West Florida Hospital October 06, 2008

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (AcoS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation to the cancer program at West Florida Hospital.

A facility receives a “Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation” following the on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the facility demonstrates a Commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program (cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach, and quality improvement

"We're so pleased that we had such a positive outcome on our cancer program survey,” stated pathologist Thomas King, M.D. “The Commission (on Cancer) has changed some of the parameters they use to evaluate a program, and we've done a great job in keeping up with the requirements and involving our patient care teams in the process. Our weekly cancer conferences have good attendance and our patient educator is very busy and involved with our patients. The patient is always the number one priority. I think our staff really deserves the commendation rating."

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care.

The core functions of the CoC include setting standards for quality, multi-disciplinary cancer patient care; surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with the 36 CoC standards; collecting standardized and quality data from accredited facilities; and using the data to develop effective educational interventions to improve cancer care outcomes at the national, state and local levels.

There are currently more than 1,400 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico, representing close to 25 percent of all hospitals. This 25 percent of hospitals diagnose and/or treat 80 percent of newly-diagnosed cancer patients each year.

The Accreditation Program, a component of the CoC, sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to those standards. Accreditation by the CoC is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. To maintain accreditation, facilities with CoC-accredited cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.

Receiving care at a CoC-accredited cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to:

  • Comprehensive care;
  • A multispecialty, team approach;
  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options;
  • Access to cancer-related information, education and support;
  • A cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up;
  • Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care; and
  • Quality care close to home.

The CoC provides the public with information about each CoC-accredited cancer program at the American Cancer Society’s website at www.cancer.org and through the American Cancer Society’s National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-ACS-2345.

For more information about the Commission on Cancer, visit www.facs.org/cancer/index.html.