The Hospital Experiences to Advance Goals and Outcomes Network (HEXAGON) platform surveyed Mayo Clinic hospitalists to discover which research skills they most value and want to develop or enhance.

In response to these unmet research needs, HEXAGON connects hospitalists with resources and training opportunities to develop, conduct and publish research that advances high-quality, evidence-based hospital care and improves patient outcomes. Programs provide hospitalists at Mayo Clinic and collaborating institutions with the research knowledge and skills that hospitalists have identified as most valuable.

Additionally, HEXAGON organizes research workshops and boot camps across Mayo Clinic through a combination of in-person modules, when possible, and online modules. These learning opportunities guide hospitalists in developing research products such as abstracts, posters and manuscripts to disseminate their findings.

Build research knowledge

In collaboration with Mayo Clinic's Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS), HEXAGON provides hospital-based medical professionals with opportunities to expand their knowledge about translating research into better patient care. Courses and programs include:

  • Fundamentals of Clinical and Translational Science (FunCaTS) online program. FunCaTS is a combination of 13 modules that provide the fundamental knowledge to promote understanding of the process of bringing discoveries to the bedside and then to the population. It is self-directed and self-paced, with modules that take 15 to 60 minutes to complete; the course can be completed in approximately five hours. Learn more on the CCaTS website.
  • Essentials of Clinical and Translational Science (ECaTS) online program. ECaTS builds on the FunCaTS course to provide foundational knowledge of research terminology, research methods and processes, clinical epidemiology, and biomedical statistics. It's self-directed and self-paced, with modules that take 15 to 60 minutes to complete; the course can be completed in approximately 30 hours. Learn more on the CCaTS website.
  • Microsoft Excel for data entry and analysis. Mayo Clinic offers several online courses to gain knowledge on how to use Excel effectively, including courses on Excel basics, charts, data analysis, and formulas and functions.

Conduct enhanced literature reviews

HEXAGON facilitates one-hour sessions — led by expert Mayo Clinic medical librarians — that provide instruction on how to conduct effective literature searches using standard web search engines such as PubMed.

Create reference libraries

HEXAGON provides installation help, training, guides and tutorials to enable hospitalists to use EndNote, a software package to manage and build bibliographies and references while writing manuscripts.

Develop research surveys

HEXAGON provides access to multiple tools for collecting quantitative and qualitative research data through surveys. These include:

  • Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap). REDCap is an online platform to capture data for research studies. REDCap is provided in a self-service fashion, but one-hour training sessions are available. There is no charge, account setup or special requirements to access REDCap.
  • Clinical surveys and questionnaires. At Mayo Clinic, the Patient Clinical Question Approval Committee oversees a variety of questionnaire types including pre-visit, pre-scheduling, post-visit, online visit and patient-reported outcome surveys and integrates data with Mayo Clinic's electronic health record system.
  • Mayo Clinic expertise. HEXAGON helps clinician-investigators find world-class research survey support across Mayo Clinic, including from groups such as the Survey Research Center and the Department of Health Sciences Research.

Strengthen scientific communication

HEXAGON connects hospitalists with resources and courses across Mayo Clinic that can help them more effectively write and present scientific proposals, papers and posters. These include:

  • Writing and Publishing High-Impact Research Manuscripts workshop. This annual CCaTS workshop focuses on how to publish original research manuscripts and can help increase research productivity and contribute to academic rank and promotion. Learn more on the websiteCCaTS.
  • Write Winning Grant Proposals workshop. Also from CCaTS, this annual workshop focuses on how to develop and prepare research grants for intramural and extramural funding opportunities. This workshop is offered annually at Mayo Clinic. Learn more on the websiteCCaTS.
  • Write an Abstract for a Nursing Poster or Presentation online module. This online, 15-minute tutorial provides nursing staff with information on writing an abstract to create a winning poster or presentation.
  • Develop an Effective Poster Presentation course. This two-hour class incorporates educational principles and elements of creativity to help nursing staff develop effective poster presentations.
  • Media Support Services resource. This free service helps Mayo Clinic employees design and develop figures and posters for research publications. The service is free for Mayo Clinic employees if 10 business days are provided to develop the product.
  • Scientific Publications resource. This free service helps Mayo Clinic employees edit scientific manuscripts. It offers full editorial services, medical editing services and copy editing services. Expedited services are provided at a fee.

Publish peer-reviewed research

HEXAGON helps hospitalists who are new to research find the most appropriate journals in which to publish research articles. It also helps identify opportunities for various types of articles, including case reports, review articles, research letters, commentaries and original articles.

Mayo Clinic librarians provide guidance on selecting reputable peer-reviewed journals. Researchers can contact HEXAGON for a list of journals appropriate to their research.

Advance academic careers

HEXAGON educates hospitalists about options for different types of scholarly activity, such as education, research, presentations, invention and commercialization, and other career opportunities. It provides information about the various levels of impact that they can make on their careers, their patients and their field through academic pursuits.

Additionally, HEXAGON provides Mayo Clinic staff members with information about the criteria and proposal process to gain academic rank at Mayo, with the goal of strengthening the clinic's three shields — research, education and practice — individually and collectively.