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Archive for July, 2008

The Nebraska Medical Center named one of America’s Best Hospitals

The Nebraska Medical Center has been named one of America’s best hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 publication of America’s Best Hospitals. For the first time, the medical center is ranked for two services, Cancer and Neurology & Neurosurgery. The July 21st edition of US News hits news stands Monday, July 14, but is available online on July 11 at www.usnews.com/besthospitals
In the list of America’s Best Hospitals for cancer care, The Nebraska Medical Center ranked 39th. On the list of best hospitals for Neurology & Neurosurgery, the medical center is 41st.

 

“Our cancer and neurology rankings in U.S. News & World Report provide national recognition of specialized expertise, quality, technology and reputation from our peers around the country,” said Glenn Fosdick, president and CEO of The Nebraska Medical Center. “We’re proud of this accomplishment and our talented team at The Nebraska Medical Center, who provide the highest level of care to our community.”

 

“Our patients get the best of both worlds – the clinical expertise of our academic and private practice physicians and the work being done by the researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center,” said Fosdick.

 

Out of 5,453 hospitals across the country considered, only the top 170 medical centers were selected for the 2008 America’s Best Hospital’s report. The report focused on 16 areas of specialty from cancer to urology.

 

“The cancer ranking is a reflection of the comprehensive quality of our care and the most cutting edge cancer treatments available at our medical center,” said Theresa Franco, executive director of the Cancer Care service line at The Nebraska Medical Center. “We are the only National Cancer Institute designated cancer center in the five-state region from North Dakota down to Texas. It is a true team effort of all our clinical staff that combines oncology & hematology headed by Dr. Julie Vose, radiation oncology headed by Dr. Charles Enke, and surgical oncology directed by Dr. James Edney, coupled with the strength of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center and its status as a leading national cancer center.”
“This cancer ranking confirms our commitment to cancer patients and we are humbled by the recognition,” added Franco. “However, this recognition does not mean we will stop striving to be better in the care delivered everyday. We take the journey to excellence very seriously.”

 

“The neurology & neurosurgery ranking is a reflection of the clinical expertise, state-of-the-art technology and research available at our medical center,” said Deb Istas, executive director of the Neurological Sciences service line at The Nebraska Medical Center.

 

“Our epilepsy center has been recognized by The National Association of Epilepsy Centers as a level four regional center for the treatment of epilepsy – the highest designation possible and our stroke program is the first program in the state to receive certification from The Joint Commission, a nationally and internationally recognized leader in health care quality evaluation. Our neurosurgeons provide state-of-the-art care to patients throughout Nebraska and the surrounding region offering highly specialized treatment of the spine and the spinal cord, brain tumors, cerebrovascular disease and disorders of peripheral nervous system.”

 

This neurology recognition is the result of a team effort that combines the expertise of both academic and private practice neurologists and neurosurgeons. Leading this team is Dr. Pierre Fayad, Chairman Department of Neurological Sciences, and Dr. Ken Follett, Chief of Neurosurgery along with their private practice partners.

 

The 16 ranked specialties ranked by U.S.News & World Report are cancer; gastroenterology; ear, nose, and throat; endocrinology; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disease; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology.

 

“The America’s Best Hospitals rankings provide readers with trusted material during some of life’s most concerning times – hospitalization,” said Brian Kelly, editor of U.S.News & World Report. “Our rankings highlight the internal culture of excellence embraced by caregivers in the great hospitals throughout the U.S.”
“Talent and money alone don’t put hospitals in the rankings,” agreed Best Hospitals editor Avery Comarow. “The truly best hospitals are never satisfied,” he said. “Of course they have high medical standards. But the emphasis is not only on doing well, but always doing better–squeezing another few percentage points out of the infection rate, improving the quality of life of elderly patients besides helping more of them survive.”

 

Methodology
The rankings in 12 of the 16 specialties weigh three elements equally: reputation, death rate, and a set of care-related factors such as nursing and patient services. In these 12 specialties, hospitals have to pass through several gates to be ranked and considered a Best Hospital:

  • The first gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked at all by requiring that any of three conditions be met–to be a teaching hospital, to be affiliated with a teaching hospital, or to have at least six important medical technologies from a defined list of 13.
  • The second gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked in a particular specialty. To be eligible, the hospital had to either have at least a specified volume in certain procedures and conditions over three years, or had to have been nominated in our yearly specialist survey.
    The third gate is whether a hospital does well enough to be ranked, based on its reputation, death rate, and factors like nurse staffing and technology.
    In the four other specialties–ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology–ranking is based solely on reputation, derived from the three most recent physician surveys.

