A combined team of engineers, physicians, nurses and other allied health members contributes to the Emergency Department Clinical Engineering Learning Laboratory (ED-CELL). Together they work to identify areas for process improvement and implement, test and refine solutions.

ED-CELL was the first Clinical Engineering Learning Laboratory at Mayo Clinic.

Areas of focus

Research in Mayo Clinic's ED-CELL centers on the following focus areas:

  • Improved safety and quality. The integration of a real-time location system using radiofrequency identification is an innovative way to collect data, linking the patient experience with staff and equipment integral to workflow. For staff, new tools with improved accuracy and better ways to share information improve efficiencies and communication, minimize administrative tasks, and reduce frustrations.
  • Faster equipment location. ED-CELL researchers are working to ensure that staff members in the emergency department can rapidly locate and deliver key equipment that is available in limited capacity throughout the department, thereby speeding time to diagnosis and treatment.
  • Timely care. ED-CELL is focused on helping the emergency department care team locate and alert needed health care providers when a patient is ready to be seen, helping to reducing length of stay in the emergency department.
  • Accurate information on status and location. ED-CELL innovations help emergency department staff members more accurately monitor patient location and status, eliminating unnecessary delays in care.


ED-CELL has several ongoing projects to improve the emergency department experience for patients and staff:

  • Boarding and following patients receiving mental health care. ED-CELL researchers have completed the first phase of a project studying circumstances in which patients remain in the emergency department after admission instead of being transferred to inpatient units (boarding). Specifically, the study looks at the boarding of patients admitted for mental health care. The investigators are implementing a software tool that addresses barriers to placement for easy and accurate capture of data.
  • Triage improvement. ED-CELL investigators are developing strategies to better connect the right patient with the right doctor at the right time.
  • Better staffing levels. ED-CELL is studying the optimal staff levels to reduce patient wait time and coordinate and balance staff workload.
  • Cause of interruptions. Research in this area involves investigating the causes of interruptions and developing strategies to reduce negative consequences.


Thomas R. Hellmich, M.D.

Kalyan S. Pasupathy, Ph.D.