‘Safe, happy and cheap:’ Inside the Mayo Clinic hybrid care hotel

Mayo Clinic’s Hybrid Care Hotel in Jacksonville, Fla., challenges the notion that low-risk surgical patients recover better in a conventional hospital.

The Hybrid Care Hotel is a virtual hybrid care service designed for low-risk surgical patients that uses technology and in-person clinician interactions to reimagine patient care.

Michael Maniaci, MD, Medical Director of Mayo Clinic Hospital in Florida, spoke with Becker Hospital Review on how the hospital’s quick thinking at the height of the pandemic gave birth to the Hybrid Care Hotel.

Question: When did the Mayo Clinic come up with the idea for their Hybrid Care Hotel?

Michael Maniaci, MD: The idea came at the end of July 2020 when COVID started to surge in Florida. We had so many out-of-town patients who needed to be kept in our hospitals overnight, but we needed the capacity for sick patients coming in with COVID-19. So, instead of stopping surgeries, we decided to come up with another model so that our patients could get the care they needed, which is how the Hybrid Care Hotel started.

Q: Which teams were involved in the creative process?

MM: Our hospital practice team worked with our surgical teams to try to combine the technology we were using from our hospital-at-home program to the Hybrid Care Hotel. We also started asking advocates, in neurology and neurosurgery, to elect patients who would be good for this type of care. We wanted to make sure we could prove that this system would be safe and provide patients with a good experience. This allowed us to bring together all the right people, technologies and surgeons for the Hybrid Care Hotel, and five days later, after our initial discussion with our teams, we ended up piloting the program with our first patient.

Q: When designing the program, how did Mayo Clinic ensure that its goal was to improve patient experience and satisfaction?

MM: We wanted to do it voluntarily first, we didn’t want to force the patients to go to the hotel if they didn’t want to. Second, we kept communication open with patients. We collected their answers, their immediate reactions, answered their questions, connected them with their surgeons and collected data on the patient experience, refining aspects of the Hybrid Care Hotel to meet their needs.

Q: Based on the patient feedback you received, what do patients like about the model?

MM: Some of the feedback we have received from patients indicates that they find it more comfortable to recover in a hotel room compared to a hospital room. They also loved having family with them. The Hybrid Care Hotel allows families of patients to wait at the hotel while they have their procedure and visit them afterwards without having to wait in a crowded waiting room. Patients also said they really enjoyed using the tablet, which allows patients to virtually connect with a bedside nurse. The response time with the tablet was 30 seconds, that’s faster than our hospital.

Q: Do you think hybrid models of care like this will become more popular over the next decade?

MM: Yes, and these are my main reasons – safe, happy and cheap. The quality of care provided at the Hybrid Care Hotel has already proven itself in complete safety. The Mayo Clinic also collects patient experience data and compares it to the hospital experience, and some of our findings suggest that patients have a better experience at the Hybrid Care Hotel. In addition, this program saves money, the construction of hospital facilities to house patients can represent an investment of 100 million dollars, while the Hybrid Care Hotel costs thousands of dollars. This saves hospitals money and passes it on to investing in better patient care. Once other hospitals see that it works, it will quickly gain popularity.

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