Marc Sakwa, MD, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, and physician leader of Beaumont Health System's Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence, says the COE model offered a structure for the physicians, and a bit of a dare.
"Our CEO made a commitment to this being a physician-run organization, and through that commitment he challenged us," Sakwa says. "He said, 'Look, you guys want to run this organization. So we're going to come up with this concept where you are going to be the leaders. The nurses will be your partners and the administrators will support you. But as the leaders, you will set the goals that you need to in order for all of us to be successful.'
"As doctors, we kind of took that challenge as a good thing because, No. 1, we were interested, obviously, in improving quality and improving growth," he says. "We want our hospitals to be successful financially because the more financially successful they are, the more of it that's coming back to us in terms of technology and equipment and other things that we need. So when he gave us that opportunity to lead and he stuck by it, we ran with it and I really believe we've improved through our centers of excellence."
The COE model allowed Beaumont to keep its blend of academic and private practice medicine and still create a collaborative framework to drive overall quality of services, says Shane M. Cerone, president of Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.