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Rapid healthcare innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged healthcare organisations in safely providing healthcare to patients while protecting employees and reducing the spread of the virus. This paper shows how the Mayo Clinic responded by implementing innovations, including screening, testing and tracing patients for COVID-19; expanding telehealth services; adjusting surgical and procedural operations and reallocating staffing and supplies. These changes were operationalised rapidly through the coordinated response from its leadership, partnership of experts across the organisation, prompt decision-making driven by data, redistribution of resources and expedited training. These innovations and methods of rapid implementation enabled Mayo Clinic to safely continue its mission of providing healing and hope to its patients worldwide, and quickly return to financial sustainability.
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Steven D. Crowley is a Senior Health Systems Engineer at Mayo Clinic, in the Department of Management Engineering & Consulting in Rochester, Minnesota. He has nine years of experience at Mayo Clinic, partnering with clinicians and administrators to provide business consulting services, including strategic planning and execution, process engineering and optimisation and change management. In 2020, he supported implementation and optimisation of COVID-19 testing and screening operations. Steven has a wide variety of professional interests, including sustainable continuous improvement, advanced analytics and equity and inclusion. He is a committee member of the annual Health Systems Process Improvement Conference, and has taught courses at Mayo Clinic on simulation, optimisation and organisational strategy. Steven earned his Masters and Bachelors of Science degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, Steven worked as an industrial engineer in manufacturing operations.
Jammie M. Henson is a Senior Health Systems Engineer in Management Engineering & Consulting at Mayo Clinic, and partners with clinicians to strategically improve how healthcare is delivered. She has a BA in Biology from Saint Louis University, Missouri, and her MBA from Augsburg University, Minnesota. With over 15 years in the healthcare industry, she has applied her expertise to support establishing processes for Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 response.
Jesse D. Andrist is a Health Systems Engineer with Mayo Clinic’s Management Engineering & Consulting Department based out of Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He holds a Master of Science in Business Analytics from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and a BS in Finance from the University of Minnesota Duluth. With a diverse background, including accounting, equity research and entrepreneurship, he brings creativity to his engineering work to connect teams with solutions that make analytics fruitful in many environments. He recently steered a wide range of modelling and planning efforts to support Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 response.
Sandra J. Elsen is a Health Systems Engineer with Mayo Clinic’s Management Engineering & Consulting Department based out of Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse, a BS in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of North Dakota and a BS in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. With more than a decade at Mayo Clinic and over seven years in the quality field, her background includes clinical genetics, quality management systems and process engineering. She recently supported COVID-19 process improvements and management efforts at Mayo Clinic on the topics of telehealth, COVID testing facilities, strategic practice ramp up and surge planning. With insatiable curiosity, she enjoys problem-solving and creating positive change.
Jeff R. Ziegler is a Senior Health Systems Engineer with Mayo Clinic’s Management Engineering & Consulting Department based in Rochester, Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt from Strategic Improvement Systems in Excelsior, MN. Jeff has practiced engineering and continuous improvement for over 26 years in the manufacturing industry and more recently at Mayo Clinic. He currently supports Mayo’s surgical practice on-process workflow to safely serve patients in the COVID-19 environment.
Julie M. Doppler is a principal health system engineer in the Department of Management Engineering & Internal Consulting. She has been at Mayo Clinic, USA, for 12 years and has more than 20 years of experience in quality and process improvement, business processes, continuous improvement methods and change management. She has an American Society for Quality Six Sigma black belt certification, a performance management certificate through Aubrey Daniels International, Inc and a Prosci Change Management Practitioner certification. She was one of the leads for the Mayo Clinic change management strategy for Epic EHR–RCM implementation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, and a Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota, USA.