• Minnesota

    Mayo Clinic Makes Library of Patient Education Resources Available to Small Medical Practices

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic today announced that its thousands of patient education resources will be offered to small medical practices throughout the United States. This will be accomplished through an agreement with drchrono, an electronic health record company formed in 2009. Future contracts may make the materials even more broadly available.

Patient education materials range from pamphlets to DVDs. The collection includes nearly 3,000 separate pieces, all developed by Mayo Clinic. They help patients understand medical tests, surgical procedures, diseases and conditions, self-care, preventive health and wellness. The resources are geared toward patients with specific needs and meant to offer more depth than general health information found on consumer websites. Drchrono has converted the materials into electronic formats for physicians to give to their patients; health care providers will pay drchrono for access.

"I am thrilled that Mayo Clinic's patient education materials, which are normally only available to Mayo patients, now will be available electronically to others throughout the United States," says Steven Smith, M.D., medical director, patient education, Mayo Clinic. "We consider it a priority to invest time and energy to be certain these patient education materials stand up to the high level of integrity that Mayo Clinic stands for. Physicians distributing these educational documents and videos to their patients via drchrono can be confident they contain content that will assist them in their delivery of clinical care."

Mayo Clinic's resources are one-of-a-kind, developed through a rigorous process led by Mayo Clinic physicians. First, physicians identify the patient's need for an educational resource and develop a clinical plan for how the resource should be used. For each piece, a team comprised of a physician or physicians from various medical specialties, clinical providers, a patient educator and a professional writer apply their perspectives to create content that represents Mayo's clinical practice. Mayo Clinic physicians and health specialists from areas such as dietetics, nursing and physical therapy review the material for accuracy.

Patient educators assure that the materials follow best practices in educational principles and theory. Professional health literacy writers apply a proprietary "Elements of Plain Language" approach that calls for content that is patient-centered, comprehensive, clear, precise, reader-friendly, easily understood, and fosters patient recall and ability to take action. All animations and medical illustrations are created by Mayo Clinic. In addition, educational researchers evaluate the materials for effectiveness in leading patients toward recovery.

"We make sure that the material has a logical flow and focuses on what patients need to know and do, with checklists of the essential three or four points," Dr. Smith says. "The material must be understood the first time it is read, and must meet the needs of the reader. Our methodology considers every aspect of content development that leads to comprehension and knowledge retention."

Materials are created for adults, young adults, parents, teens and children, in English, Arabic, Somali and Spanish and have won numerous awards. Topics range from common to obscure medical conditions.

"Physicians who subscribe to drchrono can feel confident that they are providing their patients with educational resources that are responsible and accurate. Patients know that Mayo Clinic is the trusted voice in medicine and can be relied upon," says Michael Nusimow, CEO, drchrono. "We have a firm commitment to making the doctor's office operate efficiently through a paperless medical practice. Now our product allows doctors to share educational material in a simple, elegant and digitally curated way with their patients."

Drchrono's electronic health records platform provides physicians, medical groups and clinics integrated services such as patient scheduling, patient reminders and billing. Adding more than 2,600 electronic documents and 300 videos provides another dimension to the drchrono offering. Physicians have access to the Mayo Clinic content in real time through iPads, iPhones and Web. The system pulls a list of relevant documents and the physician can select which material to digitally distribute to the patient. The patient can view the information anytime, anyplace through an iPhone, iPad, Android device or Web.

Mayo Clinic has a financial interest in the intellectual property described in this press release. Revenue Mayo receives is used to support practice, education and research.