Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas has a new Medical Chief of Staff.
Vascular surgeon Sunil Rayan was elected in January to the position, in which he will serve a three-year term.
The Encinitas resident will serve as the primary medical staff liason to the hospital's administrative leadership staff and Scripps Health's board of trustees.
Nearly one month in his new position, Rayan sat down with the Encinitas Advocate to discuss his goals as elected Chief of Staff at Scripps Encinitas.
What do you hope to achieve as Scripps Encinitas' new Medical Chief of Staff?
My goal is to achieve more collaboration between the various Scripps-affiliated doctors to deliver better care for our patients locally. We share a common goal of delivering the best health care to people in our community, and my goal is to break down any walls that prevent us from making that happen. Too often patients are routed to other facilities when we have the same or better care in our own outstanding community hospital.
What do you think you can bring to the table in this position?
I’m a surgeon. I have a surgeon mentality, I’m decisive. I’m action-oriented. As a result, I’ve been asked to lead various initiatives by various leaders and have accumulated a lot of experience. In the process, I have developed a strong rapport with the medical staff at Scripps Encinitas, which is critical for our initiatives to be successful.
What was the process like in getting elected to this position and how long did it take?
The way it works at Encinitas is that there is an election where the medical staff votes. Typically the existing leadership vets certain candidates and pick clinicians who are intelligent and respected and have a knack for management. If they are successful they move up. I did two medical directorships, not including vice chief of staff. For the past three years, I’ve shadowed and learned from the outgoing chief of staff (Scott Eisman, M.D.), who had a lot of experience and was really good.
How do you hope to benefit the Scripps patients and the Community of Encinitas in your new position?
Our goals are always patient safety and a good patient experience. That’s not something I can do by myself but my hope is that I can be an effective facilitator so that our patients can receive the best possible care.
What challenges do you take on in this new role?
There are many challenges that I see over the next three years of my term. We have ongoing efforts to reduce costs and we are focused, of course, on patient experience. But the number one challenge for the entire hospital currently is the successful implementation in April of our new electronic health record system, which is called EPIC. This will affect everyone: nurses, doctors, ancillary staff, the entire hospital. EPIC will help us ultimately deliver better, more coordinated care to our patients.
How did it feel to be elected?
I’m deeply honored to have been elected with the support of our medical staff and to serve the North County community.
Do you have any words about the outgoing Chief of Staff, Dr. Scott Eisman?
Dr. Eisman was an excellent chief of staff. It will be hard to follow in his footsteps. He served a record five years as chief of staff. He did an outstanding job. I have nothing but praise.