Quality: The Mayo Clinic approach

Stephen J. Swensen, James A. Dilling, Dawn S. Milliner, Richard S. Zimmerman, William J. Maples, Mark E. Lindsay, George B. Bartley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Developing highly reliable care for patients requires changes in some traditional beliefs of medical practice, an evolution toward a "system" of health care, the disciplined application of scientific principles, modifications in the way all future providers are trained, and a fundamental understanding by leadership that quality must become a business strategy and core work, not an expense or regulatory requirement. Quality at Mayo is defined as a composite of outcomes, safety, and service. A 4-part strategic construct focusing on Culture, Infrastructure, Engineering, and Execution has been developed to guide improvement activities and to ensure a comprehensive approach to better patient care. The Mayo Clinic experience has led to a greater understanding of the leadership commitment, organizational challenges, and the breadth of initiatives necessary to achieve highly reliable care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-440
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 10 2009


  • Engineering
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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