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MBA 700-Part 1

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Innovation in Medical Sector
Innovative Thinking in Health Care
A Case Analysis of Mayo Clinic
Chaitanya Chopde
MBA 700: Creative and Innovative Management
Dr. Michele Gee
University of Wisconsin- Parkside
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Introduction:
Innovations are open to every sector in relation to services and products. It is of utmost
importance to keep the services and products evolved so that people get more convenience in
using them. Innovation refers to any new invention or change in any existing product, service, or
idea. The industry of medical care is encouraging in having many innovations to create an
excellent health-care experience for its patients and to help them recover their health. As studies
have shown that recovering patients is directly related to the surrounding in which they are
treated.[2] Mayo Clinic intended to create similar innovations in the health care industry, and for
fulfilling the same, they started the Innovation Centre at their clinic.
Mayo Clinic is a medical center at Rochester, Minnesota. It was founded in 1889 by William
Mayo and his two sons. This was a nonprofit medical center, and thus, the surgeons and
physicians had a fixed salary.
Mayo Clinic founded a Centre of Innovation, to help innovate the health care experience that its
patients experienced while undergoing the treatment. They faced some challenges during the
early period after foundation.
LaRusso sponsored the Mayo Clinic for the foundation of a laboratory called SPARC with a
collaboration of IDEO, HGA, and Steel-case, which was designed to overlook these problems
and find a solution for it. It appointed various doctors who were also referred to as “Friends of
SPARC.” These doctors were allotted funding by a benefactor, which allowed them to hire
various design thinkers for smooth working. In this laboratory, physicians and the designers
worked together, but their thought process differed as physicians avoid taking risks because of
their traditional thinking, while designers tend to take risks and create various prototypes for
testing in the real world.
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The physicians were not ready to accept the changes that were suggested by the designers at the
early stages because they relied on data and proof. In these cases, there was a risk of failure as it
was an experiment, and the doctors were not convinced to adopt the ideas as they were not sure
about the experiments that would make their daily life simpler. To convince them about getting
on board with these ideas, the concept of ‘Rapid Prototyping’ was introduced to them. In this, the
changes were temporary and can be changed easily if the physician finds it not fulfilling their
needs.
Challenges Faced during establishment of SPARC:
1. The work at the back-admin offices of the clinic was increased, so the patients visiting
the clinic increased, and they had to maintain the records of their patients.
2. The doctors were facing a hard time because of the cost pressure by the Government, as
the insurance covered only 20 to 50 percent of the cost of treatment. The doctors had the
responsibility of keeping the patients, along with maintaining the quality of treatment
provided to them.
As time passed, everyone started accepting the ideas of SPARC and believed that it was made
for the betterment of their daily life. After the success of SPARC, LaRusso launched the Centre
of Innovation for Mayo Clinic in the Transform Symposium, which was a conference that was
sponsored by the Department of Medicine for culmination the efforts in education. In the Centre
of Innovation, there were five mediums which were selected depending on the suggestions that
were made by the physicians.
Structure of Centre of Innovation:
1. Mayo Clinic Connection: Through this medium, it was easy for the physicians to connect
with their patients and colleagues virtually to share their expertise whenever required.
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2. Prediction and Prevention: In this medium, the family medical history of the patients was
linked so that it can be predicted well before time about the possibilities of any chronic
diseases depending on the health of other family members of the individual.
3. Wellness Experience: This involved projects that were promoting health education and
healthy lifestyles. It was similar to Prediction and Prevention but consisted of projects to
educate people regarding the diseases.
4. Destination Mayo Clinic: This was for the patients who traveled for their treatment to
Rochester. For the convenience of these patients, the physicians planned out their
treatment in such a way that would be affordable for these visitors. For example, the
outpatient used to come to the clinic on Monday, and the surgery was performed on
Tuesday, so that the patient can get a discharge from the clinic and return on Thursday.
5. Culture and Competency of Innovation: The Centre of Innovation worked throughout
trying to make a connection with the classes of institution, through the lunch-time
discussion groups, and annual Transform Symposium, which was held on the topic of
Innovation in the delivery of Health care experience.
The physicians and the designers created these mediums to give a better health care experience
to the patients. It helped the clinic in gaining an emotional connect with their patients and gained
their trust in the clinic and with the doctors.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Advantages:

More accessible communication between the patient and doctor

Faster internal and external collaboration
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
Increased security of data
Disadvantages:

