Joseph F. Scott, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jersey City Medical Center. Scott also was recently appointed as Executive Vice President of the Office of Health Care Transformation, RWJBarnabas Health.
You will continue with your CEO role while also leading the Office of Health Care Transformation at RWJBarnabas Health. Why did RWJBarnabas Health create this new position?
Jersey City Medical Center merged with Barnabas Health in 2014 and there also was the larger merger between Robert Wood Johnson Health System and Barnabas Health in 2016. There is a great deal of transformation that needs to happen for all the health care organizations to become aligned. Our mission, vision and values need to be consistent throughout the organization. My goal is to look at how we can merge our cultures. You want the same look, the same customer service, and the same patient experience throughout. That’s the key objective.
What are the goals of your new position and what does the system expect you to accomplish?
We started looking at our key strategic priorities. My job is to take those priorities throughout the system. It’s one thing to create system improvements — and another to implement them. Take the patient experience. If you look at Amazon One Click in the retail environment you see the customer can order a product in seconds. We want to apply some of those innovative retail concepts to health care. We want the consumer experience to be easy, simple and repeatable — and shared throughout the system. My goal is to understand some of the best practices within our hospitals and share those best practices throughout the system.
At the Quality Institute, we’ve been supporting physicians on practice transformation. What does practice transformation look like on a system level?
Right now in Jersey City we have a great deal of young people moving into the area. When they need a physician they turn to their smart phones and look up a doctor. Let’s say they need an orthopedist. They get reviews and ratings and then make an appointment by clicking on their phones. Transformation also means linking the physician-patient experience with our population health initiative to keep people healthy. And if they are admitted to the hospital, how can we work to make sure that after they are discharged they are not re-admitted?
Do you predict the changes on the national level after the recent election will affect the goal of transformation?
A major part of the Affordable Care Act was a strong focus on safety, quality and operational efficiency. As a result, health care in our nation has improved. Look at hospital acquired infections. The focus on infections improved the health of people who entered the hospital. The question now is whether there will be wholesale changes or whether parts of the ACA will remain. I know President Trump has said people can stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26. That was a key tenet of the ACA. We will have to see what policy changes are made.
When you are not working, or thinking or talking about health care — what else are you passionate about?
Well, I have six grandchildren, all under the age of five. I like nothing better than spending time with my grandchildren. And I love to travel and to play golf. We just got back from Machu Picchu. … I was just at my son’s house in Edison this weekend and I was with the family all day. When it was time to go the grandchildren said, ‘Papa don’t go.’ But that’s the great thing about being a grandparent. You can say, ‘It’s time for Papa to go home now.’