Online Program

Re-defining Excellence: Patient Experience and the Employers Centers of Excellence Network

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Olivia Ross, MPH, MBA, Pacific Business Group on Health, San Francisco, CA
Rachel Lee, Pay for Value, Pacific Business Group on Health, San Francisco, CA
Despite the consistent refrain, “Centers of Excellence” (CoEs), many CoE programs designed by health plans and healthcare vendors fall short of excellence in their definition of patient experience. Typically, CoE designations are based on a limited set of clinical quality metrics and little attention, if any, is placed on identifying excellence across all aspects of patient care. Several large self-insured employers decided to create their own program and launched the Employers Centers of Excellence Network (ECEN) on 1/1/14 for joint replacement procedures. The ECEN qualifies hospitals and surgeons who have demonstrated a dedication to clinical quality as well as the higher level of service required for these patients, many of whom have left their home town to receive surgery. 

In order to re-define excellence, a team of experts in medical care, care management, patient safety and customer service worked together to identify key process measures for ensuring patient-centered care across the care continuum.  In addition to utilizing shared decision making and collecting patient reported outcomes on pain and function, patients’ needs are anticipated for their entire stay through the use of a 24/7 patient navigator. A bundled payment mechanism further reinforces care coordination across the entire CoE team.

The ECEN has facilitated over five hundred completed joint replacement surgeries in its first year and 98% of patients would recommend the program to a friend or coworker. Employers can feel confident that the ECEN has developed a detailed and sustainable process for ensuring a holistic, truly excellent patient experience.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Explain how the Employers Centers of Excellence Network (ECEN) is providing a higher bar of patient-centered care Evaluate the feasibility of implementing new process measures as put into practice by the ECEN

Keyword(s): Patient-Centered Care, Patient Satisfaction

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Associate Director of the Employers Centers of Excellence Network (ECEN). I have spent the last two years developing and implementing the ECEN, including developing center selection criteria , evaluating potential centers, and managing the ongoing program administration and requirements as well as leading expansion efforts.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.