Why My Excellent Cleveland Clinic Experience Made Me Excited to Invite Dr. Jim Merlino as a Keynote Speaker to HAS 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 10.19.38 AMI spent two days at the Cleveland Clinic a few months ago. I wasn’t there for a major procedure – just for outpatient testing to see if I would be a suitable kidney donor.

The first thing the clinic did was assign me a case worker who gave me my schedule for the two days – I would go to 12 separate appointments and be subjected to 19 different tests across a variety of departments.

Having worked in healthcare, I knew this would mean waiting, which was good, because I had plenty of work to catch up on. What I didn’t know at the time is that the Cleveland Clinic would be so efficient that I’d be strapped to find down time during testing to get things done.

During those two days, I went from appointment to appointment and never waited more than two minutes at any of my appointments.  In fact, I brought my iPad with me knowing that I would have a lot of waiting time. Each time I sat down, I just barely started opening the iPad, when I would hear my name called. I caught myself feeling strangely impatient at how efficient they were because I wasn’t able to check my email or my ESPN sports scores.

The time I got lost on my way to an appointment, the clinic staff called to inquire of my whereabouts and directed me to where I needed to be. I was never rushed; the staff was never frantic. Everything was seamless – this punctuality and attentiveness was just another normal day at the clinic. It wasn’t like I had a special VIP pass or a Fast Pass from Disneyland, but it sure felt that way.

I left the clinic pretty amazed, wondering how they did it. I suspected data played a role.

A few months ago, my suspicions were confirmed. I was talking to the Cleveland Clinic about our 2014 Healthcare Analytics Summit, and they recommended inviting Dr. James Merlino, their Chief Experience Officer to speak.

I made the connection: Dr. Merlino was the person who ensured every patient’s experience was incredible.

There’s a difference between a health system that has a great experience for specific specialties like cardiology or orthopedics– you can optimize for something that’s really big – and a health system that provides a great experience for a small process that’s not linked to hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for a single patient and that isn’t really being monitored, like my testing.

When I spoke with Dr. Merlino, I shared my experience, and he shared his philosophy with me: combine data with a well-developed culture that’s structured to take advantage of it. I’m excited to hear him discuss this topic further during his keynote session, Using Data to Transform the Patient Experience, at our Healthcare Analytics Summit in September.

Dr. Merlino is just one of our keynote speakers. He’ll be joined by Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, former Utah governor and EPA administrator Mike Leavitt, Google’s Ray Kurzwell, Geisinger chair Dr. Glenn Steele Jr., and other organizations to discuss how analytics can, does, and will make a difference in healthcare.

We know that by using data we’ll be able to transform healthcare. Dr. Merlino will show us all how the Cleveland Clinic is using data today to transform the entire patient experience.  I, for one, can’t wait to hear what he has to say. I hope you’ll join us for this incredible chance to learn from one of the industry’s best.

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