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Mayo Clinic Model of Care – Quality and Team Work At the Forefront

Posted Aug 25 2009 5:55pm

We all heard the President mention Mayo Clinic being an example for the rest of the system to explore and see what they are doing right.  Much of the efficiencies revolve around Health IT, as mentioned below doctors can stay where they are and all collaborate without physically having to get in a car, or walk even within the facility to discuss a patient chart.  With electronic records they can all be looking at the same chart at the same time.

Duplication seems to also be a big point that has been addressed well, and even from a patient standpoint we all know what that can be about, having image the same test done over again as credible information when not stored digitally is not available.  Having information available doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out the benefits as I did that myself as an outside sale representative over 10 years ago with my first PDA, which at that time was not even a phone, as I had all my client information at my fingertips.  When clients asked questions regarding pricing or anything else relative to their account (and everything was unique and not the same) I reached in my purse and grabbed my PDA, while others doing the same job that I was doing had to borrow a phone (this was before all had cell phones) or leave the client’s office and walk out to their car to dig through paper files they lugged around in the trunk of their car.

Those same principles are used with patient chart information today, whether it is a desktop computer, a Tablet PC, or a PDA, it’s instant information and potential collaboration available immediately with electronic medical records.  In addition, this article speaks of compensation with physicians paid on a salary versus billing for each item or service provided.  If you have never seen the complicated system we have for billing, it is just that, complicated, I can attest for this as I do some billing.  Patients are also offered the ability to create their own Personal Health Records, information they can take with them to provide another hospital if cared for outside of the Mayo Clinic, again this could end up with less duplicated tests and a more informed medical staff at another facility and reduce the potential of errors. 

We are not going to cure the process overnight, but it certainly appears Mayo has a handle on working towards “what works” and this is why they gained the recognition for being a role model for the rest of healthcare to look at and learn from.  Time is also money, and as patients we benefit there too with having a medical staff up to date in real time as to our progress and future needs for treatment and/or surgical procedures.   This is the way we operate today, collaborating and all learning from each other.  BD

"We should ask why places like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and other institutions can offer the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm," Obama said in a letter to key Senate leaders in June. "We need to learn from their successes and replicate those best practices across our country."

If more hospitals operated this way - encouraging doctors to work together and paying them for the quality of care they provide rather than the quantity - health care in America would cost a lot less and produce better results, President Barack Obama says. He and other reform advocates have singled out the Mayo Clinic in recent months as a role model for other providers.

If they take Obama's advice, observers would learn that Mayo pays doctors a salary instead of having them rely on insurance reimbursements, a system that proponents say discourages unnecessary patient visits and tests. The Rochester, Minn.-based nonprofit also touts what it calls the "Mayo Clinic Model of Care," a team-based approach to medicine it has been fine-tuning for more than 100 years.

Doctors, for instance, don't have to drive across town or even hike between floors to discuss a course of action with a colleague. They can pull up a patient's record on the nearest computer and chat with the other doctor by phone.

Health Care Reform: Mayo Clinic earning praise | Jacksonville.com

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