While COVID-19 has rocked the world, especially that of our health care environments, providers at Monument Health have continued to provide high-quality care to all patients in our communities. Earlier this year our commitment to delivering the best care possible was elevated through the beginning of our membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network.
Over the last six months, providers have become familiar with the resources offered through the collaboration, engaging in 280 eConsults with Mayo Clinic specialists and experiencing the benefits of other features such as AskMayoExpert, patient referrals, and eBoards.
Christy Steele, Managed Care and Value Payment Reform Consultant for Monument Health, said the volume of eConsults submitted by Monument Health providers is one of the highest among network members. An eConsult allows a physician to receive additional input from a Mayo Clinic specialist on complex, unique cases, fostering physician-to-physician collaboration that ultimately benefits the patient.
“I think this shows that our physicians have truly taken advantage of this opportunity to communicate with other specialists in the interest of the patient,” she said. “The feedback I’ve received indicates that the results we’ve received from eConsults have been really helpful for both patients and providers,” Christy said.
Ear, Nose, and Throat Physician Loren Jones, M.D., has completed four eConsults, and said they’ve been a great tool. “In every case we received timely and useful information that helped us make better care decisions,” he said. “In several cases it helped avoid the need for the patient to travel for care.”
Oncologist Mark Hancock, M.D., has submitted 10 eConsults so far. “Mayo Clinic has lymphoma specialists who spend all of their time dealing with lymphoma – sometimes just one kind of lymphoma. I don’t have that advantage,” he said. He added that it’s been reassuring to both he and the patient when the Mayo Clinic experts confirm that his original plan is the best course of action.
Another service offered to physicians through the Mayo Clinic Care Network is the opportunity to participate in and present eBoards. eBoards are live, multidisciplinary, multi-site conferences that facilitate discussion and advice regarding diagnostic tests and treatment options for complex cases.
The membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network has also provided Monument Health leaders and clinicians with a plethora of resources related to COVID-19, including guidance for visitor policies, testing and screening protocols, triage algorithms and more.
“We’ve frequently taken advantage of Mayo Clinic’s tremendous amount of resources related to COVID-19,” said John Talcott, Director of Physician Operations for Monument Health. “They’ve been a great resource for us, whether it’s validating our thoughts on a specific policy or providing a starting point so that we don’t have to start from scratch,” he said.
A perk for other departments, including Quality, Pharmacy and Nursing, is the opportunity to become involved in “Affinity Groups” that connect Monument Health professionals with their counterparts at other member hospitals.
Thank you to all of our providers and caregivers for embracing this new membership, which not only makes us stronger but offers more peace of mind for our patients and families.