Kae Essler

Mayo Clinic Labs @ Work

Thousands of people in hundreds of different roles work at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. Mayo Clinic Labs @ Work offers a glimpse behind the scenes into this busy reference laboratory, featuring staff from throughout the organization talking about what they do and why they do it.


What brought you to Mayo Clinic Laboratories, and how long have you been here?

In the early 2000s, I was working at a health care organization that was a client of Mayo Medical Laboratories — as Mayo Clinic Laboratories was called then — and I learned about the job through our Mayo hospital account executive. I came to Mayo in October 2003 as a laboratory technologist resource coordinator. I did that for a year, and then I went on to managing the regional service representative team for eight years. I moved into Client Conversion after that.


What is your current role, and what does your typical day-to-day work involve?

I manage the Client Conversion team. We’re a small group; there are just four of us. It’s a unique team that Mayo Clinic Laboratories has developed. Other reference labs don’t have this kind of group. We handle the steps prior to a client interface project being kicked off, as well as changes to an existing interface. We have a lot of aspects to our job, but that’s what most people know us for — the connectivity and our role in assisting onboarding new, larger clients. We also work on account setup, and we serve as a resource for field staff and internal MCS (Mayo Collaborative Services) teams. We work directly with the client, as needed.

We’re also the bridge to the Information Technology (IT) team, so we connect the client with the appropriate IT resources needed to get a project underway. We preserve the Mayo project team’s time and also the client resources’ time by ensuring client readiness. We then request the IT resources at that time. Because of the way we’re set up, we drive efficiencies, making the client engagement a much more efficient process.

We also work with clients who are downsizing or leaving Mayo Clinic Laboratories. We make sure that their service level matches their commitment level to Mayo. We interact with a lot of teams within Mayo Clinic Laboratories, as well, and we get pulled into special projects, too, as subject matter experts. But the main focus for us is that we are client-facing, and we are a supporting team for multiple areas within MCS.


How does the work you do for Mayo Clinic Laboratories benefit health care providers and patients?

When we put an interface in place, we make it easy for the health care providers to place their test orders in the EMR (electronic medical record) and get the test results back in the EMR. That’s big. There are no other steps the provider will need to do to place those orders or get those results. I was once on-site in a neurologist’s office, and he asked me, “What has Mayo done for us today?” I replied, “We made it possible for you to order tests and see results in the EMR.” His response? “Excellent!”

We are, of course, part of a large group that makes that happen. But we make the front-end, client-facing piece easy for the client and easy for our colleagues. We bridge that gap. The more interfaces we have, the easier it is for all of us. We focus on doing that in a way that uses clear, concise, efficient processes so, again, it’s easy for everyone involved.


Is there anything about your work that people might find surprising or unexpected?

I think people would be surprised to learn how much goes on behind the scenes with client interactions. It involves a significant amount of collaboration and many carefully crafted processes. Everyone in Mayo Clinic Laboratories knows the piece we work on with them, but people have no idea how many groups we interact with overall. And really, we benefit from that interaction because we get to work with many, many people who are so very good in their roles, and it all works together to benefit the client. For us, it’s all about that collaboration.


Looking back on your career at Mayo Clinic, what have you enjoyed most about your work?

I’m retiring soon, and although I’ve always been in health care, the first half of my career was before Mayo, and the second half has been at Mayo Clinic. The difference is significant. I noticed it right away. The people here are the best. Everyone has a good attitude, mutual respect is a priority, and everyone works together. Even when issues come up with clients, and there are problems that have to be dealt with, I have been so impressed with the level of service and professionalism that’s offered every time. I’m humbled and so proud to work here.

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Tracy Will

Tracy Will is a senior marketing specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories where she covers innovation, specialty testing, and advances in laboratory medicine. Tracy has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2016.