Hospitals

Mayo Clinic center to promote best practices for health care delivery

The Mayo Clinic wants a lead role in helping the nation improve health care quality while lowering costs, and it continued to signal that ambition on Tuesday by announcing the launch of a new Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

The Mayo Clinic wants a lead role in helping the nation improve health care quality while lowering costs, and it continued to signal that ambition on Tuesday by announcing the launch of a new Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

The initiative will focus on identifying, creating and promoting best practices for delivering health care, with an initial focus on wellness and the prediction, prevention and management of chronic diseases.

At first the center will be primarily a two-person effort led by director Dr. Veronique Roger and administrator Mark Hayward, though plans call for ramping it up into a multimillion dollar initiative with presences at Mayo’s Minnesota, Florida and Arizona campuses, as well as within its Mayo Health System. Roger also oversees a department that does comparative effectiveness research, and Hayward leads an internal consulting group that works on systems and procedures.

“There’s no shortage of people trying to do these things. There’s a lot of good work going on out there. Often times, there’s not a consensus on what the best practice is,” Hayward said. “We hope to have a real systems focus. Not only an idea, but how do you actually make it work and make it be sustainable?”

To start, the center will look at existing data and try to identify providers or regions that demonstrate stronger outcomes and lower costs than their peers. Then, they’ll dig into that data for insights on what makes it successful, and hopefully translate those factors into systematic best practices.

“What are those really key aspects of how this was accomplished from a systems standpoint that allows this to happen, and then how do we begin to disseminate this information so it becomes a best practice at Mayo and across the country?” Hayward said.

The center’s launch stems from a recently completed strategic planning process at Mayo, in which the organization identified improving quality and lowering costs, as well as taking a national lead in those areas, as top priorities for the next decade.

“We don’t feel it’s enough to just do it within our system. We need to share that and work together to bring all of health care in the U.S. forward,” Hayward said. He compared it to the role that Mayo Clinic’s founding fathers took with developing and spreading best practices for surgery and preventing infection.

“It really revolutionized health care. They definitely made their practice stronger and the Mayo Clinic stronger but they were very intent on going everywhere and sharing what they learned with others and learning from others. I think that’s at the heart of what we’re trying to do: make Mayo’s practice better for our patients, but not stop there and go as far as we can to share that knowledge.”