Jason Hirschhorn was curious. And skeptical. His friend Anne Sweeney, a member of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, had told him about the inner workings of Mayo Clinic's model of patient care. It seemed too good to be true. But if it was true, Jason wanted to know how, exactly, Mayo does what it does for patients every day. "Given some of my negative experiences in health care … I was very intrigued about the way Mayo does it," Jason, CEO of REDEF, an online news hub that creates "daily mixes of content across industries and laces them with pop culture nuggets," writes on his website. And it wasn't just Mayo's medical expertise that intrigued him. He was also curious about "the doctor-patient relationship."
Jason's curiosity led him to spend a week at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus this past February "in 15-below weather" (also known as a warm spell). Jason writes that on arrival, he was immediately "blown away" by his patient experience. "I had nine appointments in three days — covering all sorts of areas like cardiology, nutrition, integrative medicine and health, endocrinology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, dermatology and psychiatry," he writes. And that had him covering all sorts of ground. "This is literally a city. All connected by close to five miles of subways and skyways." Which, as anyone who lives in the Midwest knows, can be worth its weight in gold in February. "In freezing weather, I never stepped outside," Jason writes. "I wore shorts to every appointment."
His interactions with staff also gave him a warm feeling. "The doctors actually conferred with one another," he writes. "They looked me in the eye. They explained everything in detail. They answered my questions. They never rushed."
They also gave him a way to stay connected to his care. "On arrival, I was asked to install an app on my iPhone," Jason writes. "This connected me digitally to every doctor. Every appointment. A library of content on every area of health you could think of. … Every single lab result was in the app with detailed numbers on healthy ranges and where I was deficient or over."
The power and integration of that technology stayed with Jason through all of his appointments. "When the heart doctor wanted another lab on a specific protein, the lead physician just called the lab, where they still had samples and they ran it within the hour. No going back. Results posted in the app within hours," Jason writes. And he wasn't the only one looking at those results. Throughout his appointments, members of his care team kept up with what their colleagues were doing.
And that, Jason writes, is how health care should be for all. "When I saw the operations management, the layout of the floors for maximum efficiency, the app, the way the doctors dealt with me. All I could think of was this is how you do it. I thought of Amazon. It just worked," he writes. "Flying to Minnesota in February and then a 90-minute drive to Rochester is a small price to pay to be taken care of by people who know what they're doing and care."
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