Improving on Excellence

Abstract:As hospitals focused increasingly on patient safety in the 1990s, the Mayo Clinic sought to improve its patient safety and care measures. The clinic's role as a destination provider, with patients traveling long distances for treatment, complicated efforts to improve. The quality team created a single framework, synthesized from several quality theories, for all the clinics, hospitals, and the school that make up the Mayo Clinic network. A transformation and improvement strategy was developed to give the best of Mayo in every interaction with patients. One key was broadening the definition of customer to include stakeholders beyond the patient. Knowledge management and communication issues were dealt with through a new system for capturing health outcomes information and sharing it across the clinic. Organizational culture changes dealt with the increased incidence of mistakes during handoffs and interruptions, and encouraged team members to be comfortable in reporting errors and misjudgments. …

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--Zeina Sharrouf, 07-12-2016



--, 04-28-2014



--, 04-28-2014


An well written & interesting article. Indepth explanation of the Improvement initiative. Compliments to the author.
--Dr Farah Deeba, 09-24-2013


Fantastic article! I am sharing this with as many people I can because this really hits the nail on the head. This is what our healthcare system needs more of, and The Mayo Clinic is doing it like a business. Rock on Mayo!
--Dave Wildner, 10-01-2012



--Cindy Connolly, 07-18-2012


This article is inspiring in more ways than one. When the driving forces of a company buy into a belief and support activities to proceed and succeed, that is when something concrete and substantial can manifest. I intend to use this case study to raise awareness. Thank you QP on another fine and extremely relevant article!
--Anisha Verma, 07-18-2012


This is a great article about a great institution. I have recently become a customer/patient of Mayo, and I can attest to the quality of their systems and concern for the patient. What impressed me most about the article was the description of how their system evolved and clearly was not "copied." As the late W. Edwards Deming emphasized, we need to understand why something works. While they are many key points in the article, I believe the point about overcoming a mindset explains why many organizations fail in their attempts at quality. The Mayo Clinic is a great example of understanding quality principles and living those principles.
--Ron Behrens, 07-15-2012


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