COEMIG Program Overview
The AAGL is a leader in the minimally invasive gynecology field. Members of the society have championed the most effective diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that are providing less invasive treatments for gynecologic conditions through the integration of clinical practice, research, innovation and dialogue.
Launched in early 2010, the Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG) designation was initially offered only to surgeons located in the United States. In mid-2011, COEMIG expanded to include surgeons, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers around the world that provide minimally invasive gynecologic surgical care on an inpatient and outpatient basis.
The COEMIG program delivers on the AAGL’s commitment to advance adoption of minimally invasive gynecology worldwide. The program will enable the society to best serve the present and future needs of patients and providers by focusing on continuous improvement in healthcare quality and safety. To keep the program free of bias and protect participant confidentiality, the AAGL selected Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an independent nonprofit healthcare quality organization, to manage the expanded program on the society’s behalf.
The official designation awarded to participants is “Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology.”
More than 750 providers around the world are currently participating in the COEMIG program. Of those, more than 70 hospitals and 250 surgeons are COEMIG designees.
Light Blue: Participants
Dark Blue: Designees
As of January 2014
The COEMIG program is focused on improving the safety and quality of gynecologic patient care worldwide, and lowering the overall costs associated with successful treatment. The program is designed to expand patient awareness of – and access to – minimally invasive gynecologic procedures performed by surgeons and facilities that have demonstrated excellence in these advanced techniques.
Data from COEMIG participants will be used to determine which treatment works best for which patient under what circumstances. This information will enable clinicians, patients, payors and policymakers to make informed decisions that will improve healthcare at the individual level and for the patient population as a whole. These efforts will also align with those of organizations such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that are focused on comparative effectiveness research (CER).
The COEMIG program will help position providers of minimally invasive gynecology at the forefront of care, and enable the AAGL to accelerate the adoption of minimally invasive gynecology by demonstrating improved outcomes and cost savings that result from a quality initiative.
The COEMIG program is based on a proven methodology developed by SRC, the world’s leading administrator of center of excellence (COE) programs for surgical specialties. The methodology involves two interdependent initiatives: a rigorous COE program coupled with a central outcomes database. The integrated approach of a COE program and central outcomes database creates a “Hawthorne effect” – over time, program participants improve the quality of their care simply by entering data that will be subject to evaluation – leading to new standards and best practices. The outcomes database helps to provide evidence-based medicine rooted in practice, not in theory.
SRC works closely with medical society leadership such as the AAGL, to develop the COE program and its standards, and involves industry stakeholders to gain different perspectives and obtain their support. The requirements that result from this collaboration are comprehensive, specific to the needs of patients and providers, and integral to the future of the specialty. The requirements are coupled with an objective evaluation process that enables a thorough review of each designation candidate. A periodic renewal process ensures ongoing compliance with COE criteria.
Through SRC’s outcomes database, participating surgeons gain real-time access to individual patient information that supports clinical decisions. Providers obtain meaningful data through numerous daily reports that are based on information from the surgeon’s individual practice. National summary reports enable participants to compare their individual outcomes to aggregate data and assess their approach to care. Patients will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the quality improvements that result from measuring and evaluating surgical outcomes. Providers will be able to use data from the outcomes database to determine the safest and most effective treatment for each patient.
Many of the specialty’s leading surgeons have been involved in shaping the COEMIG program. The AAGL’s Board of Trustees has worked to ensure the COEMIG program supports the society’s mission and is mutually beneficial to minimally invasive gynecology patients and providers.
Truly excellent patient care is the result of both the individual surgeon and the facility at which the surgery is performed. The COEMIG designation is therefore awarded to a facility and its associated surgeons who have successfully completed the designation process, which enables patients to distinguish providers who have met the requirements for delivering high-quality perioperative patient care from those who have not.
The COEMIG program’s objective requirements recognize the important role that surgeons, their multispecialty teams and facility administration play in delivering high-quality perioperative care. A commitment to excellence necessitates that the requirements be comprehensive, research-based and verified through a rigorous site inspection and review process.
COEMIG designation is available to surgeons, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers around the world that deliver minimally invasive gynecologic care on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Surgeons do not have to be a member of the AAGL or any other medical society to participate.
Surgeons and facilities that are interested in or currently working toward earning the COEMIG designation are invited to participate in weekly webinars and teleconferences hosted by SRC Support representatives. Attendees learn about the COEMIG program, designation process, application and requirements, and have the opportunity to ask questions. For teleconference information and webinar registration, visit www.surgicalreview.org/coemig/support.