Quality medical care can be found in every specialty in any corner of the country, but some clinical centers rise above the pack.
Some institutions are known throughout the medical community for their overall expertise, but we saw a need for a physician’s guide to the best in various specialties. This is the second in Medical Economics’ monthly series: Clinical Centers of Excellence.
The purpose is to recognize those institutions that bring a little something extra to a specialty, whether through research, patient care, or community outreach-or all of these areas.
We’ve chosen the centers based on information from key opinion leaders (KOLs) in various specialties and through physician surveys. To help choose the Clinical Centers of Excellence in gynecologic oncology, we surveyed readers of Contemporary OB/GYN and spoke with gynecologic oncologist KOLs. We then asked the centers to report data and other information, which was verified whenever possible.
Geography is a factor as well: Patients, after all, are more likely to visit a center that is nearby rather than one across the country.
The institutions profiled in this issue-Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Yale Cancer Center-have gynecologic oncology programs that are among the finest in the country.
Though we could not profile them all, we have included a list of the other Clinical Centers of Excellence identified by our surveys and KOLs. We do not rank the centers relative to each other, but explain what makes each one unique.
This series will provide physicians with a valuable tool when considering where to refer challenging cases.
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
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