June 18th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Studying surgical outcomes to improve patient care

By Amy Olson

Dr. Charles H.  Mayo

Dr. Charles H. Mayo

For nearly 100 years, Mayo Clinic has been dedicated to evaluating surgical outcomes in order to improve patient care and reduce risks associated from surgery.

Dr. Charles H. Mayo said in 1930, “A surgical procedure should be planned so that the patient, with the least possible risk and loss of time, will receive the greatest benefit possible.”

This focus on improvement and better care continues today with the Surgical Care Improvement Project, which aims to evaluate the care of surgical patients at Mayo Clinic and determine the percentage who receive timely and effective care. The project focuses specifically on four types of surgical complications: surgical site infections, adverse cardiac events, deep vein thrombosis and postoperative pneumonia.

Mayo's continuous quality improvement efforts include a focus on reducing surgical site infections, adverse cardiac events, deep vein thrombosis and post-operative pneumonia.

Mayo's continuous quality improvement efforts include a focus on reducing surgical site infections, adverse cardiac events, deep vein thrombosis and post-operative pneumonia.

As Dr. Mayo also said, “In the conquering of serious diseases by surgical measures, it is important that the operation itself be as free from mortality as possible.”

The work continues through the Surgical Outcomes Program, which was founded in 2005 within the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. For example, Mayo’s research showed 96 percent of breast cancer patients needing lumpectomy avoid a second procedure within a month because a technique called frozen section analysis ensures surgeons remove cancerous tissues the first time.

Learn more about the program’s research findings and how they are improving patient care in this Mayo Clinic Advancing the Science blog post.

Tags: quality improvement, surgical care, surgical outcomes

June 10th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

1,000 liver transplants and the future of health care

By Amy Olson

What’s in a milestone? For patients, perhaps everything.

In May, Mayo Clinic transplant surgeon Charles Rosen, M.D. completed his 1,000th liver transplant surgery.

Dr. Charles Rosen, Mayo Clinic transplant surgeon

Dr. Charles Rosen, Mayo Clinic transplant surgeon

Rosen is among a small handful of liver transplant surgeons to have reached that personal milestone. But Rosen would be the first to say that transplant surgery emulates Mayo Clinic’s model of collaborative, team-based medicine.

“This is hardly something a person does alone," Rosen told the (Rochester, Minnesota) Post-Bulletin, adding that the surgery itself “takes four hands” in addition to a broad surgical support team and other medical professionals. Dr. Rosen thanked his transplant center colleagues, the organ procurement organization LifeSource, and “1,000 patients with real need.”

Mayo Clinic in Rochester performed 104 liver transplants in 2014 from both deceased and living donors, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, the organization that governs organ donation. Since UNOS began keeping records in 1988, Mayo Clinic has performed 2,478 liver transplants. (Mayo Clinic in Rochester’s program began in 1985, with Mayo Clinic in Florida following in 1998 and Mayo Clinic in Arizona opening its program in 1999.) More than 6,000 liver transplants are performed each year throughout the United States, according to the American Liver Foundation.

Each transplant surgery represents a milestone for patients facing life-threatening illnesses such as Hepatitis C, cirrhosis of the liver and autoimmune disease that give patients the chances to enjoy the kinds of milestones many healthy people take for granted Nearly 90 percent of Mayo Clinic Rochester liver transplant patients survive three years after transplant, according to data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. The national average is 81 percent. The percentages of patients receiving liver transplants at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Mayo Clinic in Florida surviving three years post-transplant exceed national averages as well.

Dr. Charles Rosen is presented with a shirt commemorating his 1,000th liver transplant.

Dr. Charles Rosen is presented with a shirt commemorating his 1,000th liver transplant.

Research shows that centers that perform large volumes of transplant surgeries gain efficiencies and expertise that helps all patients receiving organ transplants fare better than those who receive transplants at medical centers with lower volumes. Mayo Clinic’s experience and continuous improvement in transplant medicine led to Walmart to choose Mayo Clinic as a Center of Excellence in 1996.

