Rochester, Minnesota


MacLaughlin.Kathy@mayo.edu Clinical Profile


The research interests of Kathy L. MacLaughlin, M.D., are focused on improving rates of cervical cancer screening and guideline-consistent follow-up of abnormal Pap, human papillomavirus (HPV) and colposcopy biopsy results. Dr. MacLaughlin uses a clinical decision support system (CDSS) that pulls test results and historical patient data from the medical record and applies recommendations from national guidelines to each unique patient scenario, generating appropriate follow-up recommendations.

One of Dr. MacLaughlin's recent publications used the Rochester Epidemiology Project to assess cervical cancer screening trends over time and found overall low screening rates as well as disparities in screening by race that she hopes to address. Dr. MacLaughlin is also engaged in research to improve rates of HPV vaccination.

Focus areas

  • Applying CDSS to improve cervical cancer screening and management of abnormal results
  • Improving HPV vaccination rates
  • Analyzing patient beliefs and knowledge about updated guidelines related to pelvic examination, clinical breast examination and mammography

Significance to patient care

Cervical cancer screening and management guidelines are complex, which negatively impacts rates of appropriate follow-up of abnormal test results. Most women with cervical cancer have not had appropriate screening or follow-up of abnormal results. The goal of Dr. MacLaughlin's work is to apply a CDSS to the electronic medical record to generate point-of-care recommendations for clinicians, improving guideline compliance and patient outcomes. Her more recent work has focused on disparities in cervical cancer screening and on improving HPV vaccination rates to reduce HPV-attributable cancers in women and men.

Professional highlights

  • Co-investigator, Less Pain, Less Fuss, Right Now! and Make It Count! — Multilevel Interventions for Patient, Parent, and Practice to Enhance Provider Recommendations for HPV Vaccination, National Cancer Institute, 2018-2023
  • Population Health Science Scholar, Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, 2018-present
  • Co-investigator, Natural Language Processing (NLP)-Enabled Decision Support for Cervical Cancer Screening and Surveillance, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014-2016
  • Co-investigator, A Framework to Enhance Decision Support by Invoking NLP: Methods and Applications, National Institutes of Health, 2014-2015


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Department of Family Medicine

Academic Rank

  1. Associate Professor of Family Medicine


  1. Resident Methodist Hospital, Healthsystem Minnesota, University of Minnesota
  2. MD University of Minnesota Medical School
  3. School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Duluth
  4. BA - Philosophy Luther College

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