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Journey to Perfect: Mayo Clinic and the Path to Quality

Summary: Long regarded as one of the best healthcare organizations in the world, the Mayo Clinic has not been exempt from the challenges facing the industry. While the Mayo Clinic had employed quality approaches to an extent throughout its history, at the start of the 21st century the organization’s leaders drove a system-wide transformation using a unique quality model that combines aspects of continuous improvement, Toyota’s total productive maintenance system, the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, Six Sigma, and lean. Recognizing that a successful transformation is rooted in the willingness, preparedness, and knowledge of its employees, Mayo trained its workforce in quality tools and approaches and implemented the “Fair and Just Culture,” making all team members equal in the effort to identify improvement opportunities. Mayo’s quality improvements have resulted in safer healthcare that is less expensive than the U.S. average. A byproduct of its efforts is a five-to-one return on investment (ROI).

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