September 18, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Our exciting affiliation with Mayo Clinic is now two years old. To celebrate and plan for the future, Chief of Staff Kevin Cooper, Chief Strategy Officer Mike Riley, General Surgeon Dr. David Lamon and I recently visited with 15 Mayo colleagues at their impressive Jacksonville campus.

We began with a review of eConsult, where any exclusive NCH medical staff member can obtain a “virtual consultation” with a Mayo specialist, usually without a patient having to travel. A patient’s electronic medical records are gathered and transmitted to the appropriate Mayo expert for an additional, learned opinion. This process already has helped a growing number of patients with difficult diagnostic or therapeutic problems. Most often, the care provided locally is affirmed by our Mayo colleagues.

AskMayoExpert is another Internet vehicle that explains how Mayo approaches various clinical situations. (Think of a map or outline to diagnose or treat an illness.) In July, we had 149 searches on topics ranging from chronic daily headaches to Clostridium difficile to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. We plan to encourage the use of this knowledge base to all clinicians, including nurses, as part of our electronic medical record.

We’re also increasing our “culture-sharing” effort with Mayo. Recently, four Mayo physicians shared with the NCH Physician Group their passion for effective communication. Later this month we have invited all of the hospitalists, Emergency Room physicians, anesthesiologists, pathologists, and the NCH Physician Group to a Mayo seminar called “Organizational and Individual Dividends in Professionalism,” focusing on the added value of collaboration.

In addition to NCH, Mayo Clinic Care Network now has 29 other healthcare systems as affiliates. We are learning from each other and sharing best practices. Chief Nursing Officer Michele Thoman participates with others in similar positions, as do I. In October, NCH will next participate in sessions for chief medical officers and chief operating officers. In addition, Mayo Jacksonville has just been awarded the first Comprehensive Stroke Program for Florida from the Joint Commission. In several weeks, Mayo is hosting a program to standardize stroke care to objectively improve outcomes. Director of Surgical Nursing Robin McCarl-Galbavy, MHM, RN, and Neurointerventional Radiologist Dr. Mazen AbuAwad will represent NCH.

Finally, we are exploring cooperation on graduate medical education assistance and also the possibility of having senior Mayo surgical residents rotating with NCH Physician Group surgeons. Our Mayo affiliation is strong and growing. The more we can do together, the better we will all be able to help our patients live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

In a recent Straight Talk, I incorrectly said that NCH was the only system in Collier and Lee County accredited by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care for chest pain with percutaneous intervention. While NCH is the only system in Collier County to be so recognized, our friends at Lee Memorial Health System’s HealthPark Medical Center are also accredited. Our residents remain well served in this regard, and I’m sorry for the misstatement.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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