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Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog

July 22nd, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Save the Date: Arizona Health Equity Conference to Take Place Oct. 20

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

AZ Health Equality ConfJoin us October 20, in Phoenix, at the 2016 Arizona Health Equity Conference.

A statewide event in its third year, the conference will highlight health equity research, practice and policy efforts taking place in Arizona. Mayo Clinic is the lead organizer and sponsor of the conference, which enables attendees to facilitate innovative collaborations.

The theme of the conference is "Building Bridges: Connecting Communities in Research, Practice and Policy."

Attendees include physicians, nurses, researchers, clinicians, public health professionals, community health workers and social workers.

Proposals for presentations and posters can be submitted through Aug. 12. All presentations and posters must be related to health equity to be [...]

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Tags: Arizona, health disparity, health equity

July 5th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

The July Phenomenon

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

july“Never go to the hospital in July,” a phrase often repeated by patients; and perpetuated by a myriad of hospital employees, casts a worrisome tone over care received in July. Thus we hear of the “July Phenomenon.”training

This is because each July 1 is the start of the medical residency year. A day full of mixed emotions:  excitement, splendor, fear, stress, and accomplishment; it is the very environment that many clinicians thrive in. It also starts the period that some people fear can be very distracting for new doctors, and possibly even dangerous for their patients.

These new doctors, or trainees, care for their first [...]

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Tags: cornelius thiels, intern, july phenomenon, kern center, medical research, resident, surgical outcomes

June 24th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Mayo Clinic at AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

The Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery has a booth (#211) at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting June 25-28 in Boston.  If you happen to be there, stop by for a visit. You'll be able to learn more about all kinds of health services research going on at Mayo Clinic, although this year much of the conversation will revolve around epidemiology and population health.

We'll be sharing some information about the Rochester Epidemiology Project too, which is celebrating 50 years of continuous National Institutes of Health funding this year. Lots of potential research projects in this unique national resource, which has led to more [...]

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Tags: #ARM16, AcademyHealth, kern center, Science of health care delivery

June 16th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) – 50 Years and Still Going Strong

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

REP-Magnet no gridlinesIt has been 50 years since Leonard Kurland, M.D., successfully obtained funding from the National Institutes of Health to start the regional collaboration and medical records-linkage system known as the Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP).

This unique national resource was made possible because of the collegial relations of the health care providers in Rochester, Minnesota, at the time. The initial medical records and the data sharing and data mining capabilities were established by the Mayo brothers as part of their pioneering idea of a group practice and their shared education mindset. Henry Plummer, M.D., Mabel Root, and Joseph Berkson, M.D., icons of Mayo Clinic history, led [...]

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June 15th, 2016 · 1 Comment

2016 Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Named — The next generation of health care delivery clinical researchers

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

The Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery is pleased to welcome four new scholars to the Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Program.


Elizabeth Lorenz, M.D. – Nephrology and Hypertension

  • Research Focus:  Health outcomes after transplant
  • Mentorship Team:  Andrea Cheville, M.D.; David Eton, Ph.D.; Kathleen Yost, Ph.D.; Brooks Edwards, M.D.; Andrew Rule, M.D.
  • Read more about Dr. Lorenz.

Oliver Tobin, M.B.,B.Ch., BAO, Ph.D. – Neurology

  • Research Focus:  Multiple sclerosis and telemedicine
  • Mentorship Team:  Andrea Cheville, M.D.; Joan Griffin, Ph.D.; Susan Hallbeck, Ph.D.; Claudia Lucchinetti, M.D.
  • Read more about Dr. Tobin.

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Tags: CSHCD, Elizabeth Lorenz, kern center, Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars, Kern Scholars, Michael Wilson, Oliver Tobin, Rahma Warsame

June 7th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Talks Research at BIO Conference

By Bob Nellis bobnellis

The Minnesota Pavilion at BIO 2016

The Minnesota Pavilion at BIO 2016

From Taiwan to Texas, anyone who has anything to do with biosciences is here in San Francisco to hear speakers, attend education sessions, but mostly to network and make contacts for business and research. Mayo Clinic is here along with Destination Medical Center in Minnesota to talk about our research activities and make a major announcement later today. Mayo's research centers are represented in the Minnesota Pavilion at the conference and by several of our scientists and leaders.

We are spreading the word about Mayo being the NIH’s pick for the national biobank . It was announced [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, Destination Medical Center, Individualized Medicine, mayo clinic, Mayo research

May 31st, 2016 · Leave a Comment

We’ll bet on Dr. Ansell anytime

By Bob Nellis bobnellis

AnsellOn May 17, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to nivolumab (Opdivo®) for the treatment of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) that has relapsed or progressed after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Nivolumab also received a breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of relapsed or refractory cHL after failure of autologous HSCT and brentuximab vedotin. Nivolumab also has orphan drug status for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma under FDA's accelerated approval program.

