On Oct. 8, 2012, St. Alexius Medical Center became a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Thanks to this membership, St. Alexius’ physicians now are able to connect with Mayo Clinic specialists on questions of patient care using an electronic consulting technique called eConsults. St. Alexius' physicians also have access to Mayo-vetted medical information through the AskMayoExpert database.
At the time these consulting tools were being put in place at St. Alexius, Lynsey Frey, of Minot, came to Dr. Shiraz Hyder, neurologist and vice president medical affairs at St. Alexius Medical Center. “I was considering going to Mayo, but decided to go to Bismarck first,” says Lynsey.
Lynsey became St. Alexius' first person identified for an eConsult, as her case was the perfect opportunity to consult with Mayo’s experts. “Although we can handle a majority of cases that come to St. Alexius, there are some rare or unusual conditions that we may only see once or twice a year. With those we would definitely like input from our colleagues at Mayo who are ‘super specialists’ and see those rare disorders regularly,” Dr. Hyder says.
Within 48 hours of the request, the Mayo expert was able to provide feedback to Dr. Hyder affirming the diagnostic and treatment approach and also suggested some additional tests.
“It is a win, win, win,” he says of the network. “A win for the patient because they can get a very specialized opinion without having to travel to Mayo. It is a win for our physicians because we have reassurance from ‘super expert colleagues’ that we are on the right track, and a win for Mayo Clinic because that’s what they intended to do with this program. Of course, if there is a need for a face-to-face consultation, patients can then be referred to Mayo Clinic.”