The Commission on Cancer, a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, has granted three-year accreditation to the cancer program at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center.
To earn voluntary accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 Commission on Cancer quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care, WhidbeyHealth reported.
WhidbeyHealth Cancer Care 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, according to hospital officials.
“Our excellent cancer care program, which has been recognized many times during the course of its 40-year history, is invaluable to the cancer patients of Whidbey Island,” WhidbeyHealth CEO Ron Telles said in a press release. “Being able to serve our patients on the island where they live is something that is very important to our community and I commend the oncology and MAC Unit staff for their continued dedication to this quality program.”
The accreditation program provides the framework for WhidbeyHealth Cancer Care to 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, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease and end-of-life care.
When patients receive care at an accredited 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 Commission on Cancer accredited facilities, WhidbeyHealth Cancer Care maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Database, a joint program of the commission and 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 database and used to explore trends in cancer care.
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. The reports help Commission on Cancer facilities with their quality improvement efforts.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.7 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed each year. There are currently more than 1,500 cancer programs accredited by the commission in the U.S. and accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed patients with cancer.