Much of the credit for these achievements is due to the work of Stephen Ansell, M.D., Ph.D. of Mayo Clinic. Dr. Ansell led a multi-institution phase I clinical trial of nivolumab which found the immune-boosting drug [...]

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Tags: Hodgkin lymphoma, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, research, Stephen Ansell

May 3rd, 2016 · 5 Comments


By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Determining which drug works better for which patients

"Our findings definitely point toward important age-related risk that merits consideration when doctors are making treatment recommendations," says lead author Neena S. Abraham, M.D.

To the average TV viewer, it may seem like new drugs flood the marketplace daily.However, from the 1950s until just recently, warfarin was the only available anticoagulant drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent blood clotting. One of the most common reasons people take an anticoagulant is to reduce stroke and heart attack risk related to atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow. [...]

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Tags: anticoagulant, atrial fibrillation, dabigatran, medical research, Neena Abraham, rivaroxaban, warfarin

April 12th, 2016 · 3 Comments

A Head Start for HPV Vaccine: Better Series Completion

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

HPVHPV infographic

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), with about 14 million new cases each year.

Surprisingly, this STD is largely asymptomatic but can carry quite a punch.  HPV affects both men and women and can cause cervical cancer and other cancers of the genitals, anus, mouth, and throat, all of which can lead to severe disease, disability, infertility or death.

There are currently three different licensed vaccine options for use in girls and boys that protect against and prevent HPV, and using these vaccines routinely could potentially prevent 70% - 90% of cervical [...]

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Tags: HPV, Human Papillomavirus, Jennifer St Sauver, kern center, Lila Finney Rutten, REP, Robert Jacobson, Rochester Epidemiology Project, Science of health care delivery

March 31st, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Although Prostate-specific Antigen Screenings Now Result in Fewer Biopsies, Relative Risk of Complications has Increased

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

mss_522405While absolute rates of biopsy and post-biopsy complications have decreased following several benchmark prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening publications, the relative risk for each patient continues to increase, according to a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers.

The study is the largest to examine the impact of PSA screening trials and revised PSA screening guidelines on rates of prostate biopsy and the first to examine their impact on post-biopsy complications. The results, which appear in European Urology, suggest a need to reduce the harm associated with biopsy.

Read the full news release.


Tags: Boris Gershman, Choose Wisely, Jeffrey Karnes, kern center, OtumLabs, Prostate Cancer, prostate cancer biopsy, prostate-specific antigen PSA, Science of health care delivery

March 30th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

New Deputy Director for Practice named — Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

dowdy2Sean C. Dowdy, M.D., has been appointed Deputy Director for Practice in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

Dr. Dowdy is also the Division Chair, Gynecologic Surgery within the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. He has a long track record of studying innovation and process improvements in the surgical environment.

Building on Mayo Clinic's more than 100 years of experience in applying scientific and engineering principles to health care delivery, the Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery is transforming the way that patients everywhere receive and experience health care.

The center is highly focused [...]

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Tags: kern center, Science of health care delivery

March 15th, 2016 · 1 Comment

New Treatment-Sequencing Based on Biomarker Elevation in Pancreatic Cancer

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

pancreasPancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in men and women and is projected to increase to the second leading cause of death by 2020 if there are not significant treatment advances made.

Our current understanding of pancreatic cancer suggests that it is a systemic disease in most patients, meaning, that by the time of usual diagnosis metastasis or spread of the cancer has already occurred, even if imaging studies are normal.  This aggressive nature of pancreatic cancer highlights the need for innovative treatment or diagnostic options for patients to improve survival.


Mark Truty, M.D., Surgical Oncologist

A study done by [...]

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Tags: biomarkers, Elizabeth Habermann, kern center, Mark Truty, pancreatic cancer, treatment-sequencing, John Jay Bergquist

March 3rd, 2016 · 1 Comment

Changes in Medical Education: Shifting Doctors' Attitudes in Medicine

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

Medical school training and admissions are going through many changes.  The medical school entrance exam (Medical College Admission Test or MCAT) is one of the notable changes.   For many years, the test focused on objective knowledge based on general chemistry and stoichiometry, organic chemistry.

compassionThe test made a drastic change in 2015 decreasing the questions regarding general chemistry, physics, biology and verbal skills.  In place of the more traditional questions, the test creators added questions in the domains of psychology and sociology.

This shift in the entrance exam reflects that it is becoming more important that clinicians are able to engage patients in empathic and collaborative ways.  It advances the notion that [...]

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Tags: Brian Lynch, kern center, Kern Scholars, Mayo Medical School, obesity, population health, Sean Phelan, unconscious bias

February 23rd, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Taking the First Step - Tracking Discharge Delays

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

The national conversation continues to revolve around health care and improvements in health care delivery, and often focuses on finding ways to add value and reduce cost.

At Mayo Clinic, we too seek to enhance health and the way patients experience health care. Nurses are at the front line of patient care, and positioned such, we are able to understand problems and identify solutions from a unique perspective.

