71: Wisdom from a Chief Clinical Officer
Meet Tom Balcezak, M.D., MPH:
Tom Balcezak, M.D., MPH is the Chief Medical Officer of Yale New Haven Hospital. Previously, he was the Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer for Yale New Haven Hospital. He has been with the organization for over 30 years. Dr. Balcezak is an internist and received his medical degree from the University of Connecticut, and his MPH from Yale University.
Dr. Balcezak provides insight into the position of Chief Clinical Officer, and the role it plays in the c-suite, strategy, and decision making.
- The Role: Chief Medical Officer. CMOs have the responsibilities of what historically has been a Chief Physician Executive. His direct reports include Chief Medical Officers and Chief Nurses, and he plays a role in quality, safety, accreditation, policy regulations, as well as pharmacy and supply chain. From a strategic perspective, Dr. Balcezak centers his decisions around the clinical needs of the patients and broader community. (6:50)
- Integration at Scale. Yale New Haven Hospital was able manage the large influx of patients during the pandemic due to the large size of the organization, combined with a high level on integration. The institution could pivot quickly due to system-wide standardizations related to EMRs, practice groups, and care protocols. (12:43)
- Staffing Shortages. America’s aging population combined with pandemic burn out is causing staffing shortages in healthcare. Additionally, Dr. Balcezak notes wage competition is occurring from parts of the economy that healthcare doesn’t normally compete with. Staffing will be one of the biggest challenges ahead given the person-intensive nature of healthcare. (25:57)