The Depth of Expertise at UH

UH Clinical Update - 2019

By Cliff Megerian, MD
President, UH Physician Network and System Institutes

In the daily practice of medicine, there is not much time to become intimately familiar with all the specialties and areas of expertise that we have at University Hospitals. But we all can continually learn about our system by keeping our patients within it.

A system like ours, with an academic medical center and community hospitals that span a large geographic region, is certain to offer so many specialties and sub-specialties, not to mention constant innovation, that it would be logistically impossible to keep up with them all. Doctors are busy, and no one expects a physician who is practicing and doing their notes and taking care of day-to-day needs of their patients, to be necessarily on top of every clinical trial and every advancement.

Certainly, we do our best to let all our clinicians know about our offerings, our breakthroughs, our research studies. We do this through our monthly Clinical Update newsletter (which you opened up if you are reading this), the Salernitana newsletter of physician achievement, the stories on the UH Digital Workplace and its “For CIinicians” section, and our Annual Report, to mention the best-known resources. And if you miss a story in Clinical Update or on the DWP, both have archives and a search function so you’ll always be able to find them.

But there’s a simpler, faster way to know the answer if your patient or someone else asks you if we have a particular specialty. You can safely assume the answer is yes. This is not hyperbole: there is almost nothing in terms of high-tech or high-end clinical care that is not being provided at UH. We have treatments and services that no one else in our region provides – and that only a few medical centers in the country do.

And when you refer patients within our system, besides all the obvious upsides of being able to keep up with their treatment, you will find out how they are treated by a specialist or sub-specialist.  There’s no better way to learn about even the rarest sub-specialties than by hearing afterward from the patient who was referred to it and benefited from it.

You may not know that we actually do more heart catheterizations than our major competitor – 17,000 to their 14,000. We also lead in non-open heart surgery mitral valve replacement, and non-open heart surgery aortic valve replacements. If your patients undergo these procedures, you will see how we are working on the cutting edge of cardiology in the UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute.

If your patient has a particular type of brain tumor, we offer proton-beam therapy – the first hospital in Ohio to offer it. We also lead the country in offering the newest treatment paradigm in cancer therapy – immunotherapy. Patients with refractory leukemia are being offered a therapy called CAR-T, in which we cultivate and manipulate their own T-cells to attack the cancer.

To stay on top of all that we do at UH, take a leap of faith. There is nothing we aren’t doing here and in fact we are leading the country in many areas. If you take that leap of faith and get your patient to the specialist, whether it be for cardiology or cancer or radiation therapy, or a thousand other treatments, by definition that group will be able to guide your patient to the highest echelons of treatment we have.

I hear you loud and clear. It is very difficult for a physician to completely keep abreast of the totality of the unbelievable advances that we offer at this health system. It may not be known by someone who works in this health system, but if you measure ingenuity, research, rigor and translational improvement through discovery in grants from NIH, which is perhaps the most rigorous judge of worthy research, UH is in the top 10 of hospitals in the U.S. That is a measure of our discovery and ingenuity.

The NIH grant portfolio is a bellweather of innovation, translation and intellectual horsepower, from a science of medicine standpoint. 

We have therapies that no one else has, not only in cardiology and cancer, but in every specialty. When you refer a patient, even to a front-door specialty, and that patient finds the therapies they need here, you will learn even more about what we offer.

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