Jefferson Surgical Solutions


As Jefferson Health has grown to include 14 acute-care hospitals, the system continues to make the strategic shift from “holding company” to “operating company.” The General Surgery service line – which includes all services within the Department of Surgery except for Cardiac, Thoracic, Transplant and Vascular – has made significant progress in the journey to a truly enterprise approach.

With the General Surgery service line formally established in October 2019, surgical leaders from across Jefferson Health have converged around shared strategic planning and clinical and operational support.

“Greater communication and transparency are critical when making a shift to an enterprise model. There is always more work to do, but we have made great progress,” says Charles J. Yeo, MD, who leads the service line in his capacity as Senior Vice President and Chair, Enterprise Surgery, Jefferson Health. Other General Surgery leaders include Mohammad I. Khan, MD, Vice Chair at Jefferson Health – Northeast, Orlando Kirton, MD, Vice Chair at Jefferson Health – Abington, Roy L. Sandau, DO, Vice Chair at Jefferson Health – New Jersey, and Francesco Palazzo, MD, Vice Chair at Jefferson Methodist Hospital.

As Vice President and Service Line Administrator Adam Messer explains, the Integrated Strategic Financial Planning (ISFP) process is serving as the formal process and mechanism to ensure that general surgeons are operating not as individual physicians or hospitals, but as an enterprise.

“For example, a surgeon from one of our hospitals may have a recommendation for a new surgical service, device or technique,” says Messer, who assumed administrative responsibility for the General Surgery service line last December. “We’re now evaluating such proposals at the enterprise level. Based on the idea’s merits, we may decide to put it on pause, or we may opt to deploy it across the service line.”

In addition to the ISFP, the General Surgery service line is working to create a series of Clinical Pathways (CPs) to establish consistency in surgical patient diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Each CP will outline the most appropriate, evidence-based standard of care that every Jefferson Health surgeon should follow when delivering a specific procedure.

“Think of Clinical Pathways as a guardrail around a particular clinical episode that ensure we have consistently good outcomes,” Messer says. “We want to use evidence and consensus to ensure that no matter who your surgeon is or where your surgery is performed, you’ll have the same type of care.”

Messer notes that the upcoming enterprise launch of the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system to include all Jefferson Health hospitals will be critical enabler for CPs.

“The 2021 launch of Epic will put everyone on the same integrated EMR from inpatient to outpatient and will be a foundational tool for developing CPs and establishing enterprise-wide standards of care,” Messer concludes.