Technical errors can delay the medical procedure

Challenging to restore data if not backed up properly

Possibility of getting a virus or scam
The most significant risk of innovating communication and data systems in the health care
industry is getting hacked or getting scammed. To prevent this, precautions had to be taken.
Because one cannot eliminate the risk of getting hacked but can try to prevent it.
For this, firewalls were built so that no external source can access the data saved on the server of
the clinic. Another option for that was to save every data on a manual drive, which can be kept
safe in the premise of the clinic. In this drive, the data recorded would be updated daily by the
end of the day. This was a precautionary procedure from the possibility of cybersecurity
scamming.
Possible Challenges faced by Mayo Clinic in future:
a) The software that was created to store the data and provide virtual support to patient
could crash, resulting in the loss of data.
A probable solution for this challenge can be to adapt to Cloud Computing so that every detail
that was saved stays in the clinical server and does not get exposed to anywhere else. This would
also make it convenient for the physicians to access the data of the patients from any place.
b) Destination of Mayo Clinic medium is cost increasing for the clinic
Destination of Mayo Clinic was started to provide continence to the outpatients visiting the
medical center. It was designed in such a way that if a patient visits the clinic for any surgery, the
doctors tried to give discharge to the patient as soon as it was possible so they could travel back
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to their place soon, which was affordable for the patient as their cost of stay and meals were
saved in this situation. However, this phenomenon was a cost-increasing driver for the clinic as
the pressure of discharging the patients early increased the pressure of the surgeon who
performed the surgery, which could affect inefficiency.
c) Design thinking can be the best way to achieve successful results, but relying solely on
experiments can prove hazardous in the medical industry.
Design thinking focuses more on trial and error criteria, which is risky when the life of someone
can be at stake. So, design thinking in innovation was used only to create new mediums of
communication for ease of life of physicians or surgeons. Nevertheless, applying design thinking
in the fields like surgery is not possible.
d) The Department of Dermatology was not able to work to its full potential.
The doctors in the Dermatology Department were not able to perform to their full potential as
they had too much work for a single patient. Because of the same, they approached the Centre of
Innovation to find a solution to this problem. The solution that was found was to simply assign
the paperwork of the patient visiting the doctor to the nurses and clinical assistants. This helped
the physicians to work efficiently and treat almost double the patients that they visited earlier.
e) Lack of medium of spreading knowledge.
The Department of Endocrinology at Mayo Clinic was facing a problem of spreading awareness
about Diabetes to their patients. As a result of which, the patients were attracted towards the
drugs that were available in the market, which claimed to treat diabetes. To avoid this, Dr. Victor
Montori of Mayo Clinic approached the Centre of Innovation to find a solution to this problem.
As a result, the center of Innovation suggested the doctor to make cards in which all the
information about diabetes and the lifestyle changes required would be mentioned. These cards
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were then printed and distributed to the patients. Because of this, more people had knowledge
about the effects of taking drugs without the prescription of doctors and about the lifestyle they
should adapt to avoid diabetes.
Innovations that can be useful in health care:
i.
Surgery broadcast
This is an innovative way, where the medical students could learn about surgery without being
present in the surgery room and disturbing the surgeon. It is a better way of learning about
surgery as they can see everything the doctor is doing and make notes about the same if they had
any queries. This could be a better version of the current innovation of Exam Room redesigning
that was done in the Mayo Clinic.
ii.
3-D Models for Surgery
3-D printing the organs and then trying to operate those organs helped the doctors to get more
efficient in treating and performing surgeries when there is no risk of life at stake. This also
creates a confidence within the doctor, and they can give better quality of health care experience
to the patients. It can also help the surgeons to decrease the time of operation as they can try
innovative methods on the printed organs and practice if that would be beneficial to them. This
would help the surgeon to try the innovative methods of surgery, which can help them in
reducing the time taken for surgery without any life on risk, along with building confidence in
them for increasing the efficiency as well as the dedication of the doctors.
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iii.
Virtual educational seminars
Mayo Clinic is currently using e-Consults, which was a project of their Centre of Innovation.
However, Virtual seminars could be helpful for people who want to learn more about the
diseases and preventive measures but are not available to attend the seminar. So, by the mean of
virtual seminar, the patient or any person can watch the seminar from any place they are
comfortable in and ask any questions that they have about the topic. This turned out to be more
of an informative and interactive session between the panel of doctors and the community of
patients.
iv.
Centralized Monitoring System for patients
Centralized Monitoring Systems helps the physician to keep a watch of every patient that is
admitted in the clinic. This helped the doctor to reach to any patient at the time of emergency.
This also helps the clinic to maintain more patient’s health, even if excess staff is not available in
the clinic. This also increased the efficiency of the physicians as they don’t have to visit all their
patients now and then. They can utilize that time in treating more patients who would result in
increasing the quality of health care experience, which is the primary goal of Mayo Clinic.
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Bibliography
Bloom Creative. (2019). 5 Key Things That Make Mayo Clinic a Marketing Machine - Bloom
Creative.
“Design at Mayo.” Mayo Clinic: Design Thinking in Health Care | Cases Volume 10, June 29,
2016.
“Design at Mayo.” Challenges in Health Care Delivery | Cases Volume 10, June 29, 2016.
“Design at Mayo.” Transformative Innovation? | Cases Volume 10, June 29, 2016.
Geimer-Flanders, Jones. “Creating a Healing Environment: Rationale and Research Overview.”
Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. N.p.,02 Oct. 2018.
“Innovation.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/innovation#note-1
“Mayo Clinic CFI.” http://centerforinnovation.mayo.edu. Accessed November 16, 2019.
“Mayo Clinic CFI What We Do.” http://centerforinnovation.mayo.edu. Accessed November 16,
2019.
ReferralMD. (2019). Top 13 Healthcare Technology Innovations of 2018 – ReferralMD
https://getreferralmd.com/2018/01/future-healthcare-technology-advancements-2018/
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