Sadly, there is a shortage of organs nationwide. Regenerative medicine holds the promise of creating bioartificial livers and patient-specific liver cell transplants to meet patients’ needs. For more than 50 years, Mayo Clinic has been at the leading edge of clinical and basic transplant research. Recently, Mayo Clinic researchers found livers donated after cardiac death were safe for use in patients fighting liver cancer.

With the exception of two positions briefly held elsewhere, Dr. Rosen, 55, has been on staff at Mayo Clinic since 1991.

“Dr. Rosen would be the first to tell you that liver transplant is a team sport,” Dr. Brooks Edwards, executive director of the transplant program, told the Post-Bulletin. “That said, Chuck Rosen is a singularly inspiring individual to watch. Every patient is an individual to him, and he cares for every patient like a member of his own family. He lives the Mayo creed, that the needs of the patient are the only needs to be considered. He's first in to the office in the morning and the last one out at night.”

Tags: Charles Rosen MD, liver transplant

June 4th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Creating the Future of Health Care, one patient at a time

By Amy Olson

Dustin Bennett’s mom calls it a miracle; his doctors at Mayo Clinic know it as an example of what the future of health care holds for all of us.

Dustin, a 23-year-old from Pearson, Georgia, had suffered most of his life from extreme jerking that would mysteriously start and stop. Doctors at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, found the problem that other tests had missed. They sequenced his entire exome and found he has a variant of a very rare form of a neurological disease.

Dustin Bennett, from Pearson, Georgia, found answers at Mayo Clinic.

Dustin Bennett, from Pearson, Georgia, found answers at Mayo Clinic.

Dustin now is on medication that is changing his life; he can attend school and play basketball. His successful treatment shows how the promise of genomic science can lead to the actual practice of genomic medicine.

Mayo Clinic is proud of its history in helping pioneer genomic and regenerative medicine that helps prevent, predict and treat disease.

Other patients also are benefiting from similar scientific advances. Clinicians are using stem cells to help re-grow bone for patients with knee problems.

Still other patients are benefiting from new approaches. For example, sarcoma patients benefit from tumor boards. These boards are comprised of Mayo Clinic cancer specialists and Mayo Clinic Care Network member sites across the nation. These specialists use technology to connect weekly to advise on treatment plans for patients with the toughest cancers.

Intensive care unit patients now are monitored by a doctor’s “second brain,” a system launched by a company Mayo Clinic helped create. It’s called AWARE. It continuously surveys the patient’s condition and provider actions, uses data trends and compares these data to a database to predict changes in the patient’s condition. It then gives physicians the information needed to make critical early decisions that save lives.

Mayo Clinic envisions the future of health care as one where it helps 200 million patients by 2020. Mayo will accomplish this by applying innovative science and data to study the quality, safety and value of health care. It also involves scaling Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and partnering with others to determine how health care providers can deliver the best patient care.

Watch a video of Dustin.

December 11th, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Future of Health Care and Cardiac Regenerative Medicine

By Admin

This post originally appeared in the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative blog.

Medical illustration showing how Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a novel way to repair a damaged heart by regenerating heart tissue.Since 2007, Mayo Clinic and Cardio3 BioSciences, a biotechnology company based in Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, have collaborated to advance our knowledge of disease in order to provide new solutions for patients and innovative delivery of quality care in the area of cardiac regeneration. Cardiac regenerative medicine uses reparative tools to restore damaged tissue and restitute function caused by heart disease.

Cardio3 BioSciences has successfully developed Mayo Clinic innovation leading to completion of a phase II trial on cardiopoetic stem cells in patients with heart failure. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently cleared the way for the Belgian company and Mayo Clinic to launch a phase III clinical trial of its stem cell therapy based on Mayo Clinic regenerative medicine research later this year.

Clinical application of regenerative biologics has emerged as a next generation tool that can be tailored to augment existing therapeutic strategies for otherwise incurable diseases, including heart failure. By leveraging research collaborations, such as with Cardio3 BioSciences, Mayo Clinic is positioned to transform the way we treat patients with heart disease.

