BRIDGEPORT—The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has granted another Three-Year Accreditation to the cancer program at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC 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.
Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, St. Vincent’s Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for 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.
“We are proud of this achievement and what it means to the population we serve,” said Christopher Iannuzzi, MD, Chairman, Department of Oncology. “The standards set forth by the Commission on Cancer ensure an environment of patient-centric multidisciplinary cancer care of the highest degree. It creates a robust framework for continuous quality improvement and emphasizes safe and effective cancer care.”
The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for St. Vincent’s Medical Center 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 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. The Survivorship Oncology Program offers many complementary approaches to traditional cancer treatment, such as yoga and massage to help patients relax, regroup and heal.
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, St. Vincent’s Medical Center maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC 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 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.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.7 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2018. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed patients with cancer. When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program through the CoC Hospital Locator at https://www.facs.org/search/cancer-programs.
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. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons. (For more information, visit: www.facs.org/cancer.)
Founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1903, St. Vincent’s Medical Center is a mission-driven organization committed to exceptional health care for all with special attention to persons living in poverty and those who are most vulnerable. St. Vincent’s, with more than 3,200 associates, includes a licensed 473-bed community teaching hospital, a 76-bed inpatient psychiatric facility in Westport, a large multispecialty provider group, and St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services. St. Vincent’s was awarded the Nursing Magnet® Recognition, the highest national award for nursing excellence. In 2013, St. Vincent’s Medical Center was named Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by the Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America, and has been recognized by both the Joint Commission and OSHA as a model of a highly reliable organization dedicated to patient safety. The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer awarded St. Vincent’s an Outstanding Achievement Award with Accreditation in 2012, and it also has earned its designation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancer. St. Vincent’s Medical Center is part of Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.
(For more information on programs and services, visit www.stvincents.org.)