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

With regard to what needs to change going forward, we need to work relentlessly to keep care at home wherever possible. In every service that we have, one of the questions we need to ask is whether it needs to be done in the facility or can it be taken care of in an outpatient setting? So many things that we do today were not believed to be possible to perform at home as recently as a few years ago. We must accelerate the efforts to keep our patients where they are most comfortable — at home with their families.

We also need to learn to work in new ways. This is evolving, with things like the workforce at home. We need to continue to learn how to stay connected as a team in this new world. All of these things are growing in importance as we adapt to this hybrid of inpatient, outpatient, and home healthcare.

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HCB News: Cleveland Clinic is recognized not only as a leader in healthcare, but in environmental stewardship as well. Can you detail some of the work done as far as environmental impact?
ES: We’ve worked hard during the last decade to achieve that recognition. Our operations team is extremely focused on improving the efficiency of our facilities. We’ve reduced energy intensity by 22 percent despite growth over the last nine years. We’ve reduced our carbon footprint in the same period by 30 percent. We’ve built six million square feet of LEED-certified buildings. We’ve improved our recycling to where over one-third of our refuse is recycled.

As we design new facilities, we’re taking progressive approaches. We’re incorporating more natural lighting and we’re increasing the flexibility of how a space can be used. So as we design inpatient space, we intentionally design with the ability to convert to outpatient space with minimal changes required. It allows us to avoid renovations.

HCB News: Are there any recent developments or plans that you’d like to talk about?
ES: We remain focused during this period on growing our understanding of COVID-19. In the past four months, we have published almost 120 publications related to different therapies and ways to approach treating this disease.

We’re also expanding virtual care in ways that were never possible before. Two months ago, almost 75 percent of our outpatient interactions were virtual. We have created navigators to assist with the virtual experience. We have educated our patients and providers on how we can provide value and quality care through a virtual network.

Finally, we have made extensive efforts to extend outreach to our communities. Whether through testing programs or community-based primary care, we’ve worked to take our care to our patients where they live.

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