Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

July 28, 2015

Collaborations – The Key to Advancing Research

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

The Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery applies innovative science and data to evaluate the quality, safety and value of health care globally and improve real-world experiences for patients. Sounds good, but it’s not easy, and it’s not something the small cadre of individuals listed under ‘faculty’ on our website can accomplish on their own.

Rather, these individuals, and many more within the center collaborate with other people at Mayo Clinic, and other organizations around the world to find answers to the difficult questions that exist in health care today.

The science of health care delivery focuses on how patients actually receive care. From using engineering principles to determine the most efficient way to schedule patient appointments to research focusing on the most successful, cost-effective means for delivering treatment, this discipline's aim is to enhance the patient's experience with health care by improving quality, outcomes and cost. Researchers, engineers, IT experts, nurses, physicians, administrators and more must come together to make this happen, and at the Kern Center wCSHCDe are doing just that.

We go beyond the walls of Mayo Clinic in collaborations across the globe, to fill gaps in expertise, to partner with others with similar research foci, and to obtain the synergy that comes from having a diverse team. Our most robust external collaborative activities within the center include:

  • Arizona State University – the center’s growing relationship with ASU has added to a long history of Mayo-ASU collaborations. We focus not only on facilitating cutting edge research, but also training the next generation of clinician scientists. The research emerging from this collaboration includes some prime examples of accelerating translation of science to practice and enhanced patient experience. Further, ASU students in the School for the Science of Health Care Delivery conduct their capstone ‘internship’ at Mayo Clinic’s Scottsdale, Arizona, campus.
  • manyhands_3139223_0016High Value Healthcare Collaborative – Mayo Clinic is a founding member of the High Value Healthcare Collaborative, a consortium of 17 healthcare delivery systems and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, whose mission is to improve healthcare value – defined as quality and outcomes over costs, across time – for its service population (more than 70 million patients across the United States), in a sustainable manner, while serving as a model for national healthcare reform. The primary foci of the HVHC has been to work together to improve care for patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure, or sepsis, and patients considering surgery for their hip, knee, or spine pain. Goals of the HVHC are to improve care, improve health, and reduce costs by identifying and accelerating widespread adoption of best-practice care models and innovative value-based payment models.
  • Karolinska Institutet – the center has a number of developing collaborations with the Karolinksa Institutet, also a long-standing relationship at Mayo Clinic. As one of the premier medical universities in Europe, KI brings unmatched expertise to our research collaborations. Mayo and KI have established research grant opportunities that fund collaborative projects, and we also are able to ‘match make,’ funding travel for researchers to meet, share ideas and identify the best ways to make joint projects work across an ocean and many time zones. In the last two years we have also added a delivery science track at our annual joint Mayo-KI conference, and Dr. Jörgen Nordenström will be a plenary speaker at Delivery Science Summit 2015.
  • OptumLabs™ – Mayo Clinic is a founding partner in OptumLabs™, a collaborative research organization that connects vast amounts of clinical, payer and consumer data; innovative analytic tools and leading health care researchers and innovators to make discoveries and deliver solutions that improve patient care and patient value. This relationship was built through the center, and has growing impact across Mayo Clinic, as researchers are able to make connections and mine the claims and clinical data of some 150 million, and 40+ million patients respectively, identifying best practices and making strides towards more personalized medicine. For example, in a 2015 publication of research using the Optum Labs Data Warehouse, we were able to determine an age at which one medication was safer than another, and the age (10 years later) when this balance flipped (Read news release).

Just a broad brush over our collaborations, but the theme running throughout is our continued efforts to find the best ways to enhance patient experience, improve population health, and increase the value of the care we provide to our patients. In short, to make things better for patients everywhere.



Scott Kaese is the administrator for the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.


Tags: About, Arizona State University, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, OptumLabs

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