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Cancer Network Accreditation Article Image

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation to the cancer program at WellStar Health System. 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.

“This accreditation is the result of a tremendous amount of collaboration among the talented physicians, nurses and team members throughout the WellStar Cancer Network,” said Michael Andrews, M.D., chief cancer network officer. “The CoC is very well-respected within the healthcare industry and this accreditation reinforces the high quality of care we deliver to our patients every day.”

Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, the WellStar program 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.

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for WellStar 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.

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.

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