UAE - Health & Education
CEO, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
Dr. Jorge Guzman is the CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD). He oversees Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s strategy and operations of 5,300 caregivers and continues to serve as a consultant and staff physician in the hospital’s Critical Care Institute. During his tenure, CCAD has grown the number of patients served by 20%. Dr. Guzman is a long-standing healthcare steward with 15+ years at Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, he was Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s vice president of Regional Hospital Medical Operations.
Dr. Jorge Guzman, CEO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, talks to TBY.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi ranks among the top-10 hospitals in the GCC, providing an excellent experience to patients in more than 50 specialties. What is the center’s strategy to provide the highest quality and most interactive care?
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is a physician-led organization driven by the core philosophy of patients first. We take pride in our commitment to excellence and being recognized as the best place for patients to receive care, and the best place to work in healthcare. The hospital’s mission is to provide compassionate and complex care, research health, and educate those who serve. As one of the UAE’s most trusted healthcare facilities our world-class hospital is renowned for being a center of excellence for critical and complex care and has brought the care model of Cleveland Clinic in the U.S. so that patients in the UAE do not have to travel overseas to receive care. Every day starts with a safety huddle, an organization-wide meeting of clinical and non-clinical caregivers who review the highlights of our clinical and safety protocols and procedures from the previous day, prioritizing safety events and patient experience, and ensuring the right actions are put in place moving forward. This exercise demonstrates our emphasis on being a high reliability organization that ensures we provide the highest standard of care to our patients. We take pride in being recognized by local authorities and globally renowned healthcare accreditation bodies for deploying the highest standards in quality excellence, patient care, research and education. Our commitment to the highest standards has seen Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi been recognized as the top hospital in the UAE and Gulf region, and one of the top 250 global hospitals in Newsweek’s ‘World’s Best Hospitals’ 2023 list.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has an Education and Research Department. What have been some of its key achievements and statistics over the last year?
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is focused on leading healthcare education through the development of robust, competency-based education and professional development programs with a focus on undergraduate and graduate medical education, Continuing Medical Education (CME) and clinical research. Over time, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi recognized the need to understand the challenges of the UAE’s population to provide effective care. Research and clinical trials specific to the UAE and region have been fundamental in the development and evaluation of new treatments, interventions, and technologies. Our educational efforts promote best practices in the delivery of patient-centered care. We identify and compare key findings of conditions in the UAE to those around the world. For example, we were able to identify that patients in the UAE presented with heart disease at an earlier age and more advanced stage, and similarly, also observed with cancer, which has led us to work closely with local authorities and stakeholders on key population projects. Today, we have enrolled more than 100 subjects in research trials and are proud to have opened the new Fatima bint Mubarak Center, which is the first-of-its-kind, integrated and stand-alone dedicated cancer facility in the country and marks a significant milestone for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. The center gives us an opportunity to not only serve cancer patients but also bring much-needed clinical trials for those who have failed standard therapies. By providing access to such trials, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has more than 40,000 items of state-of-the-art medical equipment. To what extent has technology such as AI and robotics enhanced the accuracy and excellence of the center’s procedures?
As a top healthcare provider, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi recognizes that advanced technology including Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotics will continue to play a critical role in healthcare by enabling more accurate diagnoses, personalized treatments, and better patient outcomes. We are aligned with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi’s mission to drive the future of the healthcare sector by bringing in the very latest technology and position Abu Dhabi as an innovation hub in life sciences. For example, in terms of advanced technology, the Fatima bint Mubarak Center has state-of-the-art equipment and developments that are unique to the region. We have a linear accelerator that delivers radiation therapy, one of a few in the region. It is also the first one in the Cleveland Clinic network in the world. The device delivers adaptive radiotherapy using an A.I. program to detect tissue movement on an almost dynamic basis and shrink the tumor with a beam of radiation. The center also has a robot that automates the preparation of pharmaceutical infusions, enhancing safety and minimizing potential exposure to hazardous agents. It is also the only robot of its kind in this part of the world. Another example of our focus on technology is the adoption of ARTIS Icono, the most advanced stroke interventional system in the region, which incorporates 2D and 3D imaging with AI. This new system makes the process of neuro-thrombectomy much faster and more precise, which will help save more lives. Robotics allow us to perform complex and minimally invasive procedures, while A.I. algorithms allow us to safely identify the patients who might benefit from early discharge, streamline processes, and prevent readmissions, which is a concern in healthcare. These technologies related to data and A.I. analyze vast amounts of data, detecting patterns and trends that assist in medical decision-making, increasing efficiencies and reducing costs, allowing us as healthcare providers to focus on proactive care by freeing up human resources for tasks that require a personal touch, which ultimately helps transform the healthcare industry.
What are Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s goals as it celebrated its eighth anniversary this year?
We have set two main goals for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi for the coming years. The first is to establish itself as a premier destination for complex care in the region and not only in the UAE. The second goal is to become a leader in precision medicine, where in the future, medical care will be personalized based on the patient’s biology, genes, lifestyle, and environment. The hospital wants to be at the forefront of this field and take advantage of the ecosystem in Abu Dhabi, which includes the Genome Emirati Program that allows for genome sequencing of a large number of Emirati patients. This is something that not many countries in the world can claim. In addition, the hospital aims to continue to lead and develop collaborations with various stakeholders in the community and the country, which will help us to achieve these ambitions in the coming years. The hospital’s focus is to expand its complex care services in areas such as cancer, heart care, stroke, and complex gastrointestinal procedures and build on its position as the only multi-organ transplant center in the country.
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