5 Key Elements of the Mayo Clinic Best Practice Diffusion Model

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic uses a model of diffusion to spread best practices throughout the 24-hospital organization, according to a report in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

The model is designed to standardize best practices quickly and efficiently across the health system. The Mayo Clinic Model of Diffusion involves learning from the literature and other organizations. The three major enablers of the diffusion model include the following:

1. Culture. The culture needs to promote teamwork, value standardization and accept new ideas.
2. Engineering. Mayo Clinic uses a systems engineering methodology to implement best practices in an organized fashion. The method includes staffing, facility and workflow analyses, human factors and usability studies, technology, outcomes/impact
evaluation, process reengineering and workload modeling.
3. Infrastructure/systems support. Mayo Clinic focuses on several areas of infrastructure to diffuse best practices within six months of discovery. These areas include leadership/organization structure, information technology, education, measurement and the Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, a research-based group that helps analyze standardized practices.

Mayo Clinic's diffusion model also includes five key elements:
1. Leadership. A Clinical Practice Committee oversees standardized best practices.
2. Value creation teams. Value creation teams drive discovery of best practices.
3. Diffusion actions. Diffusion actions are guided by a workflow chart, diffusion checklist, status tracker and risk analysis.
4. Operational implementation. Operational implementation includes a change management plan that ensures awareness, understanding, buy-in and implementation of the change.
5. Best practice review and maintenance. The results of the change need to be measured to determine the new practice's effectiveness over time.

More Articles on Practice Standardization:

Key Specialties Roundtable: What's in Store for Service Lines and Their Leaders in 2013?
Lack of Standardization Slows Health Information Exchange Progress

Report: Top Academic Medical Centers Have High Variation in Care Practices

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