My colleagues and I have taken on one of these problems – discharge delays.dischargeplanning3136064_0001

Delayed hospital discharges is a prevalent topic in research literature (see PUBMED list) and have been a cause of concern for decades. However, true understanding and methods for [...]

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Tags: Diane Holland, discharge delays, Journal of Nursing Care Quality, Nursing, nursing research, redcap, Science of health care delivery

February 19th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Madonna Living Community Series Update: Clinomics – New Frontiers in Patient Care

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Mayo Clinic's three transformational centers - the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, the Center for Regenerative Medicine, and the Center for Individualized Medicine collaborate with the Madonna Living Community to offer a bi-monthly speaker series in which Mayo Clinic speakers share their research on topics relevant to both residents and the surrounding community.

Individualized Medicine ClinicOn Thursday, February 18, Dr. Eric Wieben spoke about Clinomics: New Frontiers in Patient Care to an audience at Madonna's Sister Generose Auditorium.

Dr. Wieben started his talk by defining clinomics as the study of –omics data along with its associated clinical data. He then focused on illustrating to the audience [...]

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Tags: clinomics, DNA, Eric Wieben, genome, Madonna Living Communities

February 16th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic to Host National Science of Team Science Conference

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Mayo Clinic is pleased to serve as the host institution for the 2016 Science of Team Science Conference.

With leadership from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a national planning committee, the conference will bring together scientists engaged in team-based research, institutional leaders who promote collaborative research, policy makers and federal agency representatives. The conference will take place May 16–19, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Phoenix.


Abstracts are being sought for oral papers, lightning round presentations, panel presentations, and scientific posters. The deadline to submit abstracts is February 26.

Science of Team Science
The Science of [...]

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Tags: abstracts, Mayo Clinic research, medical research, National Institutes of Health, nih, SciTS, team science

February 9th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Improving the State of the World: The Global Conversation on Health Care Delivery

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

Leaders from around the world converge annually to take part in global conversations at the World Economic Forum (WEF).  “Improving the state of the world,” lies at the heart of their mission, which they met to discuss in late health

Notably, John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic President and CEO, and, Sylvia Burwell, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary were both in attendance, championing health and health care delivery.  Also in attendance and contributing to the conversation were, other top private sector moguls and government officials including, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, and Canadian [...]

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Tags: health care delivery, Jeff Bolton, John Noseworthy, Jon Ebbert, Lindsey Philpot, payment reform, Rob Nesse, Sarah Meier, Science of health care delivery, Sylvia Burwell, Veronique Roger, World Economic Forum

February 5th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Reducing patient wait time and improving staff satisfaction in the Emergency Department

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

 ED-CELL_VT3409990v10-7Emergency Department Clinical Engineering Learning Laboratory: Engineering better experiences for Emergency Department patients, employees

“I saw 21 patients today, and it’s now 5 p.m. There are only seven in the waiting room, despite an afternoon that saw peak registrations of 21 per hour,” said Eric Boie, M.D., Emergency Medicine, one recent Monday evening. “I can’t help but think what this Monday would have looked like before [the Emergency Department Clinical Engineering Learning Laboratory]. Clearly ... [there would be] patients waiting and many leaving without being seen.”

Health Care Systems Engineering is one of the programs in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the [...]

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Tags: ED CELL, Emergency Department, health care systems engineering, kern center, learning laboratory, living lab, process improvement, Science of health care delivery, smart staffing

January 28th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Marketing: Markets vs. Regulation Seminar

By delivery delivery

The cost of medications is becoming a major threat to patients seeking treatment for disease, and the problem appears to be growing. What role a free market system and competition should play in a commercial area regulated by government regulation including patents is difficult to gauge. Patients and advocacy groups are calling for more awareness of the rising prices of important drugs for cancer and other life threatening conditions.

Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University have a strong and growing collaborative relationship surrounding the shared desire to improve health and the way patients experience health care. That collaboration most recently led to a seminar to address issues on pharmaceutical pricing and marketing, bringing together experts from across the [...]

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Tags: Arizona, cost of care, cost of health care, health care delivery, pharmacy, Rafael Fonseca

January 26th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Resolutions for the New Year, HVHC 2.0

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

hvhc2It’s that time of year when we all make resolutions for the New Year.  We all strive to better ourselves: our mind, our body, our spirit.  Refocus and refresh.  Health care collaboratives seem to be no different, but rather than focusing on the individual, they are focused on bettering the lives of all patients.

Recently, the High Value Healthcare Collaborative (HVHC) repurposed the old and rang in the new HVHC 2.0. Founding member and current executive committee member Rob Nesse, M.D., says “it represents a return to our roots.”

Mayo Clinic, in conjunction with 17 other similar health care institutions across the country, including The Dartmouth Institute [...]

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Tags: high value health care, High Value Healthcare Collaborative, HVHC, Jim Naessens, Jon Ebbert, kern center, Lindsey Philpot, Nilay Shah, Rob Nesse

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