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Phelps Cancer Program Earns Accreditation from Commission on Cancer
(February 12, 2013) Phelps Memorial Hospital Center has recently been granted a three-year accreditation with commendation as a Community Hospital Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. To be accredited, a hospital must: have an oversight body that meets quarterly, hold multidisciplinary tumor board cancer conferences that meet regularly to review existing cancer cases, have quality improvement measures in place, and participate in community outreach.
Avraham Merav, MD, FACS, Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Medical Director of Surgical Services at Phelps, is the Cancer Liaison Physician responsible for providing leadership for Phelps’ cancer program and spearheading cancer-related activities. Having a Cancer Liaison Physician is another of the Commission’s requirements for cancer programs to be accredited.
In his remarks to staff at Phelps regarding the accreditation, Dr. Merav explained that establishing an accredited cancer program “ensures that our cancer patients and their families have access to the full scope of services required to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate, and support them through the entire process of cancer treatment.”
One of the main components of the Phelps cancer program is the Cancer Registry, which, under the supervision of Cherian Mathew, Certified Tumor Registrar, ensures that timely, accurate and complete cancer data is collected and maintained on cancers and selected benign tumors that are diagnosed and/or treated at Phelps. The registry maintains a complete summary of a patient’s disease, from diagnosis onwards. Outcome data is analyzed by the registry to ensure that patients receive quality care. All of that data is then uploaded into the CoC’s National Cancer Data Base, a joint CoC/American Cancer Society program, which enables accredited programs to compare their data with that of other health systems across the nation.
Accredited cancer programs are nationally recognized by organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the National Quality Forum and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as having established performance measures for the provision of high-quality cancer care. By becoming an accredited cancer program, Phelps has taken a proactive approach to upcoming government and private insurer pay-for-performance and quality measures guidelines.
Stanley Oiseth, MD, Director of Pathology and Laboratories, who co-chairs the Phelps Cancer Committee along with Nancy Fox, RN, said, “This accreditation puts Phelps on the map as a community hospital that provides state-of-the-art care for cancer patients, thereby increasing their quality of life by enabling them to stay close to family, friends and jobs while they receive treatment.”
There are currently approximately 1,500 Committee on Cancer-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, which represents only 30 percent of all hospitals. These hospitals diagnose and/or treat approximately 80 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. To maintain accreditation, cancer programs must undergo an onsite review every three years.
For more information about cancer treatment at Phelps, contact Dr. Avraham Merav at 914-366-2333.