Cracking the Code on Patient Wait Times for an Express-Care Practice

Over the last ten years, the advent of electronic medical records has dramatically changed the nature of healthcare practitioners’ work. As these health records are optimized and re-engineered, changes to provider schedules may be required. In today’s podcast join Spencer Richards, Health Systems Engineer and host Jodi Grimm as they illustrate how non-visit care time (time spent by providers charting in the medical record) can be successfully optimized to reduce patient wait times.

Stronger Together: Integration of Management Engineering and Consulting and Planning Services

In today’s special edition of Mayo Clinic Consulting Edge we will introduce a significant organizational change for Mayo Clinic.  The departments of Management Engineering and Consulting (ME&C) and Planning Services are combining forces to help enable and accelerate the organization’s strategic vision.  We are joined today by Janine Kamath and Steve McNeil for an extended podcast highlighting the background, benefits, and the need to execute on this important organizational change.

Turning on a Dime: The Story of the COVID-19 Nurse Line

As the COVID-19 Pandemic entered the U.S. and the nation’s fears began to surge, Mayo Clinic nurses were asked by the Hospital Incident Command Center to stand up a nurse line specifically for COVID. The COVID Nurse Line went live on March 11th, 2020 with a unit of about 40 nurses but quickly expanded to about 100.The initial intent of the COVID Nurse Line was to screen callers across the Mayo Clinic enterprise, including the Midwest, Arizona and Florida to determine if the caller met the criteria to be tested for COVID-19. If they were to screen positive for testing, the staff on the COVID Nurse Line would then place the order request and provide patient education related to quarantine and exposure recommendations, symptom management and urgent symptom assessment with appropriate recommendations for care. It quickly morphed into a help line for anyone across the United States with questions regarding COVID-19 testing, care, travel, vaccinations, etc. Management Engineering and Consulting was requested in January 2021 to help evaluate the processes and workflows developed to help assist with increasing demand. Listen as Allyssa Stevens, Health Systems Engineer Associate, Jean Johnston, Nurse Manager, Tina Oian, Lead Charge Nurse for the COVID Nurse Line and host Tony Chihak as they discuss the trials and success of lifting a designated nurse line off the ground to provide excellent care and support to patients across the enterprise.

Biospecimens Accessioning and Processing Lab

The Mayo Clinic Biospecimens Accessioning and Processing (BAP) Lab, which has facilities at all three Mayo Clinic sites, has been involved in various projects which were supported by Management Engineering and Consulting. The mission of the BAP lab is to provide world-class Biorepositories and state-of-the-art Biospecimen Processing and Storage with a focus on quality and service. The Mayo Clinic Biobank and the Center for Individualized Medicine’s Biorepositories Program are important resources that enable genomic medicine studies. Investigators can study millions of samples that can lead to evidence-based discoveries. the BAP lab has completed a number of projects for greater efficiency, increased automation, greater uniformity, and increased standardization of procedures and processes, all leading to high-quality material for investigators. In today’s episode, Senior Principal Health Systems Engineers Keri Kirby and Rachel Martin, Bailey Van Ommeren, Health Systems Engineer and host Tony Chihak discuss the long standing relationship between the Center for Individualized Medicine, which is the organizational home for BAP, and ME&C, and how their collaboration has helped to evolve BAP and it’s capabilities.

It’s Okay Not to be Okay: Mental Health for Mayo Employees & Learners

Even though employee mental health was a large topic of discussion during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayo Clinic identified this as a concern beforehand. The pandemic created new levels of stress and anxiety, with employee needs becoming more complex in this continuously changing environment. National data found that symptoms of anxiety disorders and depressive disorders have increased by approximately three to four times then what was reported in 2019. A multidisciplinary team was formed to collectively address the complex barriers to care and optimize support to employees and learners. This team reached out to Management Engineering and Consulting for assistance providing an objective third-party lens by assisting the current state of navigation to mental health recourses, mapping those barriers and coaching the team through those solutions. In today’s episode we are joined by ME&C’s Allyssa Stevens, Associate, members of the multidisciplinary team Kaisa Wieneke, Human Resources Director for Employee Well-Being and Recognition, Gretl Kruse, Senior Human Resources Analyst for Employee Well-Being and Recognition, and host Jodi Grimm as they dive into this important topic of employee mental health.

