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President Obama's Visit to Cleveland Clinic Provides Look at High-Quality, Cost-Effective Healthcare Delivery Model

Tour Includes Demonstration of Robotically Assisted Heart Valve Repair

CLEVELAND, July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, President Barack Obama visited Cleveland Clinic for an inside look at its model of healthcare, how it utilizes health information technology, and a demonstration in the operating room. The visit gave the president a sense of how the Clinic provides patients with cost-effective, high-quality clinical results.

The president's tour included a presentation on the Clinic's health information technology (HIT) initiatives and a demonstration of robotically assisted heart valve repair that speeds up patients' recovery time and decreases cost.

"We are honored to have President Obama at the Cleveland Clinic today to observe our patient-centered system that delivers high-quality care to patients while controlling costs," said Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. "We strongly believe that our focus on quality, efficiency, wellness and prevention combined with clinical innovation and health information technology positions Cleveland Clinic as a leader in healthcare and a model for the future."

President Obama's visit included a demonstration of robotically assisted mitral valve repair. This minimally invasive technique is an example of how Cleveland Clinic - ranked No. 1 for heart care for 15 straight years by U.S. News & World Report - provides outstanding outcomes at lower costs. Compared with valve replacement, mitral valve repair provides better long-term survival, lower risk of complications, and usually avoids the need for long-term use of blood thinners.

Cleveland Clinic has performed about 500 robotic heart surgeries - more than any facility in the country - with 0 percent hospital mortality and 99 percent success. Robotic valve repair results in shorter hospital stays and costs less when compared with non-robotic valve repair.

Innovation at Cleveland Clinic doesn't just happen in the clinical setting. Health information technology pilot projects with Microsoft HealthVault and Google Health let patients better communicate with physicians and access electronic medical records (EMR). More than 202,000 Cleveland Clinic patients are using MyChart, which allows them to securely manage prescriptions and appointments online, as well as receive test results and important preventive health reminders and recommendations.

"Cleveland Clinic is developing health information technology that gives patients the power to better manage their healthcare," said Cleveland Clinic Chief Information Officer C. Martin Harris, M.D., M.B.A., a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Information Technology Standards Committee. "We're focused on helping lead the nation toward a comprehensive electronic medical records system that will reduce medical errors, improve quality and lower costs."

The unique integrated delivery system at Cleveland Clinic begins with the organization of medical specialties under 26 patient-centered, multidisciplinary institutes dedicated to treating organ systems and diseases. This model aligns physician-based surgery and medicine departments into integrated, collaborative teams that put the needs of the patient first.

As the world's second-largest group practice, Cleveland Clinic's physicians are paid a salary only. There are no bonuses or other financial incentives for the number procedures performed or the number of patients seen. Every physician has a one-year contract and renewal is based upon the results of an annual performance review.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2008, there were 3.3 million visits to Cleveland Clinic and 50,465 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. Cleveland Clinic's Web address is

SOURCE Cleveland Clinic
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