About the Center

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

Mayo Clinic seeks to provide the best possible care for its patients every day. Part of the organization's ability to meet that goal stems from the research it conducts — in close alignment with the medical practice — to address the unmet needs of patients.

The center is highly focused on the science of care delivery, not simply on anecdotal evidence. Using innovative pilot projects, novel methodologies and patient-centered approaches, and robust data mining and management technology, the center seeks to discover new ways to improve health and the way people experience health care.

Combining data analysis, health care engineering principles and advanced simulations, center researchers rigorously test theories, models and methods to determine if these innovations can improve patient care, outcomes and cost. Their goal is to translate discoveries into evidence-based, actionable treatments, processes and procedures.

Finally, as new knowledge is generated and potential improvements are identified, the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery works with health care providers to apply this new knowledge in the practice to improve care for Mayo patients and patients everywhere.

In 2017, the center merged with Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation and the newly established Center for Translational Informatics and Knowledge Management. Led by Associate Dean for Practice Transformation Andrew H. Limper, M.D., a pulmonary specialist and medical researcher at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, the expanded center brings together and expands Mayo's extensive efforts in health care delivery research; clinical informatics, systems engineering and health information technology; and value, quality and policy analysis.

Transformational research at the heart of best practice

The charge of the expanded Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery is to transform clinical practice by developing, analyzing and rapidly diffusing innovative solutions to deliver high-value care.

Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation fuses design principles with the scientific method to discover and address human needs in the health care environment. The team uses proven and imaginative design methods, including ethnographic and observational techniques, visualization, prototyping, sketching, storytelling, and brainstorming.

Together with patients, health care providers and other researchers, innovation team members apply empathy, creativity and systems thinking with a human-centered focus. The complement of design allows the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery to think beyond what normally occurs in health care and serve as a translator for ideas and possibilities.

Within the Center for Translational Informatics and Knowledge Management, the most advanced information and knowledge management techniques, combined with innovative technology, are translated to address patients' needs and the needs of all those whose health and well-being are touched by Mayo Clinic. The translational informatics and knowledge management team also provides oversight for the robust infrastructure necessary to drive curation, storage and sophisticated delivery to clinical practice.

The center includes three focused research programs looking for ways to improve patient care while lowering costs: the Care Experience Program, the Population Health Science Program and the Surgical Outcomes Program.

Its Health Care Systems Engineering Program seeks to solve complex health care issues using engineering principles. Research in this area has led to improvements in patient and care provider safety. It has also improved efficiency and access to care, and has resulted in increases in both patient and staff satisfaction.

The center is also home to the Office of Health Care Practice and Policy, a focused resource for Mayo Clinic to leverage its unique assets in value and quality measurement, risk adjustment, economic analyses, and alternative payment models to inform the national conversation on health care reform.

Other overarching services link the center and other Mayo researchers to research-enhancing resources, including knowledge synthesis, economic evaluation and clinical informatics.

Further, the center's education program works to advance the understanding and application of health care delivery science within Mayo Clinic and beyond. It seeks to nurture health care delivery scientists who conduct research that propels innovation in clinical practice.

Mayo's unique depth and breadth of resources and history

The Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery is particularly unique is its ability to draw on a breadth and depth of resources and expertise across Mayo Clinic to translate ideas and findings into real-world applications.

With Mayo's culture of teamwork and collaboration, new models of health care delivery move from the earliest stages of research and discovery, through rigorous testing and refinement, and into routine patient care more rapidly than anywhere else.

The center builds on Mayo's strong history of taking a scientific approach to health care delivery. Since the early 1900s, Mayo Clinic has been finding innovative ways to make medical practice more efficient and effective.

Dr. Henry S. Plummer, one of Mayo's first doctors, is credited with developing several concepts that today are commonplace at medical facilities around the world, such as a single, unified medical record for each patient.

Within the center, every project is inspired by real-world challenges experienced by patients at Mayo Clinic and elsewhere. The foundation of the center's work is an unwavering commitment to creating a high-quality, affordable, seamless patient experience.