"Patients First” is Cleveland Clinic’s guiding principle in ensuring exceptional outcomes, improving population health, and reducing the cost of care. These efforts create value for patients, payors and the community. Caregivers coordinate across the continuum to deliver safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable and patient-centered care.

To achieve the optimal patient experience and outcomes, Cleveland Clinic has developed an integrated care delivery model that is accessible, affordable and evidence based. Cleveland Clinic’s patient-centered culture leverages empathy and innovation to ensure a sustainable and viable future.


Patient Experience

We recognize the patient and the caregiver have a reciprocal influence on one another, and we believe this relationship is morally valuable. We strive to provide outstanding and compassionate care and service, every step along the way. Cleveland Clinic was the first major academic medical center to make patient experience a strategic goal and one of the first to establish an Office of Patient Experience. Our team of professionals provides resources and data analytics; identifies, supports, and publishes sustainable best practices; and collaborates with a variety of departments to ensure the consistent delivery of patient-centered care.

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Patient Data

Cleveland Clinic tracks patient data such as inpatient HCAHPS ratings, patient safety indicators and outpatient experience to better understand and improve our patients’ care.

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A Culture of Safety

Ensuring patient and caregiver safety and enhancing outcomes that matter most to our patients are goals shared by all healthcare providers. Cleveland Clinic embeds quality, safety and improvement principles into its culture through standardization, best practice sharing and multidisciplinary collaboration. Leadership supports caregivers to speak up and report any event, process or condition that causes harm or has the potential to cause harm or injury. Safety Event and “near miss” reporting provides the opportunity to improve practices and prevent future errors.

Cleveland Clinic assesses safety culture through a survey to caregivers and measures performance on these key themes:

  • Communication Openness
  • Handoffs and Transitions
  • Management Support for Safety
  • Non-punitive Response to Error
  • Organizational Learning and Continuous Improvement
  • Staffing
  • Teamwork
  • Workplace Safety

Cleveland Clinic enforces the national safety requirements designed for hospitals to provide safety from fire, smoke and panic. National safety requirements reduce patient and caregiver exposure to harmful cleaning chemicals and potential allergens such as latex.

Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Infection Prevention establishes and educates caregivers on policies such as equipment cleaning guidelines, influenza vaccination, and hand washing. Infection Preventionists partner with caregivers to ensure accountability to these practices and to reduce hospital-acquired infections.

Patient Safety Goals

In addition to meeting the National Patient Safety Goals as defined by the Joint Commission, a national healthcare accreditation organization, Cleveland Clinic’s Patient Safety strategy includes a focus on preventing complications, hospital-acquired conditions, falls, skin breakdown and infections.

Cleveland Clinic’s focus on reducing complications including post-operative blood clots has yielded strong and sustained results. Significant improvements are attributable to the diligence of the clinicians and their implementation of improved screening, prevention and treatment strategies. Increased local awareness and accountability are keys to sustainment.

Initiatives included revised radiology ultrasound orders to reduce unwarranted lower leg scans, improved utilization and compliance with compression devices, reduced missed doses of medications that prevent blood clots, and enhanced screening of hospital transfer patients.

Quality of Care

Measure 2015 Targets 2015 Progress
30 Day Re-admission Rate 13% 13.5%

Patients expect and deserve world class individualized, appropriate and effective care to achieve the best possible outcomes. Cleveland Clinic has a comprehensive program to monitor, assess and improve the quality of patient care. In partnership with frontline caregivers, quality professionals improve clinical practices to affect outcomes that matter most to our patients. Content experts bring knowledge of regulatory, safety, investigation and prevention strategies, as well as performance improvement tools to frontline caregivers.

In addition, Cleveland Clinic supports transparent public reporting of healthcare quality data and participates in the following public reporting initiatives:

  • Joint Commission Performance Measurement Initiative
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Hospital Compare
  • Ohio Department of Health Service Reporting
  • National specialty society databases

Additionally, Cleveland Clinic promotes transparency through publication of annual Outcomes Books and sharing physician-level patient experience ratings on its public website

Standardizing Best Practices

Every caregiver is charged with continuously improving quality of care. Development and implementation of care paths has improved outcomes and care coordination while reducing unnecessary variations in clinical practice. These efficiencies continue to reduce the total cost of care.

Clostridium Difficile Reduction Success

Our challenge

Clostridium difficile (C. Difficile) is an important cause of infectious disease death in the United States. Prevention of hospital acquired C. difficile infection (CDI) requires multiple interventions including timely and judicious testing for disease, appropriate hand hygiene and isolation practice, and appropriate cleaning and disinfection of the hospital environment. Cleveland Clinic set an enterprise goal to help focus efforts to reduce CDI.

Our success

As a result of this project team’s work, CDI counts across the health system dropped 25%. To bolster CDI reduction efforts, Cleveland Clinic participated in a collaborative in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and the Joint Commission. The team focused on education and awareness, environmental cleaning, electronic clinical decision support, and hand hygiene.

Care Transformation

Cleveland Clinic is creating a model for the future of healthcare by focusing on access, quality and affordability. Our care paths, care coordination, distance health and patient-centered medical home programs are helping us transform our care.

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“The patient coming into the hospital should feel the touch of human kindness all through his treatment.”

Dr. John Phillips, Co-founder, Cleveland Clinic.

Patients First

Patient Welcome Guide:

Click here to view the new patient guide