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CASE 31 International Marketing Research at the Mayo Clinic The Mayo Clinic, known for treating international leaders, recently saw the president of a central Africa country in its halls. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, was in Rochester, New York, for a checkup, clinic officials confirmed. Security officers and limousines—not an uncommon sight in Rochester—signaled his visit. Nguema Mbasogo assumed the leadership of his country with a coup that overthrew his uncle. His country recently began working with the U.S. Agency for International Development, under the leadership of a dean of the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, to improve…show more content…
To give a simple example, data fields must be made uniform—not just on one data system, but on all of them. Rather than a free-text field, for example, that allows a registrant to enter Venzuela, or Venosuela, or Vensuala, or maybe even Venezuela, the Mayo Clinic pushes for a predefined field that provides standardized information. The Clinic monitors international data by the quarter, carefully watching trends over time by country or region, tracking significant changes in volume, hospitalization rates, and percentage of new patients out of any given market. For example, it knows it has between 9,000 and 10,000 patients, depending on the year, from more than 160 different countries annually. Some are thirdgeneration patients—maybe their grandfather was cured there in the 1930s—and others are brand new. Some are neighbors from Ontario or Monterrey; others come all the way from Indonesia. Some markets are significantly less predictable than others, and some countries deliver more “new” patients than others. The Mayo Clinic probes further to figure out why. Second, it conducts research with internal salespeople—the physicians and their support staff who deliver care to international patients. Through carefully moderated focus groups, the Clinic identifies the things that are going smoothly, as well as the barriers to providing excellent care. And where appropriate, it makes recommendations for change. Third, just as with
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