Q&A: A Look At the Mayo Clinic Care Network At St. Clair Hospital

From caring for over 1 million patients a year to supporting advances in research and education, Mayo Clinic is well known across America for their status in the health care industry. Rated the #1 health system in the U.S., Mayo Clinic is celebrated for its culture of patient-focused care, as well as for its efforts to share its expertise with providers in order to improve the quality and delivery of health care to as many people as possible. It was that spirit of sharing that prompted the creation of the Mayo Clinic Care Network in 2011.

The Network has allowed like-minded hospitals to join Mayo Clinic as clinical collaborators for over five years now. By coming together and developing a close working relationship, hospitals and Mayo Clinic are uniting in the name of improving patient outcomes through high quality, evidence-based, medical and surgical care.

That same standard of care has long been a goal of St. Clair Hospital. As a result, in August 2016, St. Clair Hospital proudly joined the Network, making us one of the most recent high-performing organizations to join with Mayo Clinic. To this day, our status and work with Mayo Clinic remains unique in Western Pennsylvania.

As a result of this clinical collaboration, St. Clair’s patients now benefit from the combined capabilities of two teams of physicians: their own highly skilled St. Clair physicians and Mayo Clinic’s expert subspecialists. Using the various tools and services of the Network, St. Clair physicians now have rapid access to advanced expertise that can accelerate patient healing and recovery; bring life-changing treatment to a chronically ill patient; validate or re-define a diagnosis; or fine-tune clinical management to match the nuances of a complex disease.

Such a collaboration naturally led to questions amongst community members looking for additional information on how our two teams came together – and how it’s impacting patients. To help residents dive into the details of our collaboration with Mayo Clinic, St. Clair met with David L. Hayes, M.D., medical director of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, to discuss what St. Clair patients can expect from our work with the health system. The following are the highlights from that interview:

Q: What is the goal of Mayo Clinic Care Network?

A: The overall goal of Mayo Clinic Care Network is to establish relationships with regional health care organizations to enhance patient care in their communities. By working together — by extending Mayo Clinic knowledge and sharing expertise — we can make certain that patients get the right care at the right place and the right time. With the right physician. It’s about what’s best for the patient.

Q: Why did Mayo Clinic choose St. Clair for participation in the Network?

A: The Network seeks organizations that are like-minded and culturally similar. Before inviting a health care organization to join the Network, Mayo Clinic conducts a comprehensive evaluation based on a rigorous set of clinical excellence criteria: patient care, quality, safety and service efforts. Also, an exploration of the Hospital’s culture and values determines if the organization is philosophically compatible with Mayo Clinic, which places great emphasis on whole-person, patient-centered care. The bottom line is, the member organization is patient-centric and delivers high quality care. And we found all of that at St. Clair.

Q: How does St. Clair’s membership in the Network benefit St. Clair patients?

A: St. Clair patients benefit from this relationship because we are focused on enhancing the care experience through shared knowledge. In addition to the trusted care of their St. Clair physicians, patients will have access to Mayo Clinic expertise. This can help patients who are facing important medical decisions by giving them peace of mind. For example, if physicians want input on a complex case or another opinion to reassure their patients, they can request an electronic consultation from one of Mayo’s more than 4,000 physicians and scientists. The request is then scheduled with the most appropriate Mayo subspecialist. A review of pertinent records and a formal response can be completed in a matter of days and delivered to the requesting physician. All at no additional cost to the patient.

These are just the highlights of our informative Q&A session with Mayo Clinic’s medical director. A full interview with and a bio on David L. Hayes, M.D. is currently available to read in our Winter 2017 edition of HouseCall.

Readers who are interested in learning more about the resources available to St. Clair Hospital via the Mayo Clinic Care Network can also click here to read more interviews and details about the collaboration on our website!