Q&A with Milan Makelarski
The University of Chicago Medicine is less than one-month away from the opening of the Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park (CAC-OP), its largest off-site ambulatory facility. Teams have been working diligently to finalize all of the components that will allow the new center in the southwest suburb to open its doors on December 13.
Milan Makelarski, CAC-OP’s Director of Ambulatory Operations, took a moment to share some thoughts about the 108,000-square-foot outpatient medical center and its impact on UChicago Medicine’s growth and the Orland Park community.
Where did you previously work and what was your role?
My most recent role was with the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System working as a Director of Physician Practice for several primary and specialty care clinics. Prior to that, my health care experience included operations management, health care analytics and consulting, working with academic medical centers as well as medical group practices in community settings.
In your new role, what will be your responsibilities?
I am responsible for the operations of the Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park. Since I started this role in July, the team and I have been developing our operational framework to align with the detailed standard work to ensure we stay at the forefront of medicine and provide an exceptional patient experience. As we prepare for the opening of the facility and afterward, I will also be working on growth strategies that will include community outreach.
What skills do you bring that will impact the success of the Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park?
My experience has provided me an opportunity to develop a great skill set that combines finance and operations. Working as a front line staff member as well as leading various clinical teams, I understand what it will take to optimize the day-to-day operations while leading the center towards our long-term strategic goals. My emphasis will be to successfully transition the way we currently deliver care at our main campus into a community setting at Orland Park, ultimately staying at the forefront of medicine and providing an exceptional patient experience.
What do you think will distinguish the Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park from the competition?
While there are great health care providers in the area, UCM stands out in two ways:
• The clinical expertise that we will provide at Orland Park, supported by the best research and the latest and most innovative technology, will allow us to diagnose and treat some of the most complex diseases.
• The current facility layout along with our operational workflows will create a high efficiency, patient-centered environment. By partnering with our various clinical departments and operational excellence teams, we believe we will be leaders in patient experience.
What impact will this new facility have on UCM’s long-term growth strategy?
The clinical operations set for CAC-OP are not only important for UCM’s long-term growth but are also congruent with the latest trends and future predictions for the overall health care industry. At Orland Park we will provide primary and specialty care services, traditionally provided at large medical campuses, in a community setting, closer to patients homes and near their places of work. Nationwide, ambulatory services are expected to play a higher role as a part of the whole clinical care delivery model. This aligns well with our long-term growth strategy. This will allow us to continue to provide the highest quality of care while being increasingly efficient; the result will be continual grow with the flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing health care environment.
We are in the final construction phases of the CAC-OP. What is being worked on to prepare the space for its grand opening?
Currently, we are simultaneously working on activating the facility as well as operationalizing each clinical function to be ready for December 13, 2016. Multiple teams are finalizing the installation, testing, and commissioning of equipment. Meanwhile, other teams are adding the final touches related to operational workflows, patient throughput, and standard work practices.
How should patients feel when they visit the Center for Advanced Care at Orland Park?
Patients should feel that they received the highest quality of care. Patients should consistently experience nothing less than an exceptional patient experience comprised of compassion, teamwork and respect.
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