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A Patient-Centered Culture Focuses on Convenience (04:40)

Why should we believe something that works at Mayo Clinic would work somewhere else?

“What Mayo provides, for not only myself and my research team, but actually the country, is a fundamental culture of patient centeredness,” says Victor Montori, Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic. Mayo is subject to the same economy of health care and political and policy pressures as any other health care organization, and it reacts to adapt to those changes, the same as anywhere else. But, says Montori, “what’s special is you have this culture that we all strongly believe in,” which creates the energy for those at Mayo Clinic to decide what they want to focus on.

“For us, the focus should be on what that culture has been telling us all along, which is: the problem is health, the people we have to help are the patients, and the real value is in helping them advance their objectives in a maximally supportive, minimally disruptive way.”

One element of advancing those patient objectives is convenience, notes Molly Coye, former Chief Innovation Officer for UCLA Health.  She asks Aaron Martin, Providence St. Joseph Health’s Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, how big a driver consumer convenience is to improving patients’ health.

“One of my observations has been that health care, not surprisingly over time, has been pretty paternalistic,” says Martin, explaining that Providence St. Joseph Health is working to change that. For example, when you call a clinic and your physician is not available for several weeks, and you’re given the option to see someone else, it can feel like you’re not driving the boat, he says. “So what we’ve started to experiment with is more convenient levels of access that are all integrated into the EMR, so that your primary care physician is your quarterback, if you will. They can see all the care you’ve been getting through all the different venues we’ve been delivering.” Those options include easily accessible drop-in clinics at drugstores, virtual visits, and home visits — in other words, convenience.

“What that does is the patient then has a vote and they’re actually participating, and then also because they’re getting more convenient care, they’re causing everybody to practice at the top of their license,” says Martin. “If you use convenience to help customers, make it easy for them to do the right thing, both from the clinician side as well as the patient side, I think that’s a win for both.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event The Future of Care Delivery: Relentless Redesign at Providence St. Joseph Health, January 19, 2017.

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