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Cancer Institute Earns National Reaccreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons

Commission on Cancer

The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), has granted three-year reaccreditation to the Saint Francis Healthcare System Cancer Institute.

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.

“We are proud to receive this reaccreditation,” says Maryann Reese, RN, MHA, DHA, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saint Francis. “The CoC standards are meant to guide hospitals in treating cancer patients, as well as increase prevention, screening and community outreach to reduce the incidence of cancer. Our colleagues and providers are dedicated to delivering the best outcomes and a quality experience to the communities we are called to serve.”

Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, Saint Francis takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases requiring 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 represents the gold standard for cancer centers across the country,” said Sagar C. Patel, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Cape Radiation Oncology, a Saint Francis Medical Partner; Medical Administrative Officer for Cancer Services at Saint Francis Healthcare System; and Cancer Liaison Physician for the CoC program at the Saint Francis Cancer Institute. “We are proud of our level of achievement and the patient care we provide at the Saint Francis Center Institute.”

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for the Cancer Institute 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.

Like all CoC-accredited facilities, Saint Francis 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.

In 2020, the American Cancer Society estimated more than 1.8 million new cancer cases and 606,520 cancer deaths in the United States. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and 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.

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. Learn more about the American College of Surgeons and their cancer programs.

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