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DCMH Earns National Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons


By Mary Wascavage

Photo of the Cancer Center Team

DCMH’s patient-centered approach to cancer care helped the hospital earn Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Pictured are members of the cancer team with recent patient Candee Mathias (bottom, left).

The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation to the Crozer Health Regional Cancer Center at Broomall, a service of Delaware County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) in Drexel Hill.

To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed the 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. Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer program, DCMH 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.

“Accreditation by the Commission on Cancer demonstrates a thoughtful, nationally recommended approach to cancer care,” says Marie DeStefano, MSN, R.N., FAAMA, senior administrative director of Oncology for Crozer Health. “What makes this particular survey so special is that there were no deficiencies. All twenty-eight standards were met, and six of them were met with commendation – which qualified as a silver commendation rating. This should give our patients and the community we serve confidence that DCMH provides cancer care that is among the best in the region.”

Rachelle Lanciano, M.D., chair of Radiation Oncology at DCMH and ACS physician liaison, also realizes the hard work that went into the accreditation process.

“Everyone, from the physicians to the administrators and staff, should be congratulated on this achievement,” she says. “It’s not a one-time effort. It takes years of consistent best practices and evidence-based outcomes to identify what works best for our patients, and once we do so, to not sit still. Rather, we work to continually evolve, sharpen our focus and look for even better ways to deliver our services.”

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for DCMH 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-accredited facility, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling and patient-centered services – including psychosocial 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, DCMH 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.

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.7 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2018. 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 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. 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.

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. For more information, visit the CoC website.

Delaware County Memorial Hospital is a member of the Crozer Health. The hospital offers cancer services to its community through the Delaware County Memorial Hospital Cancer Program and the Crozer Health Regional Cancer Center at Broomall. Get more information about Crozer Health Cancer Services.

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