The Mayo Clinic's treasure trove of medical records is getting even bigger.
Since 1966, Mayo has collected as many records as possible from Olmsted County and used them to generate important studies that help save lives. The Rochester Epidemiology Project now holds close to 600,000 medical records.
Minnesota Public Radio reports the project is now expanding to include patients from seven other southeastern Minnesota counties, which will help researchers broaden the database. The hospital-and-clinic system also has made contact with other regional providers outside of the Mayo system to see if they're interested in participating.
Jennifer St. Sauver, scientific manager of the project, says having access to a large and growing pool of medical records gives researchers many more study options, such as more chances to study rare diseases.