Q&A with Dr. Ed Sabanegh, president of the main campus and regional hospital system, Cleveland Clinic

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Q&A with Dr. Ed Sabanegh, president of the main campus and regional hospital system, Cleveland Clinic

Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | August 18, 2020
From the August 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


HCB News: What attracted you to Cleveland Clinic?
ES: I think the purity of the mission. The Cleveland Clinic was founded by four clinicians almost 100 years ago. Three of the four founders came out of the same army medical unit in WWI. They valued teamwork and wanted to create an experience where medical experts came together as a unified group. That was embodied in the phrase, “to act as a unit.” What you find at the Cleveland Clinic is that we have three integrated missions. First and foremost is striving for clinical excellence. Second is innovation (research and changing the face of medicine). The third is teaching the next generation. I was inspired by those missions and their amazing legacy. For example, many of today’s commonplace procedures were pioneered at Cleveland Clinic including kidney dialysis and cardiac angioplasty to name a few. It’s a place that continues to be innovative and puts the patient first.

HCB News: Other than being continually ranked as one of the top hospitals in the nation for a number of procedures and specialties, what else sets Cleveland Clinic apart?

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ES: Cleveland Clinic continues to have a laser-focus on the patient. There is early recognition in all of our experiences here that the patient is the center of our universe. We were an early system to look at patient experience and to work to improve it.

We also clearly recognize the value of the team in delivering healthcare. Every one of the 52,000 folks who work at Cleveland Clinic are called caregivers. It doesn’t matter if you’re a nurse, doctor, environmental services, administrator, revenue cycle staff or any other employee — we’re all caregivers and play a role in making sure the patient has the best possible experience.

It also goes back to the founders’ vision of medical professionals working together as a team. Cleveland Clinic was built as a clinically integrated system, led by physicians, and doesn’t have some of the silos that you may perhaps observe in other places.

HCB News: What goals do you personally strive for as president of the main campus and regional hospitals?
ES: For me, it’s fairly simple. I want it to be where I want to get care for myself or my family. I want to have no question when I come in the door at any of our facilities that I am going to get the best care. My experience and outcome should be the same whether I go to a facility on the east side of town, or a two-hour drive south. Toward that end, we have worked to standardize our care across our enterprise, culminating in over 90% of our facilities earning a leapfrog “A” safety rating.

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