By Meghan Mangrum
Research studies and publication in academic journals are the hallmarks of a career in academia. Most doctoral students spend much of their time contributing to the current research in their respective fields, but it is rare for a master’s student to get the same opportunity.
Meredith Brady, who graduates this Saturday with a UF master’s degree in health administration, got such an opportunity when she co-authored an article that was published in the Harvard Business Review last fall.
The paper, “The Mayo Clinic Model for Running a Value-Improvement Program,” grew out of an internship Brady had at the Jacksonville campus of the Mayo Clinic’s Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery last summer.
The Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery focuses on evidence-based care delivery as well as the value of the care delivered, and allowed Brady to work on different projects, she said.
Brady worked under doctors, researchers and her preceptor, focusing that summer on the Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing, or TDABC, approach which allows practitioners to assess the value of their delivery of care. The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville had used this approach to study the delivery of care for total hip and knee replacements and while Brady was an intern the studies had turned to neuroscience.
Under the suggestion of her preceptor, March Rucci, M.H.A., the program manager at the Mayo Clinic, Brady began to work one-on-one with Ryan Uitti, M.D., the department of neurology’s medical director, who then asked Brady if she would be interested in working on the paper.
“I was given an opportunity and I took it,” Brady said. “One thing that’s kind of cool about Mayo is they really care about the people who work for them.”
Brady began researching the center’s previous studies focused on the TDABC approach and met with researchers and practitioners who had participated in the studies over the course of three to four weeks. By the end of her unpaid summer internship, the team had submitted a paper to the Harvard Business Review.
The team selected the Orthopedic Project for total knee and hip replacements to illustrate how a structured and well-executed implementation plan can improve health care value.
A well-structured implementation plan includes gaining senior leadership support, selecting a project team, engaging local physicians, measuring outcomes and costs, testing process-improvement suggestions and recording and sharing lessons, according to the team’s model.
After the original draft was submitted to the Harvard Business Review, the article underwent several more edits before final publication. Uitti even graciously removed his name so Brady’s could be listed as an author to comply with Harvard Business Review’s author limit.
Brady credits her experience with sparking an interest in the TDABC approach.
“I really like the idea of defining the value of care that is delivered, including focusing on condition-specific processes and collecting patient-reported outcomes,” Brady said.
Brady, who obtained a bachelor’s of science degree in political science from UF in 2014, decided to pursue her master’s in health administration after becoming interested in health care while spending the spring semester of her junior year at a legislative internship in Tallahassee.
“I knew I wasn’t clinical, but I didn’t know what options were out there,” Brady said of finding her passion for health care administration.
Following graduation Brady begins a two-year administrative fellowship at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.