Clinical Trials

In collaboration with Cardio3 BioSciences, Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a novel way to repair a damaged heart by regenerating heart tissue.

In Mayo Clinic's breakthrough process, stem cells are harvested from a patient's bone marrow. The stem cells undergo a laboratory treatment that guides them into becoming cardiac cells. The treated cells are then injected into the patient's heart in an effort to grow healthy heart tissue.

“In regenerative medicine, the step between lab tests and clinical trials is a big one and the interaction with Cardio3 is crucial to driving Mayo Clinic's technology forward," says Atta Behfar, M.D., Ph.D., who spent several months in Belgium working with Cardio3 BioSciences. Dr. Behfar, a heart failure and transplant specialist, leads the Cardiac Program in the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine.

Product Development

In late 2013, Mayo Clinic researchers and Cardio3 BioSciences developed a specialized catheter for transplanting stem cells into the beating heart. The novel cardiac catheter is able to dramatically improve stem cell retention in the heart. The device includes a curved needle and graded openings along the needle shaft, allowing for increased distribution of cells. The result is maximized retention of stem cells to repair the heart. The findings appear in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions.

This new catheter is being used in the European CHART-1 clinical trials, now underway. This is the first Phase III trial to regenerate hearts of patients who have suffered heart attack damage. The studies are the outcome of years of basic science research at Mayo Clinic and earlier clinical studies with Cardio3 BioSciences and Cardiovascular Centre in Aalst, Belgium.

Watch the video below to see how stem cells are being used to treat people with heart failure.

Preferred Access Agreement

Most recently, Mayo Clinic and Cardio3 BioSciences entered into an extended collaboration agreement. It builds on a long established and productive relationship of licensing and research in the area of cardiac regeneration. The mutual hope for this work is that together Mayo and Cardio3 BioSciences can accelerate Mayo discoveries toward clinical application.

Under the Preferred Access Agreement, the parties have agreed to regular periodic meetings to review Mayo’s regenerative medicine portfolio to identify areas and projects of mutual interest. The results of these conversations could potentially lead to cooperative research projects, license agreements or introductions to third parties to further the technology.

“We are excited for the opportunity to expand our collaboration with Cardio3 and accelerate the delivery of novel therapies to patients”, says Clark Otley, M.D., Medical Director of Mayo Clinic Ventures, which works to commercialize Mayo Clinic technologies for the benefit of patients worldwide.

The Center for Regenerative Medicine continues to explore strategic relationships with academic, biotechnology/industry, government and professional associations at the local, regional, national, and international level.

For more information, visit the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative website or email RegenMed@mayo.edu.

Tags: #futureofhealthcare, Cardio3 BioSciences, future of healthcare, Regenerative Medicine

October 7th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

The Future of Health Care and Genomic Medicine

By Admin

This modified post originally appeared in the Center for Individualized Medicine blog.

Individualizing Medicine conference 2014Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, took to the stage Monday morning to welcome nearly 500 attendees to the Individualizing Medicine 2014 Conference.  This third annual genomics conference promises a practical approach to helping medical professionals discover and integrate genomics technology into routine patient care.

“We know we need to incorporate genomics into patient care. We have a moral obligation to bring genomics to the practice, and we have a moral obligation to do it right.”

—Gianrico Farrugia, M.D.

Clifford Hudis, M.D., immediate past president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), delivered the keynote address by challenging the participants to reexamine how we define value in cancer care. If the practitioners don’t, others will. He highlighted how the current way cancer drugs are developed and priced is not sustainable and that there is no relationship between cost and value.  Dr. Hudis predicted that changes are coming.

“Whether we’re for or against it, pressure is building in U.S. policy circles for the federal government to take action regulating the cost of drugs and technologies. Increasing access is crucial, yet thwarting innovation is a real concern.”

—Clifford Hudis, M.D.

