"Structurally what we've chosen to do as a health system is ask our physician leaders to lead an integrated team of caregivers and executives in a number of functions," Cerone says. "That includes establishing the vision for heart and vascular care for the entire system. But then a lot of things fall from that, including recommendations about how we deploy capital. We ask them to pay specific attention to high-level quality indicators that cut across all sites of care and those that are patient-population focused. We ask them to be attuned to every operational dynamic, including efficiencies in cost of care and staff engagement."
Many an organizational change has failed due to cultural pushback. But Beaumont had a collaborative culture to begin with, and the COE has only strengthened it, says Simon R. Dixon, MBChB, system chair of the cardiovascular medicine department.
"The center of excellence concept was really brilliant because it brought different specialties together," Dixon says. "Everyone knows that in the past, for example, cardiology and cardiac surgeons haven't been particularly good friends, and that's not unique to Beaumont. But what I can tell you now is that the best strength we have at Beaumont is that we work together as a team. And when you work as a team and you row your oars in one direction, it's incredibly powerful. That's where we've really made some major changes in terms of improving our efficiency and our financial performance."
This article appears in the September issue of HealthLeaders magazine.