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Needs Assessment of Mayo Clinic’s Transition to Virtual Care Delivery Models


Mayo Clinic is recognized worldwide for its exemplary patient care, groundbreaking medical research, and dedication to training the next generation of healthcare professionals (Mayo Clinic, 2023). For over 150 years, it has upheld its mission of applying its resources to the greatest possible degree to relieve human suffering and advance medical science (Mayo Clinic, 2023). As the clinical landscape rapidly evolves with technological innovations, it remains crucial for renowned institutions like the Mayo Clinic to strategically reimagine service delivery models while maintaining the highest standards of compassionate, equitable, and evidence-based practice. This needs assessment aims to determine how expanding virtual care modalities may help Mayo Clinic fulfill its time-honored commitments within an increasingly complex healthcare environment. A thorough evaluation of organizational needs, available resources, regulatory factors, and diverse stakeholder perceptions is warranted to ensure that any proposed changes are judiciously implemented and yield optimal outcomes for all involved. A multi-perspective analysis informed by diverse change management frameworks will provide critical insights into the opportunities and challenges associated with permanently transitioning to hybrid virtual and in-person clinical service models.

Overview of change

Change refers to modifying, substituting, or altering current procedures, processes, infrastructure, culture, or paradigms within an organization (Chowthi-Williams & Davis, 2022). On an individual level, change can describe the transformation of roles, behaviors, routines, or mindsets that had previously been firmly established. For the Mayo Clinic, the needed change under consideration is a strategic transition to incorporate virtual care delivery on an ongoing basis, complementing but not replacing traditional in-person patient encounters (Chowthi-Williams & Davis, 2022). While telehealth was adopted out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanently expanding its use would constitute a significant evolutionary shift in how Mayo Clinic operationalizes its mission on a day-to-day basis. Sustainably embracing new virtual care models amounts to an institutional-wide change affecting clinical workflows, staffing needs, patient experiences, geographic service areas, and financial modeling(Haleem et al., 2021). Therefore, carefully managing this transition using frameworks that acknowledge change as a complex, multi-dimensional process is paramount to change success, stakeholder buy-in, and achieving projected goals and outcomes over the long term.

Change Management Theoretical Framework

Change management is pivotal in ensuring a smooth transition to new operational models. Utilizing change management theories and models such as Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model, Lewin’s Change Management Model, and the ADKAR Model can aid in understanding and navigating the complexities involved in this transition. These models emphasize the importance of preparation, management, and reinforcement of change, ensuring all stakeholders are engaged and supportive of the transformation.

Kotter’s 8-Step Change Mode

Kotter’s model provides a relevant framework to guide Mayo Clinic’s transition to virtual care delivery. To begin, leadership must urgently communicate to stakeholders how embracing new models addresses needs like improving access and efficiency (Haas et al., 2019). A cross-departmental team representing varying perspectives can then develop networking hubs of support. This coalition would craft an inspired vision and implementation plan to systematically expand telehealth’s role as a regular component of the care continuum (Haas et al., 2019). Clear and frequent messaging showcasing virtual care’s role in the vision through staff training and patient materials could boost adoption. Ensuring accessible technology resources and reimbursement pathways would empower wider piloting. Short pilots of new virtual services could yield early wins to motivate continued efforts if shown to benefit specific populations (Haas et al., 2019). Building on proven pilots, additional specialties, and special cases may transition phase-by-phase. As virtual options become more normalized, clarifying their importance in delivering on Mayo Clinic’s mission would anchor changes institutionally (Haas et al., 2019).

Lewin’s three-stage model

Lewin’s three-stage model provides a process for the Mayo Clinic to transition to virtual care delivery successfully. The first “unfreeze” stage involves determining the need for change by analyzing external factors and stakeholder perceptions. This needs assessment aims to fulfill that requirement (Hussain et al., 2018). The next “change” stage will comprise pilot testing virtual care options, collecting feedback, and iteratively modifying protocols based on lessons learned. Overcoming resistance will require empathy and involvement from staff. When desired outcomes emerge, virtual care can officially be adopted through policy revisions, hiring additional telehealth experts, and shifts in physician performance metrics, signifying the final “refreeze” stage (Hussain et al., 2018). By methodically working through Lewin’s unfreezing outdated assumptions, deliberately guiding the transition, and cementing the new approach as standard protocol, Mayo Clinic can change behaviors and refocus efforts to maximize patient and clinician benefits through expanded virtual health services (Hussain et al., 2018).

The ADKAR Model

The ADKAR Model zeroes in on individual change by proposing that people must progress through five cognitive and behavioral dimensions to change successfully. First, they must be aware of why change is occurring and what is expected. This needs assessment aims to fulfill that awareness stage (Balluck et al., 2020). Next, individuals must desire and become committed to implementing the change. Providing training opportunities, clearly outlining benefits, and addressing concerns could build desire. Sufficient knowledge and skills must be followed so staff can adopt the changes. Piloting virtual services, customized guidance materials, and coaching support may reinforce ability.


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Chowthi-Williams, A., & Davis, G. (2022, March 3). Successful Change Management in Health Care. Routledge.

Haas, M., Munzer, B., Santen, S., Hopson, L., Haas, N., Overbeek, D., Peterson, W., Cranford, J., & Huang, R. (2019, December 19). #DidacticsRevolution: Applying Kotter’s 8-Step Change Management Model to Residency Didactics. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine21(1), 65–70.

Haleem, A., Javaid, M., Singh, R. P., & Suman, R. (2021). Telemedicine for healthcare: Capabilities, features, barriers, and applications. Sensors International, p. 2, 100117.

Hussain, S. T., Lei, S., Akram, T., Haider, M. J., Hussain, S. H., & Ali, M. (2018, September). Kurt Lewin’s change model: A critical review of the role of leadership and employee involvement in organizational change. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge3(3), 123–127.

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Mayo Clinic. (2023). Top-ranked Hospital in the Nation – Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 8, 2023, from


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