WellStar Health System’s Cancer Network has again been recognized for delivering world-class healthcare to its patients. Five WellStar hospitals have been granted a three-year accreditation with the Gold Commendation by the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This is the highest honor awarded to a cancer program. WellStar Health System has achieved this honor twice, starting in 2013. Only 50 health systems in the United States have received this distinction.
To earn CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed the CoC’s quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and show excellence in the delivery of patient-centered care. Three-year accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to a facility that exceeds the standard requirements at the time of its survey.
“This accreditation and Outstanding Achievement Award could not have been made possible without our gifted and passionate team,” said Michael Andrews, M.D., WellStar Chief Cancer Officer. “The Commission on Cancer and the American College of Surgeons are both well respected and distinguished institutions. This distinction is an indication of the quality of care we deliver to our patients every day.”
The hospitals accredited by the CoC are WellStar Cobb, Douglas, Kennestone, Paulding and Windy Hill hospitals. WellStar Health System takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultations among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary partnership between physicians and care teams can make an impact on the patient’s experience
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, WellStar’s accredited facilities maintain a cancer registry and contribute 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 of 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.