What Kootenai Health-Mayo partnership means to you, patients

Here are answers to frequently asked questions:

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What is the Mayo Clinic Care Network?

The Mayo Clinic Care Network is a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and other health care organizations. Through this network, your health care team at Kootenai Health has easy access to Mayo Clinic's knowledge and expertise.

What does this mean for me as a patient?

As part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, your health care providers at Kootenai Health can consult with specialists at Mayo Clinic through several unique electronic tools. These tools offer a connection to Mayo Clinic that allows your providers to get input on patient care when they believe it would be helpful.

What kind of electronic tools does the network use?

Mayo Clinic Care Network members have several electronic tools they can use to collaborate with Mayo Clinic:

* AskMayoExpert is an online resource developed by Mayo Clinic physicians to offer point-of-care information on disease management, care guidelines, treatment recommendations, and reference materials for a wide variety of medical conditions.

* eConsults allow your health care provider to connect directly with a Mayo Clinic specialist to get input on complex care.

* eTumor Boards allow physicians to present and discuss management of complex cancer cases with a Mayo Clinic multidisciplinary panel.

Are my medical records safe when you use these tools?

Yes. Patient privacy is a priority, and we have safeguards in place to protect your health information. Anything shared with the Mayo Clinic related to patient care is sent through a secure electronic connection and remains confidential.

Does the Mayo Clinic own members of the Mayo Clinic Care Network?

No. Members of the Mayo Clinic Care Network are not part of the Mayo Clinic. They remain independent and locally owned and controlled. The purpose of the network is to connect members with the Mayo Clinic so that they can work together to provide the best possible care when and where patients need it.

Will I see a Mayo Clinic doctor?

Mayo Clinic doctors do not schedule appointments with patients through the Mayo Clinic Care Network. The connection is between Kootenai Health's health care providers and the specialists at Mayo Clinic. As they work together, you'll benefit from access to the latest medical expertise close to home.

What does it cost me if my doctor works with the Mayo Clinic on my care?

There is no cost to you when your health care provider uses the Mayo Clinic Care Network resources.

Can I request an eConsult with the Mayo Clinic?

Your health care providers use eConsults to get input from Mayo Clinic specialists when they believe it would be helpful. If you have questions about your care, talk with your health care provider.

Does this mean I'll never need to go to the Mayo Clinic?

You may still need to travel for specialty care that isn't available in your area. But, by sharing medical expertise through the Mayo Clinic Care Network, the goal is that you will stay closer to home for your care whenever possible.

About the Mayo Clinic: Continuing a tradition of teamwork

The hallmark of the Mayo Clinic is teamwork. It has been that way since the first Mayo physicians began working together in the late 1800s. For 150 years, Mayo's approach to health care has been rooted in the idea that the best patient care is achieved when experts from a variety of medical specialties can work together, focused on the patient.

Now, through the Mayo Clinic Care Network, the Mayo Clinic is extending that style of collaborative care to more people in more places.

The network allows the Mayo Clinic to develop deeper, stronger relationships with like-minded organizations. It gives health care providers at network sites new tools and resources in specialty areas where the Mayo Clinic's knowledge and expertise may be helpful, so patients are assured of the finest care while staying close to home.

- SOURCE: www.kh.org/mayo

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