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Mercy’s Long-Term Collaboration with Mayo Clinic

Today I’m excited to share with you a 10-year collaboration agreement between Mayo Clinic and Mercy – a unique, first-of-its-kind alliance between two large health care systems. Together we’ll use the most current data science and years of de-identified patient outcomes to find diseases earlier and more quickly put patients on paths to better health.

This is not a merger or acquisition. Mercy and Mayo will remain two separate organizations. And Mercy does not intend to refer patients to Mayo for treatment that we can, and should, provide close to home. Of course, when a patient needs a higher level of care, and in the rare cases it’s not available at Mercy, we will work with the patient and their family to seek out the best referral options, which could of course include Mayo Clinic.

We will work with Mayo and our collective years of de-identified outcomes data to improve patient care. Since Mayo and Mercy were both early adopters of integrated electronic health records, we each have more than a decade of treatment outcomes, which translates into millions of care instances. Until recently, the information was too unstructured and complex to effectively analyze. Now the combination of cloud-based technology and the growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning make it possible. We can look at large data groups, stripped of any personally identifiable information, to see treatment patterns. They will show us how to better diagnose disease and identify the best treatment options earlier and with significantly greater precision than can be accomplished today. Our goal will be to share the information with physicians and providers to augment the care they provide patients.


Combining our efforts with Mayo will help us develop new care algorithms or pathways that we will validate, utilize in our care, and eventually distribute to other health systems faster, and with greater precision, than either organization could have accomplished without the other. As we mature the work, we can put these care pathways to real-world use in areas including transplant care improvement, complex cancer treatment, cardiovascular, neuroscience and GI. And we believe that is only the beginning.


Because patient privacy is important to everyone we serve, and to our organizations, Mayo and Mercy have worked to develop a collaborative environment where we both maintain full control of our own data. A software process will allow it to be appropriately accessed for analytical modeling and algorithm development, but data can’t be extracted or transferred between us and will always be de-identified.  Remember, we are looking for best-care patterns across thousands of treatment experiences, so while every patient is very important, it’s the combination of many points of care that help us determine the best future pathway. With Mayo and Mercy combining efforts, we can provide better patient care, experience and outcomes, while ultimately saving more lives. Together, we can do something for the greater good, be proactive and change health care for patients everywhere. Bringing proactive, predictive and personalized care to more patients is the foundation of our Strategy 2025 transformation efforts, and this collaboration will best enable us to achieve those objectives.


As a non-profit organization, Mayo shares our passion to make a difference in the lives of those we serve, through whole-person care. Their leaders possess the same “bias for action” that has been a steadfast part of our culture since our founding by the Sisters of Mercy. They want every patient to have access to the best possible care, and thus honor our belief in the dignity of every person. We believe we’re on the cusp of something truly extraordinary when it comes to accelerating patient care and are honored to collaborate with such a remarkable organization like Mayo Clinic, who shares our passion for compassionate care and exceptional service.


This is just the beginning of the next generation of more personalized care we’ll be able to bring to patients, and Mercy will be at the forefront of the effort. Expect our ministry to continue to innovate and deliver an enhanced experience for all those we serve.

Mercy Health Foundation
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