To earn the accreditation from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), a cancer program must meet 34 quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain levels of excellence in comprehensive care.
By Carol McPhail
The USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute has once again earned a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC), which recognizes excellence in the delivery of comprehensive, patient-centered cancer care. The oncology program at USA Health has been accredited since 1976, including the MCI since it opened in 2008.
“When cancer patients choose to seek care at the MCI, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the art cancer treatment close to home,” said Martin J. Heslin, M.D., M.S.H.A., director of the Mitchell Cancer Institute. “The continued accreditation by the CoC is a stamp of approval on the excellent care that we provide to our patients.”
As a CoC-accredited cancer center, the MCI takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.
The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for the MCI to continually improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, lifelong follow-up for recurrent disease and end-of-life care. When patients receive care at a CoC facility, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling and patient-centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, the MCI maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and the American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care. CoC-accredited cancer centers, in turn, have access to information derived from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional and state benchmark reports. These reports help CoC facilities with their quality improvement efforts.
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care.