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Surgical Spine Centre of Excellence

Surgical Spine Centre of Excellence (SSCoE) Project

EUROSPINE has developed a certification programme for spine institutions. This Europe-wide quality exercise aims to audit and certify the implementation of services that advanced spine surgery and spine care as a whole. The ultimate goal would be to enhance treatment quality in spine surgery and to provide guidance for patients with spinal disorders by displaying centres of a certain quality.

Why develop a certification programme?

• The European community seeks to promote excellent health care across all member states in spite of differences in the various national health care systems.
• Value-Based Healthcare (VBH)
‒ quantity is replaced by quality and the measurement of patient outcomes will mean drive “pay for performance”
• Quality, satisfaction and value in spine care goes beyond the qualifications and treatment chosen by the spine surgeon, it involves the complete delivery of spinal services to a needing patient and payer.
• Educating spine surgeons is a good first step; however, EUROSPINE would like to support the sustained improvement in costs and patient outcomes in spine surgery

Who is the SSCoE Task Force?

• The EUROSPINE Task Force Surgical Spine Centre of Excellence (SSCoE) has developed a European certification process for surgical spine centres.
• The Task Force is a collaboration of the German Spine Society (DWG), EUROSPINE and the EUROSPINE Foundation (ESF).
• The initial step was to develop internal rules, guidelines and criteria to be used as a basis for an independent certification system.
• For this European exercise, a Delphi process has been done to build consensus on the internal rules, guidelines and criteria.

What is a Surgical Spine Centre of Excellence?

• This concept of certification was developed for centres which are focused on spine surgery.
• The term “centre” basically characterises a highly specialised institution which has exceptional equipment, highly qualified personnel, experience and competence on its field.
• Suitable “hospitals” hosting the centres provide 24/7 care with the possibility to perform emergency surgeries on the spine at any time.
• Centres that perform conservative treatment only, such as pain clinics or rehabilitation clinics, are not intended to be certified under those parameters. It is planned to establish a certification process for EUROSPINE Conservative Spine Centre of Excellence (CSCoE) in the future.

SSCoE Guidelines

The SSCoE guidelines were defined by the SSCoE Task Force. The document explains the concept of the EUROSPINE SSCoE, the definition of a centre, pathology groups, quality criteria, and the audit and course of certification.

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