Several informative presentations followed. Geoffrey GinsburgM.D., Ph.D., Duke University, offered a look at the future of genomics and how we now have the opportunity to use genomics throughout the lifetime of a patient, in effect, from womb to tomb. Noninvasive Prenatal Tests (NIPT) is a success story in genomic medicine. Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., Tufts Medical Center, discussed how genomic testing has revolutionized prenatal screening for aneuploidy in a very short time.

Patrick GeraghtyCEO and Chairman of the Board of Florida Blue, outlined the innovative policies that Florida Blue is bringing to the health care community. He challenged the attendees to rethink the future of health care as a means to package the right answer in a way that meets people where they are and how they want to receive it.

The afternoon brought a number of breakout sessions, including a lively conversation on the current state of reimbursement for genomic testing, trends in ethical and social issues for genomic research, and personalized medicine for hematological cancers. Gloria Petersen, Ph.D., a researcher and a biobank manager at Mayo Clinic, talked about the goals, challenges and obligations of running a biobank.

Paul J. Hergenrother, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offered a detailed look at procaspace-3 activation for pet therapy, and how this relates to a forthcoming human clinical trials. Hergenrother confirmed that the dogs were veterinary patients in need of aggressive cancer treatment, not lab animals.

The 2014 Individualized Medicine Conference runs through October 8 and promises to be an informative and exciting look at the present and future of genomic medicine. If you’re unable to attend, follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #cimcon14 .

Tags: #futureofhealthcare, ASCO, Dr Gianrico Farrugia, Future of Health Care, genomics, Individualized Medicine, Matthew Clark PhD

September 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Opening Bell Interview with John Noseworthy, M.D.

By Admin

Dr. John Noseworthy's appearance on Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo, September, 24, 2014John Noseworthy, M.D., CEO and president of Mayo Clinic, recently shared his perspective on three issues related to the future of health care on Opening Bell. Dr. Noseworthy discussed:

  • The importance of a global effort to contain the Ebola virus which requires a disciplined effort to protect health care workers and citizens.
  • How Cologuard, a noninvasive stool DNA screening test, is helping to identify colon cancer in patients without having to undergo a colonoscopy.
  • The use of Watson, the IBM cognitive computer, to match patients more quickly with appropriate clinical trials, beginning with research studies in cancer.

Watch the entire interview in the following video!

Tags: #futureofhealthcare, Dr John Noseworthy, Future of Health Care, Health Care, patient care

September 18th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Google's Zeitgeist Minds and the Future of Health Care

By Admin

Dr. Noseworthy and Tom Brokaw at Google Zeitgeist conference 2014John Noseworthy, M.D., CEO and president of Mayo Clinic, and Tom Brokaw discussed the future of health care at this year's Google Zeitgeist conference in Paradise Valley, Ariz. Zeitgeist Minds brings together the top global thinkers and leaders across a wide spectrum including social, economic, political and cultural disciplines.

Tom Brokaw began the discussion "Facilitating Cooperative Efforts Towards Affordable Health Care for All", by stating how "nothing has an impact on society, and the welfare of society, more than health care". He then asked Dr. Noseworthy several questions related to the:

  • Current challenges faced by both non-profit and for-profit health care organizations
  • Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the health care system
  • Role of technology, innovation and research in improving patient care and reducing cost
  • Importance of investing in the future of health care

Watch the entire interview below to hear Dr. Noseworthy's responses and more!

Tags: #futureofhealthcare, Dr John Noseworthy, Future of Health Care, Google, Tom Brokaw, Zeitgeist

September 11th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Four New Partner Organizations Join Optum Labs Research Collaborative

By Admin

Optum Labs logoOptum Labs, the collaborative research and innovation center co-founded by Optum and Mayo Clinic, announced the addition of four new partners committed to improving the quality and value of patient care. These new partner organizations, which represent a cross-section of health care stakeholders, are:

Optum Labs, with the largest, de-identified patient database in health care, is the first open, collaborative research and innovation center designed to accelerate health care innovation, leading to improved patient care and patient value. Read more…

Tags: Future of Health Care, Matthew Clark PhD, Optum Labs

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