Dr. John Merlino, MD

Chief Clinical Transformation Officer @ Cleveland Clinic

James Merlino, MD, is the Chief Experience Officer of the Cleveland Clinic health system, and is a practicing staff colorectal surgeon in the Digestive Disease Institute. He is also the founder and current president of the Association for Patient Experience. As a member of the Clinic’s executive team, he leads initiatives to improve the patient experience across the Cleveland Clinic Health System. In addition to his work in patient experience, he also leads efforts to improve physician-patient communication, and referring physician relations.

Partnering with key members of the Clinic leadership team, he helps to improve communication with physicians and employees, and to drive employee engagement strategies. Along with the Clinic CEO, he is co-chairperson of the Cleveland Clinic Diversity Council, and also sits on the professional affairs committee. He is a recognized world leader in the emerging field of patient experience.

Dr. Merlino believes that all employees are caregivers and partners in delivering great patient care to positively impact the patient experience. He believes the guiding principle of ‘Patients First’ requires more than world-class clinical care . . . it requires care that addresses every aspect of a patient’s encounter with Cleveland Clinic, including the patient’s physical comfort as well as educational, emotional and spiritual needs. Ultimately, he believes Patients First is about treating your patients the way you would want your family members to be treated.