Executive Perspectives in Healthcare – Mike Keating

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Lead Cincinnati sat down with some of the most powerful hospital executives in the region for wide-ranging discussions about the present and future of healthcare.

Below, we speak with Mike Keating, president and CEO of The Christ Hospital. You can find our conversation with Dr. Richard Lofgren, president and CEO of UC Health, here

Check back on Thursday for the final piece with St. Elizabeth Healthcare's Garren Colvin, executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Gary Blank, senior vice president, chief of patient services and chief nursing officer.  


For more than 125 years The Christ Hospital has been dedicated to providing excellent care to the community. From its humble beginnings in 1889 as a 10-bed hospital to what is now an extensive network of physicians and healthcare providers, working in more than 100 locations throughout Greater Cincinnati, The Christ Hospital continues to be at the forefront of medical advances.

In 2012 Mike Keating became President and CEO of The Christ Hospital. Under Keating’s leadership The Christ Hospital Health Network continues to grow. 


LEAD Cincinnati: How does The Christ Hospital’s healthcare model differ from the other systems in town?

Mike Keating: Our mission is entirely focused on creating patient value and improving the health of the community, and we approach our mission in three ways. First, by providing the best outcomes. Second, by providing the best patient experiences. And third, by doing both in an affordable way. This was the enduring vision of our founder James Gamble back in 1889.

Over the years The Christ Hospital has been recognized in a number of ways relative to our mission. We have been recognized as the most preferred provider for 19 consecutive years by National Research Corporation (Consumer’s Choice), have been ranked as one of the top 50 hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, have been ranked in the top five percent in patient experience by Press Ganey, and have been ranked in the top six percent for nursing excellence as by recognized by Magnet.

I am most proud of and thankful to our talented and dedicated staff of physicians, nursing and other professionals for driving this clinical excellence.

LC: With this model why is it important for The Christ Hospital to continue to expand and move into different markets?

MK: We have a hub and spoke model for delivering care to our patients. We have an acute care hospital located in Mt. Auburn, which is surrounded by ambulatory centers and primary care offices throughout the region. On the Red Bank corridor we have ambulatory centers, physician offices, testing centers and surgery centers. And, we have ambulatory centers and physician offices and testing centers located in Northern Kentucky, Anderson, Green Township and this spring in Montgomery. We hope to significantly expand our presence in Northern Kentucky and Liberty Township in the coming years to respond to patient needs and convenient access.

LC: How has the Affordable Care Act affected your institution and how do you see it doing so in the future?

MK: The Affordable Care Act has affected healthcare in a number of ways. First, it has challenged the industry to move from fee-for-service to fee-for-value, so we will be rewarded for providing the quality of care rather than for the volume of services. Second, the industry is more intensively focused on the value proposition. That is, producing better clinical outcomes at a lower cost. As employees and consumers assume more of the responsibility for their healthcare expenses, they will more closely scrutinize the quality and cost of their care. We welcome that approach, as it is most consistent with our mission of creating patient value by providing the best outcome, the finest patient experience in the most affordable way.

LC: How does The Christ Hospital plan on attracting patients not only from the Midwest but also across the nation?

MK: Currently, we attract patients throughout the Midwest and more recently nationally. The Affordable Care Act has caused everyone in healthcare to better manage their costs. So, The Christ Hospital has developed some innovative approaches. We have approached General Electric and other employers with a bundled product for knees, hips and spinal procedures for a fixed cost and with no out of pocket costs to their employees. This bundling program allows employers and employees to better manage their healthcare costs moving forward. It has been extremely well received and is attracting patients from across the country. In the fall, we will open a joint and spine center on the Mt. Auburn campus to accommodate the increased patient volumes and to provide an unique patient experience. The center will be the first and only center of its kind in the region providing comprehensive orthopaedic and spine care, sports medicine, rehabilitation, clinical research, and education in one facility.

LC: How is The Christ Hospital using recent trends in technology to revolutionize patients approach to healthcare?

MK: We have been a pioneer in a number of ways over the years. We were the first hospital to admit a female physician back in 1902. In 1962, we opened the first intensive care unit in the region. We performed the first ceramic hip replacement in the U.S. in 1982. Dr. Fred Kahn performed the first lumbar disc replacement in the region. The first cobalt chromium stent procedure in the world, which changed therapy for heart disease worldwide, was performed here by Dr. Dean Kereiakes. In 2011, we performed the first aortic valve replacement in the region without open heart surgery. This year, we will be one of the few hospitals nationally to have a dedicated joint and spine center for knee, hip and spine procedures and rehab. And we will move into telehealth whereby patients will be able to access and communicate with their physicians and other clinicians through their computers and mobile devices.

LC: What technology has The Christ Hospital recently introduced?

MK: We have introduced two cutting edge technologies that are most interesting and will further differentiate our clinical excellence. We are the first in the region to offer early stage breast cancer patients with intra-operative radiation therapy (IORT) where specialists are able to use a balloon with an X-ray tube in the center of it, to deliver a concentrated dose of radiation therapy to the breast tissue immediately adjacent to the surgical bed – the area at highest risk for recurrence. With IORT treatment at the time of surgery, the patient often is able to avoid weeks of external beam radiation treatments and minimize radiation to healthy tissue and organs that could be damaged using other techniques.

Another new technology is the Edge which allows us to transform cancer care in the region with a powerful new alternative to traditional surgery. The Christ Hospital Cancer Center is the first in the Tristate, and one of only six in the country, to have the Edge full-body stereotactic radiosurgery system for high-precision radiosurgery. The Edge surpasses the capabilities of Cyberknife and Gamma Knife by more quickly and accurately targeting difficult-to-treat and residual tumors anywhere in the body. It’s motion management system allows the machine to detects the body’s movements in order to decrease radiation to healthy tissue and organs that may be damaged using other techniques.

Utilizing either of these innovative technologies means less travel, fewer missed days of work, less disruption to daily living and less anxiety for our patients with cancer.