News Release

Date: November 19, 2010 

UC San Diego Health System Receives “Blue Distinction” Award 

 

Spine surgery and knee & hip replacement programs recognized

UC San Diego Health System has been designated as a Blue Distinction® Center for Spine Surgery and a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement.  This honor is awarded to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality health care in certain specialty medical areas by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Ortho Team

UC San Diego Orthopaedic Surgery Team

The selection criteria used to evaluate facilities were developed with input from a panel of expert physicians.  To be designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery and a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement, the following types of criteria were evaluated:

  • Established acute care inpatient facility, including intensive care, emergency care, and a full range of patient support services with full accreditation by a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-deemed national accreditation organization
  • Experience and training of program surgeons, including case volume
  • Quality management programs, including surgical checklists, as well as tracking and evaluation of clinical outcomes and process of care
  • Multidisciplinary clinical pathways and teams to coordinate and streamline care, including transitions of care
  • Shared decision-making and preoperative patient education

“Blue Distinction puts a high value on research and evidence-based health and medical information,” said Allan Korn, MD, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Chief Medical Officer. “Blue Distinction Centers show our commitment to working with doctors and hospitals in communities across the country to identify leading institutions that meet clinically-validated quality standards and deliver better overall outcomes in patient care.”

“The Blue Distinction program represents millions of members across the nation who – should they become an out-of-state patient in San Diego – will now have access to the excellent patient care we consistently provide,” said Mona Sonnenshein, Chief Operating Officer at UC San Diego Health System.  “It is a testament to the skill and expertise of our staff that UC San Diego Health System’s programs are being recognized with such distinguished, quality-driven institutions.”

UC San Diego Health System offers comprehensive spine surgery services including conventional spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, computer assisted surgery, total disc replacement, kyphoplasty and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Along with state-of-the-art pain management and education classes, UC San Diego Health System offers knee and hip replacement services that include total hip or knee replacement, hip resurfacing, uni-compartmental knee replacement, computer-assisted navigation, minimally invasive surgery and revision hip and knee replacement.

The additional “Blue Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery and Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement” designations will bring the nation’s number of Blue Distinction designations to more than 1,600 - and this number is expected to increase in the coming years. 

UC San Diego Health System

UC San Diego Health System has been in operation since 1966 and comprises the system of patient services provided at the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest; Thornton Hospital, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center; Shiley Eye Center and the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center scheduled to open in 2011, as well as other primary and specialty practices of the UC San Diego Medical Group located throughout San Diego County. The two hospitals, UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest and Thornton Hospital, operate under one license with a combined licensed capacity of 548 beds. As the only academic health system in the San Diego region, its role is to take exceptional care of people by providing excellent and compassionate patient care, advancing medical discoveries and educating the health care professionals of tomorrow.

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Media Contact: Jackie Carr, 619-543-6163, jcarr@ucsd.edu