October 1, 2012

St. John Medical Center Cancer Program accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has Granted Three Year Accreditation with Commendation to the Cancer Program at St. John Medical Center.

Located in Westlake, Ohio, St. John Medical Center is jointly owned by the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals.

A facility receives a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation following the onsite evaluation by a physician surveyor. The facility must demonstrate a commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program (cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach, and quality improvement). In addition, a facility receives a compliance rating for all other standards.

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates 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 and 49 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care. The core functions of the CoC include setting standards to quality, multidisciplinary Cancer patient care, surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with the 36 CoC standards, collecting standardized and quality data from accredited facilities, and using the data to develop effective educational interventions to improve cancer care outcomes at the national, state and local level.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2012. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico, representing close to 30 percent of all hospitals. These hospitals diagnose and/or treat approximately 80 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. In addition, a national network of more than 1,650 volunteer cancer liaison physicians provide leadership and support for the CoC Accreditation program and other CoC activities at these local facilities.

The Accreditation Program, a component of the CoC, sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the program to ensure they conform to those standards. Accreditation by the CoC is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. To maintain accreditation, facilities with CoC-accredited cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.

Receiving care at a CoC-accredited cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to:
• comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the art services and equipment
• a multispecialty, 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; and, most importantly,
• quality care close to home.

Cancer patient data are reported by each CoC-accredited cancer program to the CoC's National Cancer Date Base (NCDB), a joint CoC/American Cancer Society program. The NCDB currently contains patient demographics, tumor characteristics, and treatment and outcomes information for almost 28 million cancer patients diagnosed and treated at hospital cancer programs in the US between 1985 and 2004. These data account for approximately two-thirds of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the US each year.

NCDB date is regularly used to monitor and improve the quality of patient care delivered in CoC-accredited cancer programs. The CoC requires programs to implement quality improvement initiatives that promote the delivery of quality, multidisciplinary cancer care and lead to ongoing educational interventions with local providers in the CoC-accredited cancer programs.

Through an exclusive partnership with the American Cancer Society, the CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program. This information is shared with the public on the American Cancer Society's Web site at www.cancer .org and though the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-ACS-2345.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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