Mayo's $5B investment redefines the future of healthcare spaces

Mayo Clinic's $5 billion campus redesign isn't just about architecture, it's about dedicating resources to enhance healthcare with the goal of improving patient outcomes and enhancing the overall experience for both patients and providers, Craig Daniels, MD, physician leader for Mayo's "Bold. Forward. Unbound." initiative, told Becker's.  

On Nov. 28 the health system revealed the "Bold. Forward. Unbound." initiative, which is dedicating $5 billion over six years to redesign Mayo Clinic's downtown Rochester, Minn., campus. The redesign includes putting everything a patient needs, including labs, imaging, consultations and treatments, near each other in unified care "neighborhoods."

Dr. Daniels said this concept came to life as Mayo realized that patients with serious and complex diseases needed different solutions, and that the health system needed to bring its team care model to those patients. 

"The care experience for these patients needs to be in a location that is comfortable, that is familiar, that makes patients feel and experience healthcare in a different way," he said. 

The neighborhood concept will offer patients a centralized location for all required services related to their specific condition, eliminating the need for navigating between different departments.

"Flexible grid" concept

Additionally, clinical buildings will be designed with a "flexible grid" concept that allows specific spaces or entire floors to have the capacity to transition from patient rooms to operating rooms or diagnostic imaging suites, adjusting to evolving needs over time.

This concept differs from the traditional schematic design perspective healthcare organizations are usually built on that can sometimes require constructing additional structures in the future to accommodate the demand for more operating rooms. 

"Our approach involves establishing a flexible infrastructure that extends vertically, allowing us to integrate imaging and radiology facilities seamlessly with hospital beds, even on the upper floors of the building." Dr. Daniels said. "This enables us to create a cohesive environment where outpatient facilities, inpatient facilities and diagnostic labs can be strategically placed to support the diagnostic and treatment journey of complex patients." 

With the flexible grid outlay, Mayo is investing in building facilities that are "flexible and future-proof" for the changes the health system can anticipate and those it can't, according to Dr. Daniels. 

What the build means for providers and patients 

The $5 billion investment isn't just providing Mayo with new buildings, it's aiming to augment work for its staff and produce better experiences for its patients.   

According to Dr. Daniels, patients often perceive healthcare as fragmented and episodic, transitioning between outpatient and inpatient status based on the severity of their condition. Mayo recognizes the increasing complexity of patients' needs and the gravity of their illnesses, and the aim of the new campus redesign is to establish a continuous care environment for them. 

"Patients with ongoing healthcare requirements should be able to enter our facilities, meet their current care team in a familiar environment, and receive prescheduled care for their specific needs," he said. "This patient-centric approach ensures a seamless continuum of care for individuals dealing with various health challenges."

This also means better diagnoses, more cures and better treatments, according to Dr. Daniels.

When it comes to staff, the redesign was meant to give them the technologies and tools they need to be better at their jobs.

"We need to acknowledge that this is a difficult moment in healthcare and we're not immune from the fact that our staff need to be supported with better spaces and the technology that they need so that they can connect with patients in a more human way," Dr. Daniels said. 

The new facilities will fuse virtual technologies and wearables that can help Mayo stay in constant communication with its patients. They will also use the data generated from these to proactively anticipate patients' evolving care requirements. 

"Our aspiration is to engage patients in a collaborative healthcare system where they willingly share their data, empowering us to enhance their longevity, provide superior diagnoses and deliver optimal treatments at every stage," he said. 

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