Innovative Thinking in Health Care
A Case Analysis of Mayo Clinic
MBA 700: Creative and Innovative Management
Dr. Michele Gee
University of Wisconsin- Parkside
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
More accessible communication between the patient and doctor
Faster internal and external collaboration
Increased security of data
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 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.
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
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)
esign 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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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Top 13 Healthcare Technology Innovations of 2018 – ReferralMD