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St. Luke's Joins Hands With Mayo Clinic

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Saint Lukes hospital made a major announcement today. They are now joining the mayo clinic care network.

The move is a first for any health care organization in Iowa.

The announcement means patients who come here will now have quicker access to mayo clinic resources, without having to travel a long distance.

"This is an example of how we initiate the electronic consult or e-consult process, said Dr. Todd Lanager, St. Lukes Cardiologist.

That process is as simple as entering a patient's medical history into a form.

"This form then will be reviewed by our e-consult coordinator, and she then will gather all of this information and put it into an electronic package, he said.

The package then gets sent to the mayo clinic where they review it, and in the course of two to three days, send back a written completed consultation that's part of the patient's medical record, Lanager said.

Dr. Todd Langager says getting that type of information usually involves a patient traveling to another hospital, a process he says takes weeks to a month or two.

E-consult is just one of several new care options coming from the Mayo collaboration, something that's been about a year in the making.

"Whenever we talk to groups about membership, we're looking for one primary thing. Is it a group that philosophically and culturally are they similar to the Mayo clinic? Which basically means that the patients are at the center of everything, said Dr. David Hayes, Medical Director at Mayo Clinic Care Network.

St. Luke's hospital leaders are hoping this move will help their patients maintain health care costs.

"We think the value will come back to us in multiples. It's going to come back with extra values to our patients, it's going to come back we believe ultimately with savings to this community, said Ted Townsend, President and CEO of UnityPoint Health Cedar Rapids.

The St. Luke's foundation is sponsoring the first year of the collaboration.

After that, the hospital itself will take over.
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