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Mission Imperatives

Mission Imperatives

Internist Redonda G. Miller made headlines this summer as she became The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s 11th president. Miller, a 28-year veteran of Johns Hopkins, succeeded Ronald R. Peterson, who remains president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The first woman to hold the post since the hospital was founded in 1889, Miller previously served as senior vice president of medical affairs for the Johns Hopkins Health System and vice president of medical affairs for The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“It’s a fantastic job,” she says of the presidency, in large part because of employees across the system. “It’s not only the drive for excellence, because many institutions have a similar philosophy. It’s the collegiality and collaborative atmosphere in which that drive occurs that sets us apart.”

Miller first came to Johns Hopkins as a medical student and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She served as an assistant chief of service in 1996 and the following year joined the school of medicine faculty as an assistant professor of medicine. Miller earned her M.B.A. from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 2004. In 2006, she was promoted to associate professor. During her tenure, Miller has served in positions including associate program director of the Osler Medical Residency Training Program, assistant dean for student affairs for the school of medicine and vice chair of clinical operations for the Department of Medicine.      

As part of her charge, Miller is overseeing Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Mission Imperatives for this fiscal year—a push to position the organization to achieve sustainable operational and financial success in the changing health care environment.

“The purpose behind the Mission Imperatives was to try to be thoughtful and strategic in how we could improve our underlying financial performance,” Miller says. “With the constraints of how we’re paid in Maryland, the global budget revenue system, it’s incumbent on hospitals to manage their expenses very closely.”

Rather than follow tradition and institute large-scale cuts across departments, management teams sat down and came up with initiatives to realize $50 million in savings through performance improvement efforts in several areas: increasing capacity and improving throughput for all patients, using the most appropriate venues of care, increasing the number of out-of-state and international patients, improving quality of care, benchmarking expenses, and identifying opportunities to improve the margin through revenue enhancement or cost efficiencies.

For example, one effort in the venue of care area is moving some routine screening colonoscopies for healthy patients from The Johns Hopkins Hospital to its ambulatory care site in White Marsh, Maryland, says Claro Pio Roda, senior finance director for Johns Hopkins Medicine, who serves as the Mission Imperatives executive. Besides being less costly, the procedures have quicker turnaround times. Patients can avoid driving downtown and take advantage of free parking. Plans are underway to add additional off-site locations.

In a similar effort, Pio Roda says, some simple cataract procedures will be moved from the Wilmer Eye Institute on the main campus to the outpatient site at Green Spring Station in Lutherville, Maryland.

Miller’s additional priorities include improving the patient experience: “Being a patient nowadays can be tough. It can be difficult to keep all the testing and various appointments straight.” She wants to help patients navigate their own care, optimize their experience during their hospital stay and ensure they are discharged with a sense of understanding about their diseases. She also wants to work on valuing “our most precious resource—our employees,” as well as balancing the hospital’s dual roles as a community hospital for East Baltimore and as an innovative academic medical center that pushes the boundaries of medicine.

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