How to Develop a Successful Spine Center of Excellence

Written by Heather Linder | January 28, 2013 | Print  |
Marcy T. Rogers, president and CEO of SpineMark, discussed how to develop a spine center of excellence and manage the center's quality in a Jan. 16 webinar. SpineMark focuses on the development of spine centers of excellence and spine research organizations, and Ms. Rogers has more than 30 years of experience working with healthcare professionals, facilities and device manufacturers. During the program, she discussed several reasons why developing a spine center is a valuable, profitable endeavor, including the evolving healthcare climate. The globalization of healthcare, including medical tourism and increased competition, is making it crucial for providers to differentiate themselves. Spine centers of excellence can provide the specialization to meet patients' needs.

Why a Spine Center of Excellence?

"The growth of the industry has exceeded all expectations," Ms. Rogers says.

Multidisciplinary spine centers can include spine, musculoskeletal, pain management care and more, but all parts must fit together for a center to be successful. "Create integration, consensus and alignment of all stake holders," she says.

Spine centers provide many benefits, including:
•    Coordination of primary and ancillary care
•    An operative and non-operative integrated model delivery system
•    Downstream and spin-off revenue
•    Quality metrics for process and outcomes
•    Clinical research to drive new patient referrals

Spine centers also create the opportunity for international, national, regional and local catchment area branding and marketing, Ms. Rogers says.

Measuring Success

Hospital leadership and spine center physicians collaborate to manage outcomes and the cost of care, according to Ms. Rogers. Hospitals bring staff, marketing tools and the software to track outcomes, while physicians bring clinical pathways, participation standards and clinical outcomes.

Transparency is also critical to a thriving spine center.

"It is important to talk transparency," she says. "Be very much out in the open with metrics, and even make things like the spine center's policy and procedure available, as well as continuous quality improvement plans."

Transparency will inevitably drive quality, growth and reimbursements.

Ms. Rogers also presented data, showing that specialization in orthopedic surgery brings better clinical outcomes. Specialization results in fewer postoperative complications — such as blood clots, infection and heart problems — and a 50 percent lower rate of death within 90 postoperative days.

Centers should set internal standards, including tangible planning, implementation, monitoring and measurement, to achieve a success.

Requirements for a Successful Center of Excellence

Spine centers of excellence bring an integrated delivery system for all coordinated components of care.

Some qualifications to start a center include:
•    Area population of more than 500,000
•    Well-trained emergency room physician team
•    Broad base of primary care, neurology and rheumatology support
•    Access to an international airport
•    Facility willing to invest in the center's physical and virtual infrastructure

Structurally, centers also need a physician-driven clinical operations committee, a multidisciplinary team approach to provide a full continuum of spine care, team conferences, treatment pathways, clinical spine research and continuous quality improvement.

Marketing your Center

The key to marketing a spine center of excellence is understanding what people in your market want and branding your center based on that information, Ms. Rogers says.

In addition to offering appropriate surgical procedures, engage with the community through hospital education programs, diagnostic and screening programs and seminars or symposiums. Accountability is critical in the age of social media and the Internet.

In addition, centers that participate in clinical trials can position themselves as a pioneer in the marketplace and an organization interested in investing in and providing new forms of treatment for its patients.

Learn more about SpineMark.

Click here to access a video recording of the webinar.
Click here for a copy of the presentation.

More Articles on Spine:
10 Spine Surgeons & Specialists on the Move
Job Opening at New York Medical Group for Clinical Documentation Specialist
Spine Surgeon Dr. Mark Dekutoski Joins The CORE Institute

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