Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center received three-year re-accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons in June.
To earn voluntary accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed 34 Commission on Cancer 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 facilities that exceed standard requirements at the time of survey. The cancer program at Christiana Care has received Commission on Cancer accreditation since 1951.
“Accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer validates the dedication of our physicians and staff who provide exceptional care, serving our patients as expert, caring partners in their health,” said Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America Endowed Medical Director. “We are constantly striving to improve the care we give and deliver greater value. Our goal is to exceed the quality standards.”
The performance report for the Graham Cancer Center cites its “great engagement of the community [with a] a number of useful prevention and early detection programs.” One example has been the Graham Cancer Center’s partnership with other hospitals, the provider community and state agencies to eliminate the racial disparity in colon cancer between African-Americans and whites in Delaware. The findings, published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, show that the percentage of advanced colon-cancer cases diagnosed among African-Americans declined from 79 percent to 40 percent, and overall incidence rates declined from 67 percent in 2002 to 45 percent in 2009, thanks to early colonoscopy screening.
The Commission on Cancer also praises the Graham Cancer Center for “research accruals that exceed all expectations.” Patient enrollment rates into clinical trials at the Graham Cancer Center are at 24 percent, six times the national average of 4 percent.
Receiving care at a Commission on Cancer accredited cancer program ensures patients receive:
- Quality care close to home.
- Comprehensive care including prevention, early diagnosis and a full range of state-of-the-art services and equipment.
- A multidisciplinary, team approach to coordinate the best cancer-treatment options available and improve patient care.
- Access to cancer-related information and education, and to patient-centered services such as navigation and psychosocial distress screening.
- Options for genetic assessment and counseling, and palliative care services.
- Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care and assessment of treatment planning based on evidence-based national treatment guidelines, and information about clinical trials and new treatment options.
- Follow-up care at the completion of treatment, including rehabilitation and a survivorship care plan.
- A cancer registry that collects data on cancer type, stage and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up.
One of the most technologically advanced and largest cancer programs on the East Coast, the Graham Cancer Center is among the original National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Center Program sites awarded in the U.S. The Graham Cancer Center’s world-class team of specialists provided care for more than 195,000 patient visits last year.
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the Commission on Cancer 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. There are currently more than 1,500 Commission on Cancer accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing 30 percent of all hospitals.