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.”
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
“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.