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St. Elizabeth Healthcare celebrates five years of participation in Mayo Clinic Care Network

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NKyTribune staff

Representatives from the Mayo Clinic met with officials from St. Elizabeth Healthcare this week as the five-year anniversary of St. E’s participation in the Mayo Clinic Care Network nears.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare CEO Garren Colvin, Dr. Mark Larson, medical director Midwest region, Mayo Clinic Care Network and Dr. Robert Prichard, CEO St. Elizabeth Physicians were among those who met at SETEC this week (photo by Mark Hansel)

The meetings, which took place at the St. Elizabeth Training and Education Center (SETEC) in Erlanger, provided an opportunities for representatives to gauge the improvements in care that have come about as a result of the collaboration.

“We are pleased to celebrate this milestone with St. Elizabeth Healthcare,” says Mark Larson, M.D., medical director Midwest region, Mayo Clinic Care Network. “We are honored to be a resource that contributes to the excellent patient care provided by St. Elizabeth providers, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with this dedicated group.”

Shared expertise and increased information are just two of the advantages St. Elizabeth gains from its participation in the Mayo Clinic Care Network, said Dr. Royce Calhoun, director of thoracic surgery at St. Elizabeth.

“Participation in the Mayo Clinic Care Network provides St. Elizabeth with resources and expertise that allow us to deliver a higher quality medical product for our patients,” said Dr. Calhoun.”

St. Elizabeth Healthcare joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network in January 2013, after becoming the first healthcare system in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana to pass the rigorous review process required to become a member of the group.

Lawson said the five-year benchmark is a great time to celebrate an affiliation that has helped demonstrate that collaboration is good, and more of it is that much better.

A family in Williamstown describes how collaboration between St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Mayo Clinic allows patient to avoid surgery, expense (click to enlarge).

“It really was an experiment about six years ago – could we build formal relationships with high-quality organizations around the country and we were thrilled when St. E came on board,” Dr. Lawson said. “There was kind of a long courtship process to get to know each other. It was apparent that the quality of the administrative team, the providers at St. E. and the care they were delivering was top-notch and we were really excited to form the relationship.”

The Mayo Clinic Care Network is a collaboration that now includes 46 like-minded organizations striving to deliver high quality healthcare services and evidence-based medical care. It connects St. Elizabeth with the resources of Mayo Clinic through electronic consultation, video conferencing, educational offerings and more.

Garren Colvin, St. Elizabeth Healthcare CEO, said as the network has grown the shared resources have continued to pay greater dividends where it matters most – in patient care.

“When St. Elizabeth started this we were the 10th affiliate,” Colvin said. “You had all of Mayo and 10 affiliated systems sharing knowledge, now you have all of Mayo and 46 sharing best practices,” Colvin said. “When we ask in consultations, when we identify where we want to improve something within our system and we reach out, the beauty in that process is that you have all of this expertise that is going to set eyes on it.”

Dr. Calhoun participates regularly in eTumor Boards and eTumor Board Conferences, which are multi-site discussions held via video conference by Mayo Clinic. These weekly events allow members to both observe and interact with multidisciplinary teams to share knowledge and discuss the management of their more complex cases. They provide a forum for sharing information among healthcare experts to improve patient care.

“This format allows us to present our complex thoracic oncology cancer patients to nationally recognized experts in the field and gain their expertise and insight into how to best manage these patients, including clinical trials. In this manner, our patients are getting virtual access to the Mayo Clinic without them having to travel to Mayo,” said Dr. Calhoun.

Colvin said sometimes it is just as important to get reassurances that you are doing things right as it is to get new information.

“One of our issues was identifying a process and finding out, ‘is this process benchmark, is it the best it can be?’” Colvin said. “What we found out is 80 percent of what we were doing was, not only good, it was very good.”

For the past two years, St. Elizabeth has sponsored a Lung Cancer Symposium focused on best practices and treatment innovations to improve the level of care available to people in the area with lung cancer.

Physicians from Mayo Clinic participated in the events – sharing their knowledge and experience with attending physicians. Last year’s speakers discussed advancements in thoracic surgery as well as innovations in pathology and pulmonology. This year’s symposium featured two Mayo Clinic physicians who spoke on radiation treatment and systemic therapies for treating lung cancer and participated in a question and answer portion of the symposium.

“This collaboration helps us mature as a system,” said Dr. Calhoun. “We are part of a global community treating cancer. Our connection with the Mayo Care Network helps advance our program and foster relationships that improves the care we provide. It is a very valuable resource.”

For more information on the collaboration that allows St. Elizabeth physicians to consult with Mayo specialists, giving patients extra piece of mind at no additional expense, click here.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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