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Augusta Health now a part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network

Augusta HealthPhysicians at Augusta Health can now marry their understanding of your medical needs with the expertise of the Mayo Clinic.

“We believe over time, this is going to ramp up really nicely and provide an extra level of support and expertise for our already expert, really strong medical community,” said Mary N. Mannix, FACHE, president and CEO, Augusta Health, announcing on Wednesday that the regional hospital has joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Members of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a group of carefully vetted, independent health care organizations, have special access to Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise.

Through Augusta Health’s membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Augusta Health physicians have access to Mayo Clinic clinical tools, including:

  • AskMayoExpert: AskMayoExpert offers providers a database of concise clinical information on hundreds of medical conditions, and includes medical protocols, treatment recommendations and medical references.
  • eConsults: eConsults enable Augusta Health physicians to contact Mayo Clinic specialists for second opinions on specific patient cases when they believe additional input will benefit their patients.
  • eBoards: eBoards are live video conferences that enable Augusta Health’s medical teams to virtually review and discuss complex cases with a team of Mayo Clinic specialists and doctors from Mayo Clinic Care Network health systems.
  • Health Care Consulting: Health Care Consulting provides Augusta Health access to Mayo’s extensive experience, knowledge and subspecialty expertise to attain clinical, operational and business goals.

Augusta Health reached out to the Mayo Clinic in 2019 to begin the effort toward forging the relationship.

“When our medical staff and board management completed our plan for the next five years, Journey 2025, one of the things we knew is that very often clinically meaningful relationships can help strengthen our ability to fulfill our mission,” Mannix said.

“When we learned about the Mayo Clinic Care Network, we immediately became very interested because of their values, their mission and their model. The Mayo Clinic Care Network is not about a big large hospital system. It’s about working with community health systems like Augusta Health in a collaborative way to strengthen them, and to help them remain independent and fulfill their mission and a clinically meaningful way,” Mannix said.

Ryan Uitti, M.D., medical director of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, which has more than 40 member organizations across the U.S., and in Asia, Mexico and the Middle East, said Mayo is “honored to collaborate with Augusta Health — extending our knowledge, resources and expertise to amplify the high-quality care they provide their patients.”

“These tools are designed to be very technology-driven and user-friendly, so physicians, nurses, the entire team, can make use of many of these tools looking at a tablet,” Uitti said. “They don’t have to have special computer skills. The whole point of this is to help physicians practice more easily, more efficiently, for patients to get better outcomes. We’ve also included lots of patient-centric education, for 2,500 different medical conditions, that they can be provided very simply to patients through this this collaboration.”

A key to this for you: it all comes at no additional cost.

“This provides a wonderful opportunity for patients also, not only through the tools that our medical staff now has access to, but also at no additional cost to the patient,” Mannix said. “So, if a patient and a specialist are conferring over a plan of care, and they jointly agree, for example, that they might be interested in getting a second opinion, that can all happen through this relationship at no extra cost to the community.”

Joining the Mayo Clinic network, Mannix said, “is another meaningful step toward Augusta Health providing local access to the highest quality specialized patient care possible – because our community deserves the best specialty care available.”

“Being in healthcare is a journey, it’s never a destination,” Mannix said. “There’s always something more to learn. There’s more research on the horizon. There’s medical specialty capabilities evolving every day. It’s a very dynamic field to be in, and it’s an exciting field to be in. What we’ve done is hardwire our relationship with Mayo by having access to all of those resources, and we have over 300 providers that are in our network of physicians that now have access to these tools right at their desktop.”

Story by Chris Graham