The Mayo Clinic, founded on the principle of collaboration, is taking collaboration and innovation to the next level. With a mission nothing short of transforming how healthcare is experienced and delivered, Mayo’s Center for Innovation integrates emerging collaborative tools into processes and culture. The Center for Innovation includes Mayo’s innovative S.P.A.R.C. design lab.
While writing The Culture of Collaboration book, I conducted on-site research at S.P.A.R.C. and throughout Mayo. Now it’s time for an update. The catalyst was a recent conversation with Chris Yeh of PBworks, which offers a hosted wiki-oriented business collaboration platform with newly-added integrated voice conferencing. Mayo is piloting PBworks along with other online collaborative spaces. “We call it a sandbox where people can figure things out,” Francesca Dickson of Mayo’s Center for Innovation told me yesterday during a Skype video call.
Francesca and Beth Kreofsky of Mayo’s Center for Innovation provided an inside view of how Mayo is evolving, and we talked about the role of tools. Aside from PBworks, Mayo is also piloting “ideation” tools that let team members share ideas and build on them based on “focused questions.” One such tool is Jive.
Besides asynchronous social tools, Mayo is now piloting instant messaging in several departments including nursing and radiology. Paging, a precursor to instant messaging, is deeply engrained in Mayo’s culture. Anybody can page the CEO and expect a prompt call back. Hierarchy is muted at Mayo, and the CEO is always a practicing physician. Mayo’s culture is ripe for IM and unified communications through which people can connect spontaneously through IM, voice or video regardless of level, role or region.
Meantime, paging persists at Mayo. The Center for Innovation’s mission is to keep Mayo, well, innovating. So the Center is demonstrating to the organization that IM offers a clear advantage over paging.
Video is another tool that’s part-and-parcel of Mayo’s culture. Mayo was an early user of videoconferencing to encourage collaboration among its three campuses. Mayo has already piloted Cisco TelePresence with a hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. And beginning in April, patients in Canon Falls, Minnesota will receive consultations from Mayo specialists via TelePresence.
By integrating new collaborative tools into its already collaborative culture, Mayo will likely enhance healthcare delivery and create greater value.