Altru Cancer Center Earns National Accreditation from the Commission on Cancer
Posted OnDecember 14, 2022
The Altru Cancer Center has earned its three-year accreditation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). To earn 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.
“Through CoC accreditation, the Altru Cancer Center demonstrates a commitment to transforming cancer care in the region, leading to improved survival and quality of life for patients with cancer. We strive to treat every individual patient with seamless integration of compassion, research and leading-edge therapies. These measures ensure we uphold the highest standards of care,” explains Heidi Panos, director of Oncology, Clinical Services and Hospitalist Operations.
Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, Altru 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.
The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for Altru Cancer Center 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.
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, Altru Cancer Center 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.
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. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. 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.