What is a Center of Excellence?

A center of excellence is a hospital or healthcare facility where patients continually return to receive primary care or treatment for acute conditions, separate from the place of diagnosis. Such facilities are often epicenters of care provision for large patient populations, and are thereby an example of best practices within a distinct specialty.

This term is often used in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries to refer to a health center with high referral volumes and physician specialists.

What qualifies as a center of excellence varies depending on the company searching and the therapy being sold. A firm selling a drug that treats diabetic patients will likely consider different hospitals to be centers of excellence than a firm marketing a treatment for Alzheimer’s.

Why are Centers of Excellence important in healthcare?

Hospitals and care facilities designated as centers of excellence often employ experienced clinicians and specialists in the areas targeted by pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations—making them valuable resources for clinical trials and marketing.

Due to the exceptional and specialized care they deliver, studying outcomes from a center of excellence can offer insights into treatment of rare diseases and patients with complex comorbidities, informing the drug development process.

The clinicians and subject matter experts working at a center of excellence could be designated Physician Leaders, treat a high volume of patients with a targeted diagnosis, or have had research published in an accredited medical journal.

Pinpointing a center of excellence better enables a drug developer or researcher to find clinicians and key opinion leaders willing to trial a new drug or become an influencer throughout the sales process.