 

About The Nebraska Medical Center: With a reputation for excellence, innovation and extraordinary patient care, The Nebraska Medical Center has earned J.D. Power and Associates’ Hospital of Distinction award for inpatient services for three consecutive years. It is a US News & World Report 2008 “Best Hospital” for Cancer, Neurology and Neurosurgery. It also received the 2007 Consumer Choice Award, a mark of patient satisfaction as selected by healthcare consumers and has achieved Magnet recognition status for nursing excellence, Thomson 100 Top Hospitals Performance Improvement Leader recognition, as well as the Award of Progress from the state of Nebraska’s Edgerton Quality Awards Program. As the teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, this 624 licensed bed academic medical center has an international reputation for providing solid organ and bone marrow transplantation services and is well known nationally and regionally for its oncology, neurology and cardiology programs. The Nebraska Medical Center can be found online at www.nebraskamed.com

 

 

About the U.S. News Media Group: The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis which includes U.S.News & World Report magazine, www.usnews.com and www.rankingsandreviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. The U.S. News Media Group’s signature franchises include its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its “America’s Best” series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, health plans and more.

July 2008-Story contributed by The Nebraska Medical Center

Story contributed by The Nebraska Medical Center
 
Complex and rare cancers comprise approximately 15 percent of new cancer cases each year, making it difficult for patients to locate or research facilities with oncologists or surgical teams that are experienced in treating these specific malignancies.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska has named UNMC’s hospital partner, The Nebraska Medical Center, as a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers.

 

Only 88 other medical centers in the United States have earned the same distinction.

 

Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers were developed in strategic collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) with input from a panel of leading clinicians and professional organizations.
The NCCN is an elite group of 21 cancer centers across the United States, of which The Nebraska Medical Center is the only one in the region.

 

Peter Coccia, M.D., a pediatric oncologist at UNMC and The Nebraska Medical Center and member of the board of directors of NCCN, said, “We are very pleased to receive the Blue Distinction designation. As a founding member of the NCCN and as a National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center, it re-enforces our reputation as a nationally recognized referral site for rare and complex cancers. This designation and our recent award of being named one of the top 50 cancer care hospitals in the U.S. truly set this medical center apart.”

 

“Blue Distinction reflects the commitment of the entire organization to provide extraordinary care,” said Glenn Fosdick, president and CEO of The Nebraska Medical Center. “We care for some of the most seriously ill patients in the region. Our clinicians have worked diligently to make this one of the elite centers in the United States for these rare and complex cancers.”

 

“We want to recognize and reward those network providers who are setting new standards of excellence in the quality of health care,” said Dr. Bill Minier, chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. “Cancer touches the lives of so many Nebraskans. We are thrilled at the level of outstanding specialty care available to our members right here in our state.”

 

Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers are facilities within participating Blue Cross and Blue Shield network service areas that offer comprehensive inpatient cancer care programs for adults, delivered by multidisciplinary teams with subspecialty training and distinguished clinical expertise in treating the following complex and rare subtypes of cancer:

 

Bone cancer;
Brain cancer;
Esophageal cancer;
Gastric cancer;
Head and neck cancers;
Liver cancer;
Pancreatic cancer;
Rectal cancer;
Soft tissue sarcomas;
Thyroid cancer; and
Acute leukemia.
The Blue Distinction Centers for Complex and Rare Cancers designation is focused primarily on multidisciplinary treatment planning and complex, major surgical treatments.

 

Among other selection criteria, The Nebraska Medical Center met the following thresholds necessary to be named as a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers:

Has multidisciplinary team input, including sub-specialty trained teams for complex and rare cancers and demonstrated depth of expertise across cancer disciplines in medicine, surgery, radiation oncology, pathology and radiology;
Demonstrates ongoing quality management and improvement programs for cancer care;

Demonstrates an ongoing commitment to using clinical data registries and providing access to appropriate clinical research for complex and rare cancers.
Demonstrates sufficient volume of experience in treating rare and complex cancers.
Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care. The designation is based on rigorous, evidence-based selection criteria established in collaboration with leading clinicians, medical societies and professional organizations.

The Nebraska Medical Center recognizes that the majority of patients’ multidisciplinary treatment may be best accomplished by integrating the expertise available in a Blue Distinction Center with locally available treatment resources, especially for outpatient chemotherapy and radiotherapy, based on individual circumstances and patient preference. Optimal support of a patient’s comprehensive cancer care needs may be achieved by coordination of care between the patient and their family, local physicians, The Nebraska Medical Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska.

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