John R. Nickens IV will direct the expansion of clinical operations at Baylor College of Medicine as chief operating officer.

As the chief operating officer, Nickens will be accountable for providing overall operational, financial and strategic leadership across all clinical areas. Specifically, Nickens will be responsible for all non-physician employees designated as clinical including a shared reporting structure of the Clinical Department Administrators.

Nickens reports directly to Dr. Stephen Spann, senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs. His responsibilities in this position started early this week.

A long-time employee of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Nickens most recently was the vice president of the Physician Services Organization at Texas Children's. In that role, he managed the physician revenue cycle and managed care contracting across the hospital's Integrated Delivery System.

Since beginning his career in 1990, he has served a total of 10 years with BCM and 10 years with Texas Children's in administrative roles.

As chief operating officer for clinical operations, he will oversee Development of Clinical Partnerships & Affiliation Agreements, Clinical Patient Revenue Cycle, Clinical Faculty Practice Structures, Patient Access, Ambulatory Services, Clinical Decision Support/Finance and Business Development/Marketing.

Priority number one for Nickens will be to improve the operational functions of the Faculty Group Practice, the adult clinical division at BCM. It includes all BCM physicians in adult private practice at the college. Spann is the chief executive officer of the Faculty Group Practice. BCM clinical department chairs and center directors, as well as four at-large members, serve as the board of directors. Ex-officio members of the board are the dean of clinical affairs, the chief medical officer of the Faculty Group Practice, the chief operating officer of the Faculty Group Practice and the president of the College.

In another action, the college has signed a short-term management services agreement with Texas Children's in which administrative experts at the hospital will assist the chief operating officer of clinical operations in the evaluation and implementation of systems to improve and expand operations.