Tom Jackiewicz

Hospital Spotlight — Q&A with Tom Jackiewicz

May 03, 2016
by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor
HealthCare Business News recently spoke with Tom Jackiewicz, senior vice president and CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, to learn how he and the university-based medical enterprise he leads have evolved over the years.

HCB News: What inspired you to get involved in health care?
My first opportunity was with the University of Pennsylvania Health System. I remember the whole process: being recruited, the interviews and meeting the faculty. It was an amazing combination of innovative technology and a chance to work with really smart people.

HCB News: How did you get involved with Keck Medicine of USC?
I was the CEO of the University of California San Diego Health System when I got the call from University of Southern California (USC) President Max Nikias. USC was looking to create a world-class medical enterprise. I was brought in in 2011 to lead that effort.

HCB News: What recent developments would you like to discuss?
We’ve made significant strides in two areas: The first is in our innovation in clinical care, a recent example being the announcement of our Virtual Care Clinic (VCC). This concept is based on the idea to expand the availability of our world-class doctors and their expertise on an individual, continuous basis for our patients. We’ll do this using remote monitoring devices, virtual reality and artificial intelligence to create “virtual doctor” versions of our experts, all delivered via the patient’s smart-phone or mobile device.

Today, we see patients from all over the Southwest with many of our patients living far away from Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles. With the VCC, a patient can have surgery and when they go home, we can ensure they have on-demand access to our experts via these digital health solutions. This concept allows for USC experts to be accessible to patients wherever they are living — essentially worldwide patient access. The VCC is driven by our USC creative minds, led by Leslie Saxon, M.D., who leads our digital health effort called the USC Center for Body Computing.

The second is the commitment to building our organization. Our growth has been substantial in just five years. For example, our annual revenue was just over $500 million when I started. Today, we’re at $1.4 billion. In addition, we’ve implemented a state-of-the-art EMR, expanded our ambulatory services to 40 outpatient clinics across several counties in southern California, either bought or created affiliations with other hospitals such as our USC Verdugo Hills Hospital near Glendale, Calif.; Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, Calif.; Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Calif.; and Torrance Memorial Hospital in L.A.’s South Bay community.

HCB News: What does Keck Medicineof USC do best, or what would you like it to be best-known for?
What I’d like to be best-known for is providing the highest quality care for our patients and being there when they need us. We have recruited some of the best physicians, surgeons and researchers in the world to join our already excellent faculty staff at Keck Medical Center for USC and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our goal is to treat everyone as if they are part of our USC Trojan family. We work to ensure our patients have the best patient experience possible.

HCB News: What challenges does Keck Medicine of USC face?
A challenge and opportunity is we are now entering an era of big data. One of our most valuable resources is clinical information — we have a lot of clinical data from patients and we want to translate it into clinical information to improve patient care.

HCB News: What is your patient mix?
We are approximately 42 percent Medicare, 15 percent Medicaid/MediCal and the balance of our patients have private insurance.

HCB News: Why do patients come to Keck Medicine of USC?
Our patients come to Keck Medical Center of USC for high-end care, many with complex cancer diagnoses. The patients we get are the sickest of the sick. Our patients, on average, drive about 30 minutes to get to us. We also have a large percentage of patients we see that come from 90 minutes away or further.