ROCHESTER, Minn. and ST. LOUIS – A 10-year collaboration agreement between Mayo Clinic and Mercy — a first-of-its-kind alliance between two large health care systems — will use the most current data science and years of deidentified patient outcomes to find diseases earlier and start patients on paths to better health more quickly.
“This unique collaboration will eliminate the barriers to innovation in health care by bringing together data and human expertise through a new way of working together,” says John Halamka, M.D., an emergency medicine physician and president of Mayo Clinic Platform. “By working together, we will be able to find the best paths for treatment and diagnosis to benefit patients everywhere. Our union has the potential to transform medicine worldwide.”
Mayo and Mercy were early adopters of integrated electronic health records, and over more than a decade have collected a vast amount of treatment outcomes and clinical data. Until recently, the information was too unstructured and complex to analyze. With the combination of privacy-protected, cloud-based technology architecture, and the growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning, this aggregated clinical deidentified data generates patterns to pinpoint disease earlier and identify best treatment options.
“We have a unique opportunity today to transform mountains of clinical experience into actionable information that optimizes patient care,” says John Mohart, M.D., a cardiologist and president of Mercy communities, leading operations for all Mercy hospitals. “This gives physicians, providers and operational leaders critical information that can ensure patients receive the right treatment at the right time based on millions of previous patient outcomes, while simultaneously improving operational efficiencies and lowering costs. We believe bringing technology and data science to the bedside can provide better patient care, shorter hospital stays and overall better health for people everywhere.”
The collaboration’s success rests on each entity sharing its strengths. Mayo’s expertise in highly complex care and extensive investment in data science platforms together with Mercy’s two centuries of innovative care delivery in diverse communities and vast clinical information, including more than 500 million deidentified patient encounters, will provide the opportunity to develop high-value solutions and algorithms leading to more optimal care for patients. Additionally, Mercy’s and Mayo’s different populations and geographic locations will improve accuracy, reduce model bias and create more diverse, and therefore stronger, treatment recommendations for patients.
The Mayo and Mercy alliance will initially focus on patient outcomes:
- Information collaboration — All data are deidentified and secured in a distributed data network that enables Mayo and Mercy to work with an extensive set of outcomes without extracting or transferring data between the organizations. Each health care system will retain control over its deidentified outcomes throughout the process. The information will help scientists analyze patterns of effective disease treatment and, more importantly, disease prevention in new ways based upon longitudinal data review over an extended period of time.
- Solution and algorithm development and validation — The resulting algorithms will provide proven treatment paths based on years of patient outcomes, representing the next generation of proactive and predictive medicine that can be used by care providers around the world to access best practices in medical care.
“With Mayo and Mercy combining efforts, we can speed prediction and diagnosis, and provide better patient care, experience and outcomes, while ultimately saving more lives,” says Steve Mackin, Mercy’s president and chief executive officer. “We also hope to innovate together in other patient-focused areas, including precision medicine, transplant care, complex cancer, cardiovascular, neuroscience and much more. Together, we have the opportunity to do something for the greater good, be proactive and change health care for patients everywhere.”
Mercy, one of the 25 largest U.S. health systems and named the top large system in the U.S. for excellent patient experience by NRC Health, serves millions annually with nationally recognized quality care and one of the nation’s largest Accountable Care Organizations. Mercy is a highly integrated, multi-state health care system including more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, convenient and urgent care locations, imaging centers and pharmacies. Mercy has 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 4,000 Mercy Clinic physicians and advanced practitioners, and more than 40,000 co-workers serving patients and families across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.