Report cited zero deficiencies and highlights leadership, innovative programs and strong research program
(WILMINGTON, Del. – January 26, 2023)
The Commission on Cancer, a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, has granted three-year reaccreditation to the cancer program at ChristianaCare’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, one of the original National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program sites in the U.S. ChristianaCare has received accreditation since 1951.
To earn accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 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.
The Commission cited zero deficiencies during its site visit and in its final report.
“Earning this prestigious accreditation with no deficiencies cited is a testament to the unparalleled expertise and quality of care our entire team at the Graham Cancer Center provides to our patients and community across the continuum of cancer care,” said Nicholas Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America Endowed Medical Director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute. “Patients in the communities we are privileged to serve can be assured of groundbreaking cancer treatments, innovative technology, state-of-the-art research, prevention, education and the most caring, dedicated team anywhere.”
“Innovative programs that address community need”
The Graham Cancer Center was recognized in the reaccreditation report for taking 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 exceptional patient care.
In its performance report, the Commission on Cancer praised the Graham Cancer Center’s leadership that has built a “culture of continual process improvement across all areas from prevention, screening, treatment and support for the patient.”
It highlighted “innovative programs that address community need,” such as its on-site primary care practice and its Oncology Express Unit, which offers urgent care for patients with advanced disease.
The report also stated that the “research trial offerings are a strong point.” Clinical trials test new drugs and combinations of treatments, as well as new techniques using surgery, radiation therapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy and biologics. ChristianaCare is among the national leaders in cancer clinical trials; patient enrollment rates into clinical trials at the Graham Cancer Center are at 29% which is seven times the national average.
A national standard for accreditation
The Commission on Cancer accreditation program provides the framework for the Graham 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 Commission on Cancer-accredited 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 Commission on Cancer-accredited facilities, the Graham Cancer Center maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Database, a joint program of the Commission on Cancer and American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer is tracked and analyzed through the database and used to explore trends in cancer care. 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 facilities with their quality improvement efforts.
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 patients with cancer through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care. There are currently more than 1,500 Commission on Cancer-accredited programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that diagnose and treat more than 70% of all patients newly diagnosed with cancer.
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About the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, a National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program, is part of the ChristianaCare, one of the country’s most dynamic health systems, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. With more than 245,000 patient visits last year, the Graham Cancer Center is recognized as a national model for multidisciplinary cancer care and a top enroller in U.S. clinical research trials. In conjunction with the Gene Editing Institute, the Center for Translational Cancer Research, the Tissue Procurement Center, statewide High-Risk Family Cancer Registry and collaborations with world-renowned scientists at facilities such as The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia scientists are opening new avenues to more quickly translate cancer science into cancer medicine. For more information, visit christianacare.org/cancer.