MANKATO — Mankato Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato are considered state leaders among their peers in breast and cervical cancer screenings and childhood immunizations.

These distinctions and more were highlighted in a report released this month by MN Community Measurement — a health-tracking nonprofit. The report compiled data from 885 clinics, 250 medical groups and 135 hospitals in measures including clinical quality, cost and patient experience.

The two medical groups measured in the top 15 in the state in the two cancer screening metrics. Their satellite clinics in Mankato, along with Mayo’s other clinics in the region, were also dotted throughout the report as high performers in numerous other measures.

One such example for Mankato Clinic was earned for its follow-up care for children prescribed with ADHD medication. The medical group was the only one in the state to have consistent improvement over three years in the metric.

Dr. Julie Gerndt, Mankato Clinic’s chief medical officer, said the high marks for follow-up care can be attributed to the clinic’s close relationships with its patients.

“It’s paying attention to what the standard of care is and then partnering with our patients to make sure they get the care they deserve,” she said.

In the case of a child who’s been prescribed ADHD medication, Gerndt said follow-up care might include tracking when to reach out to families once the child is overdue for care.

Mankato Clinic also was found to have the biggest improvement from 2015 to 2016 in use of spirometry testing — a lung assessment — for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Gerndt said the 18 percentage point jump reflects clinic initiatives to train staff and obtain equipment for the testing in recent years.

“For any measurement we improve on, you can bet there was two years of pre-work that went into improving that measured number.”

Along with its high measures in the cancer screenings, Mayo’s Mankato campus also stood out in its care for patients with high blood pressure. Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James, meanwhile, was among medical groups showing consistent improvement over three years in chlamydia screening for women.

Dr. Jennifer Johnson, Mayo’s Southwest Minnesota region physician lead for clinical outcomes, said the report is used to find and address differences between clinics within the same medical groups. The good performers can be held up as a benchmark, she said.

“We’re always honored to be recognized for that hard work we do every day and continue to use this data to improve,” she said.

The report’s multi-year measures can be particularly helpful in showing year-to-year improvement, she said.

“It’s not good enough to do something really well one year,” she said. “We want to continue to offer that same level of care year after year, clinic after clinic, patient after patient.”

The lengthy report can be found at

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArolaMFP.

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