Cleveland Clinic CEO: Being salaried without tenure helps us offer personalized care

As tension grows between standardization and personalization across all businesses, Forbes contributor Glenn Llopis asked the CEO of Cleveland Clinic how he maintains standards while encouraging individual contribution.

Tom Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic, told Mr. Llopis in an article published Jan. 5 that three things help address issues of personalization across the global health system: salaried physicians, viewing all team members as caregivers and rewarding what's done right.

Dr. Mihaljevic expanded on how having salaried providers improves personalization:

"We have only one-year contracts, and none of us is tenured," he told Mr. Llopis. "The CEO does not have a long-term contract either. So that means that I've renewed my contract 15 times; I hope to renew it 16 times. Each one of us undergoes the yearly evaluation, so it's a very complex process. But for us to be salaried and so patient-centric has really helped us address all these issues [of personalization]."

In addition, Dr. Mihaljevic said referring to all workers as caregivers rather than their title means the value of each person is based on their character and not their rank. He added that annual performance reviews don't concentrate on how much someone did, but rather what they did right.

"We have never rewarded our employees for doing more, we have always rewarded them for doing the right thing. Our annual performance reviews for physicians don't reflect the volume of work they do but rather the quality of work they do — the way they interact with their peers, with their residents, with their patients. Then, obviously, their academic contribution and contribution to the greater organization."

Read the full article here.

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