In the complex and continually changing environment of health care, some institutions—including Johns Hopkins—are differentiating themselves by establishing niche programs that deliver world-class care on selected fronts.
Known as centers of excellence, these programs provide patients with specialized expertise and resources, and they offer advantages both within and between health care institutions.
In traditional care settings, patients often have to visit many medical departments, which can mean visits to multiple buildings on a hospital campus or even additional locations within their community. Centers of excellence typically gather complementary medical services in one location and then build on their collective strengths to deliver comprehensive—and convenient—treatment.
This concentrated focus on a specific condition creates expert, tailored care experiences. Our patients receive care that is customized to address their specific needs from the time they receive their diagnosis to when they complete their treatment.
Centers of excellence also pool resources that otherwise would be distributed more broadly across departments, which fosters transparency and efficiency to ensure patients get the best possible outcomes.
At Johns Hopkins, we like to call that delivering the best care at the right time, in the right setting, in a way that’s guided by personal needs and values.
Centers of excellence also make good business sense in the field of health care, where financial resources are tight, competition is robust, technologies are ever evolving, and patients are rightfully becoming more selective.
Perhaps most notably, centers of excellence distinguish institutions in a crowded marketplace, marking them as experts for particular medical conditions and increasing opportunities to attract patients—and top clinicians and administrators.
Centers of excellence can also garner a certain level of clout that makes them highly attractive as they strive to recruit the best physicians, nurses, administrators and technicians. Additionally, well-designed centers of excellence typically employ the latest technologies, another recruitment tool that is particularly attractive to physicians who want to exercise their skills using the most advanced equipment.
The concerted pooling of resources toward specialized areas of care—often at centralized sites—also allows for economies of scale, which generates savings and improves financial performance.
In short, assembling the best clinical and administrative minds and giving them the latest technologies and less-restrictive budgets go a long way toward enhancing care quality, improving patient satisfaction, and ultimately shoring up reputation and market share in a key medical area.
Like many medical institutions, Johns Hopkins uses the center of excellence model to differentiate our services in areas such as ovarian cancer, lung screening, joint replacements and neurosurgery. We also have opened precision medicine centers of excellence in multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer, where we can provide meticulous diagnosis and high-value care targeted to a patient’s unique condition and genetic makeup.
Through our centers of excellence, we are able to optimize our infrastructure, hiring and clinical care programs, which means we are able to provide our patients with the best treatments possible. But for us that isn’t enough.
Through Johns Hopkins Medicine International, we are also introducing and helping to implement this concept at health care institutions around the world, as you’ll read in our next post.