The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), has granted three-year accreditation to the cancer program at WVU Cancer Institute Schiffler Cancer Center at Wheeling Hospital.
To earn voluntary 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.
“This accreditation reaffirms the quality of the program and the level of care that we offer in a community setting,” Douglass Harrison, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital CEO, said. “By partnering with WVU Cancer Institute, we are now poised for even greater clinical opportunities that we can offer in a community setting. Cancer care is local care, but not all programs are able to achieve this level of accreditation. Our patients can be reassured that the WVU Cancer Institute Schiffler Cancer Center offers the highest level of care at a local level.”
Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, the WVU Cancer Institute Schiffler 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.
Bhavana Bhatnagar, DO, director of Medical Oncology at the center, said, “This accreditation is a truly exciting and important milestone for the cancer center and assures our patients that they are receiving the same services and level of care they could expect to receive at a larger tertiary care center. We anticipate that the partnership with WVU Medicine will allow for our cancer center to continue to grow on both a regional and national level.”
The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for the 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 and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, the WVU Cancer Institute Schiffler 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.
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.
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.