How Cleveland Clinic Upskilled Staff Amid COVID Crisis

August 1, 2023
 minute read
 minute audio

Thousands of healthcare workers at hospitals across the country were laid off in 2020, as healthcare facilities struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden decline in most patient cases. 

Not the Cleveland Clinic’s Euclid Hospital.

“One thing that the organization did do, which is unbelievably commendable, is no one got laid off,” COO Leonard Stepp said. “If you got sent home, you got paid. And no one took a pay cut, no benefits, nothing. It was unbelievable.”

The Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit American academic medical center based in Cleveland, Ohio. Their reach is national with 66,000 employees across the entire healthcare system. 

Stepp spoke to Health Carousel recently about the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic and how healthcare teams like his scrambled to make quick changes. 

“One thing the organization did a really nice job of is that they looked at their pool of resources and their employees and said: ‘We're going to upskill,’” Stepp said. 

Surgeons were taught how to manage basic medical patients, and respiratory therapists were taught how to support the medical-surgical floors. 

Other caregivers were sent to major facilities across the USA to help during COVID-19 surges. 

In the interview, Stepp dived into more detail about how the Cleveland Clinic trained staff on new skills, as well as what worked well to communicate with healthcare staff during rapidly evolving situations. 

Listen to the exclusive interview below, or read the transcript here

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