St. Elizabeth Edgewood is one of four inpatient hospitals in Northern Kentucky. The others are in Florence, Fort Thomas and Williamstown (Grant County). In addition, there is chemical dependency treatment center in Falmouth and an emergency and ambulatory care facility in Covington.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s medical expertise now extends beyond its six Northern Kentucky Hospitals to the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

St. Elizabeth became the 10th member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network late last year, and the first in Kentucky, Indiana or Ohio to pass Mayo’s review and be accepted into the network.

The goal of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, started in 2011, is to bring the benefits of Mayo Clinic knowledge and expertise closer to patients, ensuring they need to travel for care only when necessary, officials say.

The Care Network’s primary tool is an electronic consulting system called eConsults.

It turns the traditional pattern of patients with a difficult health issue traveling to the Mayo Clinic upside down — the patient stays at home and while their physician consults electronically with Mayo specialists.

St. Elizabeth physicians also will have access to Mayo-vetted medical information through the AskMayoExpert database.

As part of St. Elizabeth’s fee for participation, it receives services from Mayo experts on improving and monitoring patient care. There is no charge to patients for access to the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Power AND Expertise

“This collaboration puts the power and expertise of Mayo Clinic in the hands of the physicians at St. Elizabeth, making it easier for patients with the most complex conditions to get the care they need, close to home,” says John S. Dubis, president and CEO of St. Elizabeth.

He said the non-ownership affiliation with the Mayo Clinic grew out of conversations with Mayo Clinic that revealed a shared philosophy about patient care.

Dr. David Hayes, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, says collaboration has been part of the Mayo Clinic’s culture since the Mayo family started it nearly 150 years ago.

“Collaborating with other medical providers to provide the best possible care for patients has always been part of Mayo’s culture. And through the Mayo Clinic Care Network we can work in new ways with community care organizations to enhance the lives of patients,” he says.

The Care Network also has member organizations in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire and North Dakota.

“It can become frustrating for patients to be referred to numerous specialists when they have a complex condition or one that is hard to diagnose,” says Dr. Ty Brown, a neurologist at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “No physician can know everything. When you run into roadblocks you need a place to turn. The ability to collaborate with Mayo experts on behalf of my patients will provide solutions in less time and at no added expense to the patient.”

Patient Approval

The electronic consultants with the Mayo Clinic physicians will only be done with patient approval, St. Elizabeth officials say. There is no obligation for referrals to the Mayo Clinic.

St. Elizabeth has been named one of America’s 50 Best Hosptials by HealthGrades five years in a row. It was named a “100 Top Hospital” by Thomson Reuters six times and was the first Greater Cincinnati hospital to achieve Magnet designation, the highest designation for nursing care excellence, by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2006 and 2010.

Founded in 1861, St. Elizabeth Healthcare is one of the region’s oldest and largest medical providers. The organization is sponsored by the Diocese of Covington.

Six Facilities

St. Elizabeth Healthcare has six facilities throughout Northern Kentucky and serves the Greater Cincinnati area. They are St. Elizabeth Covington, St. Elizabeth Edgewood, St. Elizabeth Falmouth, St. Elizabeth Florence, St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas and St. Elizabeth Grant.

The organization has almost 1,200 licensed beds, a physician organization which includes more than 60 primary care and specialty office locations, more than 1,200 physicians with admitting privileges, more than 7,300 employees including St. Elizabeth Physicians, and three freestanding imaging centers.