Hospital Cancer Program Wins National Recognition
The accredited cancer treatment program at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital has received its second Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS).
Established in 2004, the CoC Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) recognizes cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients.
A facility receives the award by demonstrating a Commendation level of compliance following an on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor.
Only 95 cancer facilities across the United States -- just four of them in North Carolina -- received an OAA based on the surveys performed in 2008. The number represents about 19 percent of the 478 programs surveyed last year.
Moore Regional's cancer treatment program received its first CoC accreditation in 1995, was reaccredited in 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008, and was awarded its first OAA in 2006, the first year it qualified for the recognition. To maintain accreditation, facilities with CoC-accredited cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.
"This CoC recognition validates the effectiveness of the hard work of many different individuals and departments aimed at providing the best cancer care possible here at Moore Regional," says Dr. Jeffrey C. Acker, a radiation oncologist and medical director of the hospital's Community Hospital Comprehen-sive Cancer Canter. "The CoC standards require multidisciplinary excellence to be recognized in this fashion. Everyone involved has much to be proud of as we continue to monitor and improve the care of our cancer patients."
"The award process places a strong emphasis on the breadth of the cancer program, emphasizing multidisciplinary care of the cancer patient and the availability of multiple supportive services," says Dr. Ellen M. Willard, a medical oncologist and medical director of FirstHealth's Outpatient Cancer Center. "This award recognizes that these services are available here at Moore Regional, allowing our patients to get appropriate care close to home."
The CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients. Its Outstanding Achieve-ment Award recognizes excellence in each of seven standards that represent the full range of cancer care: cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education and staff support, and quality improvement.
Following an extensive documentation process and the on-site CoC review, the program at Moore Regional also received a compliance rating that covers an additional 29 standards.
According to Dr. George Bussey, FirstHealth's chief medical officer, Moore Regional's cancer care team strongly supports the CoC standards for quality.
"Our core purpose, 'to care for people,' is at the basis of our pledge to provide the highest level of cancer care possible," Bussey says. "Meeting the standards of a nationally recognized organization is the best way to ensure that we keep that promise to our patients, and Moore Regional's cancer care team is committed not only to meeting but also to exceeding those expectations."
The CoC sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure that they conform to those standards. Receiving care at a CoC-approved cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to:
- Comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment.
- A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options.
- Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options.
- Access to cancer-related information, education and support.
- A cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results, and offers lifelong patient follow-up.
- Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care.
- Quality care close to home.
Since 2005, more than 4,300 new cancer cases have been diagnosed at Moore Regional, which voluntarily reports its information on treatment and outcomes to the CoC's National Cancer Data Base, a joint program with the American Cancer Society.
The information, which accounts for about two-thirds of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the U.S. each year, is used to monitor the quality of patient care delivered in CoC-approved cancer programs and to improve cancer outcomes at national and local levels.
Anyone needing more information on the cancer programs provided by FirstHealth of the Carolinas can call (800) 213-3284 toll-free.
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