Camden Clark’s cancer center earns national accreditation

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation to the cancer program at Camden Clark Medical Center. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed 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. Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to a facility that exceeds standard requirements at the time of its triennial survey.

Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, Camden Clark’s Community Comprehensive Cancer Center 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.

“This accreditation is really a testimony to the highly qualified team at Camden Clark,” said Dr. Nik Shah, Medical Oncologist, Cancer Committee Specialty Physician Representative. “Our focus on a multidisciplinary approach means that each patient is supported by a comprehensive team of health care professionals.”

“While it’s an honor to be recognized for excellence,” said Dr. Gabor Altdorfer, Radiation Oncologist, Cancer Committee Specialty Physician Representative. “The real winners here are the patients we serve and our community. The Mid-Ohio Valley should be proud to have a team of caring and compassionate professionals who provide the very best cancer care each and every day.”

“Because of the extremely high standards of the American College of Surgeons, this recognition is particularly rewarding,” said Dr. Robert Herceg, Pathologist, Cancer Committee Chairman. “Meeting or exceeding the CoC standards is emblematic of our commitment to excellence and to being the very best cancer program in the area.”

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for Camden Clark 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, Camden Clark maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society (ACS). 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.

ACS estimates that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2013. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing 30 percent of all hospitals. CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients. 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 www.facs.org/cancerprogram/index.html.

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.