The Secret to Better Business

By: Dr. Laura McNeil, Master Examiner & Chair, Examination Committee, Florida Sterling Council

Senior Vice President, Citigroup

I am proud to write about my friend, a Sterling role model leader and Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Dr. Gustavo Fernandez, MD, MBA. Dr. Fernandez is the Chief Medical Officer for the Ambulatory Department at Uhealth – University of Miami.  This organization’s more than 120 outpatient clinics (Hospital and Non-Hospital based) and annual revenues of $2 billion can offer organizations many key lessons and best practices in performance and process improvement.

The UHealth system provides care for more than:

  • 1.1 million annual outpatient visits,
  • 2.6 million annual call center transactions and
  • hundreds of ambulatory referrals and electronic medical record in-basket messages a day.

To pull these services off successfully, Gustavo supports the functions of:

  • 1,300 physicians,
  • 1,958 credentialed staff and
  • 33 medical directors.

What makes Gustavo unique is that he realizes that diagnosis, prescription and treatment are not the only key critical services for providing optimal care to each of these patients. He and the team embrace the fact that the manner in which UHealth patients receive healthcare services is critical to ensuring a successful outcome of their care. His passion for purpose has transposed into more than 20 publications and abstracts, a number of role model awards, and five years of Florida Sterling leadership that highlight his unwavering focus on hardwiring healthcare service excellence.

He inspired his team to adopt Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) to produce amazing results that include:

  • Decreasing denied charges for chemotherapy patients by a total of $100 Million over the last 4 years.
  • Decreasing the time to receive antibiotics in neutropenic fever patients from more than 90 minutes to nearly 30 minutes.
  • Decreasing turn-around time for patient blood transfusions from a six-hour process to only two hours.

It is through leaders like Gustavo that I am consistently convinced of the transformational power of cultural linkage and strategic alignment that Sterling-founded organizations experience. Gustavo is a role model who known for his firm handshake combined with his consistent greeting, “How may I help you?” He espouses the Sterling process in practice. The fun, excitement and progressive improvements of these organizations are reflective of teams that find satisfaction working together to accomplish shared goals. Please reach out to Sterling if you are an organization who is interested in what the Sterling process offers. We are ready to bring results!

Dr. Laura Jekabsons McNeil is a 17-year Master Examiner for the Florida Sterling Council, Graduate Faculty for the University of Phoenix for the past 16 years and an SVP at Citigroup.