Clinical Centers of Excellence: Dermatology

January 23, 2009

Quality medical care can be found in every specialty in any corner of the country, but some clinical centers rise above the pack.

Quality medical care can be found in every specialty and in every corner of the country, in hospitals and free clinics, in solo practices, and in sprawling medical centers. Sometimes, though, a clinical center, through a combination of talent, hard work, resources, funding, and leadership, rises above the pack in certain areas.

While some centers are known throughout the medical community for their overall expertise, we saw a need for a physician's guide to the best in various specialties. In response to this, Medical Economics presents the Clinical Centers of Excellence series. The purpose is to recognize those hospitals that bring a little something extra to a specialty, whether through research, patient care, or community outreach.

We've chosen the centers based on information from key opinion leaders in various specialties and through physician surveys.

Advanstar Clinical Centers of Excellence
Institutions under consideration to be named Clinical Centers of Excellence are asked to self-report data, which is checked against publicly available information. Depending on the specialty, these criteria may include:

Quality-improvement initiatives under way

Community outreach

National awards and recognition

Participation in national therapeutic initiatives (e.g., the National Cancer Consortium, Children’s Oncology Group, etc.)

Number of referrals for the particular specialty area

Number of international referrals

Number of patients treated/procedures performed per year

Number of research protocols engaged in annually

Number of medication/surgical errors

Systems in place to prevent errors

Outcomes data (e.g., mortality/morbidity rates, unnecessary readmission rates, etc.)

Level of technological equipment on site

EHR processes and level of development

Participation in regional systems integration initiatives

Follow-up care programs (e.g., enforcement of secondary prevention/medication compliance)

Patient education efforts

Patient satisfaction survey results

Infectious disease prevention efforts

Availability of comprehensive care programs (e.g., preventive cardiology)

Evidence of incorporating research and clinical care

High ranking by NCQA

KOL publishing records

Medical Nobel Laureates on faculty

JCAHO certification/accreditation

Clinical Centers of Excellence for Dermatology
To help choose the Clinical Centers of Excellence in Dermatology, we surveyed readers of Dermatology Times and spoke with dermatology KOLs. We then asked the centers to report data and other information, which was verified whenever possible.

Geography is a factor as well. Doctors are more likely to recommend-and patients are more likely to visit-a center that is nearby rather than one across the country. The institutions profiled in this issue-the Mayo Clinic, University of Michigan Health System, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and University of California, San Francisco Medical Center-have dermatology programs that are among the finest in the country.

Though we could not profile them all, we have included a list of other Centers of Excellence in Dermatology identified by our surveys and key opinion leaders. We do not rank any of the centers in the following list relative to each other, but explain what makes them unique:

Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, California

Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York

New York University Medical Center, New York, New York

University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, Houston, Texas

University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina