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On January 1, 2017, the KHI News Service became part of KCUR public radio’s new initiative, the Kansas News Service. The Kansas News Service will continue to cover health policy news and broaden its scope to include education and politics. All stories produced by the former KHI News Service are archived here. Stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to

Stormont-Vail CEO says agreement with Mayo Clinic benefitting patients

By Ashley Booker | April 13, 2015

Patients are benefitting from Stormont-Vail HealthCare’s collaboration with the Mayo Clinic Care Network, says the CEO of the Topeka hospital.

“Our physicians completed 163 eConsults (electronic consultations) for patients in the past 12 months,” said Randy Peterson, Stormont’s president and CEO. “That means 163 times our physicians were able to consult with Mayo specialists as they work to ensure the best diagnosis and treatment options are found for our patients.”

Photo by Ashley Booker Dr. Lambert Wu, a cardiologist at Stormont’s Cotton-O’Neil Clinic, says a partnership with the Mayo Clinic Care Network has allowed him to consult with Mayo physicians while treating patients in the Topeka area.

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The Topeka hospital’s membership in the network allows its physicians to consult with their counterparts at the Mayo Clinic on complicated diagnoses or when they need an expert second opinion on treatment options.

As a result, 90 percent of patients involved in the consultations were treated locally, said Dr. Lambert Wu, a cardiologist at Stormont’s Cotton-O’Neil Clinic.

Wu said he reached out to colleagues at Mayo on three occasions. Each time, he received timely responses that helped him how to proceed with treatment.

Dr. Mehmood Hasmi, a Cotton-O’Neil oncologist, said he had consulted with Mayo physicians more than a dozen times, and the information he received had helped him “provide the best possible solution for patients.”

The affiliation also helped Stormont officials deal with other challenges, including finalizing protocols for treating patients infected with the Ebola virus.

“Through emails, phone calls, webinars and shared protocols, our team was able to access information that was critical in their development of plans,” Peterson said

Dr. David Hayes, medical director of Mayo Clinic Care Network, said the 31 health care organizations in the network also benefit from one another.

“Through the network we leveraged the power, the knowledge, the expertise of both organizations — all the organizations — so that we can learn from each other,” Hayes said. “The bottom line is improving patient care.”

Studies are under way to determine whether the collaboration among providers is improving health outcomes, Hayes said.

Peterson, Stormont’s CEO, is eager for the results of the research. But he’s already convinced patients are benefitting.

“This could definitely develop into a network of best practices and a network where we are sharing clinical protocols and really just improving the health of the country, quite frankly,” Peterson said, referencing the network members across the nation.