Arizona Team

The mission of the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery is to use data-driven science to improve the quality, safety and value of health care and create better patient experiences — the science of best practice.

Areas of focus

At Mayo Clinic's campus in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, health care delivery researchers operationalize the center's mission by focusing on three main guiding principles:

  • Supporting strong science for immediate impact on clinical practice
  • Collaborating across Mayo Clinic and with other scientific partners, including Arizona State University
  • Providing education and competitively awarded funding opportunities within Mayo Clinic to advance the science of health care delivery

The Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery's Arizona team includes a scientific review panel, made up of faculty members who are methodologically trained in various domains of health care delivery science. Their areas of expertise include:

  • Secondary database analysis
  • Comparative effectiveness research
  • Bioinformatics
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Precision-medicine
  • Research in patient safety
  • Quality of care
  • Surgical outcomes
  • Health services research

Scientific review panel members reflect a cross section of Mayo Clinic's clinical practice and research enterprise in Arizona. Many members currently hold, or have held, extramural federal funding in health care delivery science. The scientific review panel provides peer review of all research project applications to ensure the highest quality of science and potential impact for clinical practice.


A comprehensive model of care for patients with low back pain

This 12-month study examines models of care to ensure that patients in the Phoenix area with low back pain see the right Mayo Clinic provider at the right time.

The research team seeks to identify areas of bottleneck, weakness and vulnerability. Opportunities for improving patient flow are modeled using industrial and manufacturing engineering principles. The team then compares proposed alternative models with usual care, with regard to clinical, patient satisfaction and economic outcomes. Team members will also conduct an evaluation of the financial and other returns on investment before systemwide implementation of potential changes.

CORE — Improving tools to measure tumor response to treatment

Researchers are studying outcomes and end-user satisfaction associated with an imaging Clinical Outcomes and Response Evaluation (CORE) lab.

The CORE lab uses a novel segmentation algorithm to improve standardized radiologic measurement of tumor response to treatment. The new tool allows for more efficient and accurate measurement of tumor response to cancer treatment, allowing patients and providers to make more-informed decisions about treatment plans.

During the funding period, the team is further refining the novel segmentation algorithms used to assess tumor size and growth after therapy. This will allow a much more precise understanding of what an individual patient's cancer is doing in response to a particular therapy.

Past project highlights

Read about previous projects conducted by the Arizona team of the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery


Neena S. Abraham, M.D.

Karen Dobbins, M.B.A.