC doctors, and quadrupled the number of employees to over 7,000. Inpatient visits have tripled, and we now provide outpatient care at more than 40 clinics throughout Southern California. We also achieved Magnet recognition, and patient experience is ranked above the 90th percentile.