In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

August 5, 2014

Lessons from the C-Suite … via the Advisory Board

By In the Loop

Global760When you say something like, “We want to serve 200 million patients,” that gets people's attention. So it's not surprising that since Mayo Clinic President and CEO John Noseworthy, M.D., has been saying that for a couple years now, the Advisory Board took notice. A recent edition of the group's Daily Briefings included an article titled, “Why Mayo Clinic's CEO wants to serve 200 million patients — and how he plans to do it.” Of course, he plans to do that with the help of all of us -- the 60,000-some staff equally committed to Mayo Clinic's success.

In an interview with Dr. Noseworthy, Eric Larsen, managing partner of the Advisory Board, explores Mayo Clinic's culture, strategy, serving those 200 million patients, health care costs and affordability, and more. The piece begins with what Dr. Noseworthy calls one of the “most pivotal moments” in his life -- his interaction with a Mayo physician who missed a dinner being held in his honor. “He missed his flight,” Dr. Noseworthy says, “and it was because he was with a patient.” That encounter spoke to the “the ethos and values of Mayo Clinic,” he says. And it wasn't a one-time thing. “It's exceptionally gratifying to be surrounded by people every day who believe in that purpose,” Dr. Noseworthy says.

On the topic of strategy, Dr. Noseworthy was asked about that “ambitious goal” of serving 200 million patients. The goal has “both a humanitarian and a business side,” he says. Mayo has often asked itself how it can share “what we know” and is often asked by others to expand to other locations. Instead, he says, Mayo is trying to spread its knowledge and create new connections. Dr. Noseworthy elaborated on how Mayo Clinic is making Mayo's knowledge and expertise available beyond its walls through the Mayo Clinic Care Network, which “allows patients to have access to Mayo knowledge, wherever they live in the world.” Network members, which now number 30, are “subscribing to our knowledge — care process models, order sets, patient education materials, and FAQs around thousands of medical conditions” and the connection with Mayo allows local physicians to draw on the knowledge of a broader team while caring for patients close to home.

On the topic of “unsustainable costs” in health care, Dr. Noseworthy pointed to Mayo's “investment in a new center for health care delivery" and its role as "the founding medical partner in Optum Labs." The partnership allows health care organizations to share quality, safety and other metrics, and can learn from each other. “That's what the partnership is all about,” he says. “This relationship with Optum will give us data on 150 million patients over a couple of decades … Think of what that data could tell us.”

Dr. Noseworthy tied things together noting that Mayo's focus on “the needs of the patient” requires the “union of forces” still today. “We have 60,000 staff members who are motivated by just one thing. They're motivated by what's good for patients.”

Give us some insight into what motivates you by sharing your comments below.

Tags: Center for Health Care Delivery, Dr. John Noseworthy, Optum Labs, Practice story

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