Past Project Highlights

Health care delivery research conducted by the Arizona team of the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery has affected clinical practice in a number of ways, including:

iCORE — Improving tools to measure tumor response to treatment

Health care delivery researchers at Mayo Clinic continually seek to improve both medical outcomes and health care experiences for patients. In this project, the team examined tools and techniques used as standard practice in cancer care. They compared them to new tools developed by Mayo Clinic's Imaging Clinical Outcomes and Response Evaluation (iCORE) Laboratory.

Located on Mayo Clinic's campus in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, the iCORE Laboratory provides a comprehensive research imaging service, using both standardized techniques and assessment criteria and cutting-edge imaging biomarker discovery research and radiogenomic analysis.

The health care delivery research team found that by using standardized imaging procedures and advanced imaging analytic tools offered by the iCORE Laboratory, physicians improved their ability to measure tumor response to treatment. Moreover, advanced imaging analytics tools developed in the iCORE Laboratory could improve disease diagnosis and staging, paving the way for precision medicine approaches.

The team also identified ways to help patients and providers choose the clinical trial that is most likely to be effective.

The team used the iCORE Laboratory's workflow model — with appropriate imaging assessment and reporting tools — to show they could minimize radiology report variation, improve precision and decrease radiology report errors.

Telemedicine for acute stroke care

Stroke is one of the most significant health problems in the U.S., and with an aging population it is projected to continue to increase. To contain the devastating effects of stroke, it's important to have access to effective preventive therapy, early critical care and rehabilitation. Telemedicine applied to stroke care has been demonstrated to extend care providers' reach and improve the quality and timeliness of patient outcomes.

This health care delivery study highlights the importance of continued stroke team presence throughout the discharge process. The team recommended including a telemedicine consultation before discharge to ensure patients receiving remote care meet important pre-discharge quality metrics. This step has shown to improve post-stroke morbidity and mortality. Next steps include examining optimal post-emergency stroke telemedicine consultation delivery and reimbursement models.

More information about telemedicine for stroke is available in a Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery clinical practice brief (PDF).

Improving code blue team performance to save lives

According to the American Heart Association, each year nearly 210,000 people have cardiac arrest while in the hospital. People who experience cardiac arrest are at risk of dying if they don't receive rapid medical intervention.

In hospitals, teams are trained to respond to a code blue — a report of a patient in immediate need of resuscitation. Patients' survival rates after cardiac arrest can be linked to how well individuals work together in these teams.

In this project, the research team used principles of human factors science and patient safety techniques to identify teamwork strengths and weaknesses. Simulations of in-hospital cardiac arrest were conducted and video-recorded for review and discussion. The researchers then developed a new scale based on these observations and compared scale performance to existing tools to evaluate individual and team performance. The research team is now using the data they've collected to develop code blue team training modules that will further improve code blue performance.

Read the abstract.