Dr. Stephen Klasko thinks digital health key to erasing disparities

Dr. Stephen Klasko sometimes sends a playlist to the workers at Jefferson Well being and Thomas Jefferson College on Fridays in his weekly letters.

This week, the tune suggestions got here a day early, timed to coincide with Klasko’s announcement of his retirement as president of the college and CEO of the Philadelphia-based well being system.

“Goodbye Do not Imply I am Gone” by Carole King rounded out Thursday’s playlist from the departing CEO, who will formally retire Dec. 31 however will stay on as a particular advisor to the Jefferson board of trustees via July 2022.

Klasko did not count on to go away the system for a couple of extra years however he beat his personal timeline for undertaking a few of his main targets at Jefferson Well being, he informed Trendy Healthcare Thursday. Throughout his tenure, he landed massive donations for medical buildings, oversaw mergers and acquisitions and led the system into digital healthcare, launching its telehealth service JeffConnect in 2014.

Klasko’s subsequent step will contain ” how this digital transformation of healthcare can begin to scale back well being equities,” he mentioned.

“What Jefferson has been capable of do below my management is turn into a 197-year-old educational middle pondering like a startup firm. And albeit, I’ve turn into a little bit of a unicorn as a horse whisperer between the move-fast-and-break-things world and the standard healthcare ecosystem,” Klasko mentioned. “That is not a nasty solution to spend eight years.”

As he displays on his time on the helm of the system, Klasko mentioned he’s most happy with how Jefferson responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. From its “no holds barred” strategy to maintaining individuals protected, to not laying or furloughing staff and to easing visitation restrictions for these on the finish of their life so nobody must die alone, Jefferson made some daring choices to get via the previous yr and a half, he mentioned.

The outgoing CEO mentioned he will likely be “laser centered” on Jefferson via Dec. 31 and hopes to finish the system’s acquisition of well being insurer HealthPartners Plans by November. That deal would propel Jefferson to roughly $8.1 billion in annual income, up from its present $6.7 billion, the system mentioned.

After that, he desires to discover a solution to take the work he is accomplished at Jefferson to make the system a nimble life-saving establishment to the nationwide scale.

“How will we get educational medical facilities collectively together with Silicon Valley of us to essentially begin to transfer inhabitants well being, predictive analytics, social determinants, philosophic issues, to the mainstream of scientific care fee fashions and medical training. That is going to be my ardour,” Klasko mentioned.

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