Dr. James Merlino has been named Cleveland Clinic's chief clinical transformation officer, a newly created position for the system, according to a news release.
Merlino, who begins in the post Dec. 1, will oversee the Office of Patient Experience, Enterprise Quality & Safety and the Office of Continuous Improvement, reporting directly to the clinic's president and CEO, Dr. Tom Mihaljevic.
Merlino is returning to the clinic, where he served as a colorectal surgeon, chief experience officer and associate chief of staff from 2009 to 2014. For the past five years, Merlino has been at South Bend, Ind.-based Press Ganey, most recently serving as its chief transformation officer, in which he led the development of an integrated organizational strategy to broaden patient experience to include "safe, high-quality and patient-centered care situated on a foundation of an aligned and engaged healthcare culture," according to the release.
He has led transformational strategy engagements with more than 70 healthcare organizations, according to the release.
"By welcoming Dr. Merlino back to Cleveland Clinic, we're gaining a national expert in the fields of patient experience and quality and safety," Mihaljevic said in a prepared statement. "His experiences make him uniquely qualified to lead our clinical transformation program and to continue building on our successes in quality, safety and patient experience."
Merlino received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Baldwin Wallace University and a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed his general surgery training at University Hospitals and his colorectal surgery fellowship at the clinic, according to the release.
"It's wonderful to be back at Cleveland Clinic," Merlino said in a prepared statement. "Press Ganey is at the forefront of transformational strategy, and I'm excited to use my experience with them to help execute the bold strategic vision laid out by Dr. Mihaljevic. Our No. 1 goal as health care providers is to improve the environment for patient care and caregivers, which is only possible through a critical interdependence of safety, quality and the experience of care."
His wife, Dr. Amy Merlino, serves as the clinic's chief medical information officer and is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic.
"Cleveland Clinic names Dr. James Merlino as chief clinical transformation officer" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.