Clinic in a Winnebago

After smaller rural clinics were closed due to COVID-19, this left a need to provide healthcare to these communities in a creative way. A 38ft customized commercial Winnebago RV was built to bridge the gap. This self-sustained unit provides patients with a direct access to Mayo Clinic and their providers without having to travel long distances. Equipped with two fully functional exam rooms, the Mayo Clinic Mobile Health Unit uses remote diagnostic tools to provide a variety of care. Management Engineering and Consulting was brought in to help reach an aggressive target launch date while leveraging existing technology and developing partnerships. In today’s episode, Jon Eckdahl, Senior Health Systems Engineer, and Bhushan Pendse, Project Manager, with host Jodi Grimm discuss how their ability to move quickly while utilizing Agile methodology was instrumental in getting clinic in a Winnebago developed and available to rural communities.

COVID-19 Test Site Winterization

With the unpredictability of COVID-19, and impending winter months of the Midwest, Management Engineering and Consulting was tasked with helping to transform our current drive-up COVID testing models and prepare the southeast health system sites for winter. With these sites situated in the heart of the Midwest’s infamous cold and snowy winters, the teams had to move quickly to develop and implement a plan. The drive-thru testing centers needed to be moved indoors with a “drive up, walk through” set up. With the priority of keeping the patients and staff safe, a model had to be developed that would work for all five testing centers, while taking into account each sites individual nuances. Join Jon EckdahlSenior Health Systems Engineer, Teresa Walter, Project Manager, and host Tony Chihak as they discuss how their team was able to restructure and open walk-in testing sites across several locations in a short amount of time.


Emergency-Triage-Treat-Transport, or ET3, is an initiative with a goal to reduce the total cost of care while improving experience and outcomes by reimbursing ambulance services for providing treatment on scene through telemedicine or providing transportation to alternative destinations like urgent care. Management Engineering and Consulting was brought in to help obtain the electronic tools and provide processes needed to be in place to make the program operational. Since the program was started in January 2021, 22% of Mayo Clinic Ambulance’s 911 calls are treated and released at the scene, while 89% of patients transported to the emergency department are sent home without admission within six hours of arriving at the ED. In today’s episode, Mike Fabel, Principal Health Systems Engineer and host Jodi Grimm talk about this unique program and how ME&C was able to provide their services that helped make ET3 a success.

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery

Research shows that patients with a longer length of stay have poorer outcomes and longer recovery times after their joint surgery. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic Health Systems market for total joint surgery is highly competitive and their length of stay was higher than the competition at 1.84 days in late 2018. As of February 2021 and with the help of Management Engineering and Consulting, Mayo Clinic Health System–Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, WI was successful in reducing the length of stay to 0.6 days. In today’s episode, Senior Health Systems Engineer Sandra Elsen, Operations Administrator Matthew Tradewell, board-certified Anesthesiologist Dr. Peter Schams and host Tony Chihak discuss the extensive multidisciplinary work that was done to help redesign the way orthopedic patients are optimized for surgery, cared for the day of surgery and set up for success after surgery.

Mask Reprocessing

In early spring 2020, COVID-19 cases were rapidly increasing across the US which resulted in shortages of beds, staff and equipment. Personal protective equipment, or PPE, are required for both staff and patient safety and if these were unavailable, there would be critical limitations to the level of care Mayo Clinic needs to provide for patients in need not only from COVID but other diseases as well. While Mayo Clinic wasn’t expecting immediate shortages, a project was initiated to proactively implement mitigation plans in case of an actual surge. Management Engineering and Consulting was brought in to help identify an optimal plan for reprocessing PPE as well as implementing to solution in preparation for potential shortages. In today’s episode, Senior Health System Engineer Tae Huh and host Tony Chihak discuss how ME&C was able to move with agility and creativity while being under a tight deadline to provide a sustainable solution for reprocessing PPE.