Phoebe receives designation in fight against breast cancer

Physicians and Staff with Phoebe's Cancer Center today are celebrating a prestigious designation by the American College of Radiology (ACR) as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.

The designation is one of only 18 awarded in Georgia and the only facility south of Macon that has achieved this level of accreditation. The Phoebe Cancer Center has recently earned a three-year national accreditation by the American College of Surgeons and the breast cancer program has been named a Center of Excellence by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

"These three designations represent a commitment to excellence by the physicians, clinical staff and support staff here at the Phoebe Cancer Center," said Linda Van der Merwe, vice president of oncology services. "It also represents a commitment to excellence going forward."

As a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, Phoebe's imaging program is recognized for outstanding performance in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and ultrasound-guided breast biopsy. Peer-review evaluations, conducted in each breast imaging modality by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field, have determined that this facility has achieved high practice standards in image quality, personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs. In addition, the program has been named a Center of Excellence by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

The NAPBC designation is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. During the survey process, the center must demonstrate compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating the full spectrum of breast disease in women. The standards include proficiency in the areas of: center leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education and quality improvement. A breast center that achieves NAPBC accreditation has demonstrated a firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.

Receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center ensures that a patient will have access to:
⢠Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services
⢠A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options
⢠Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options, and
⢠Quality breast care close to home.

Both of these designations come on the heels of Phoebe's entire Cancer Program at Phoebe also being granted three-year approval with commendation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

"We are dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and the monitoring of outcomes for patients with diseases of the breast," said Phoebe Cancer Center Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Chirag Jani. "This will allow us to strategically build leadership by inviting leaders from the major disciplines that routinely work together to diagnose and treat breast disease. Working toward one goal, this multidisciplinary group formed the NAPBC Board that mutually defined 27 program standards and 17 program components of care that collectively provide the most efficient and contemporary care available for patients diagnosed with diseases of the breast."

A facility receives a three-year approval with commendation following an onsite evaluation by a physician surveyor. During the onsite evaluation, 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).
In addition, a facility receives a compliance rating for all other standards.

The Approvals Program, a component of the Commission, sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to those standards. Approval by the Commission 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 approval, facilities with Commission-approved cancer programs must undergo an onsite review every three years.

Receiving care at a Commission approved cancer program ensures that a patients will have access to: comprehensive care, including a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment; a multispecialty, team approach to coordinate the best treatment options; 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.

Each Commission-approved cancer program reports cancer patient data to the Commission's National Cancer Data Base, a joint Commission on Cancer/American Cancer Society program. The national database currently contains patient demographics, tumor characteristics, and treatment and outcomes information for more than 18 million cancer patients diagnosed and treated at hospital cancer programs in the U.S. between 1985 and 2004. These data account for nearly two-thirds of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the U.S. each year.

The national database is regularly used to monitor and improve the quality of patient care delivered in Commission-approved cancer programs. The Commission requires programs to implement quality improvement initiatives that promote the delivery of quality, multidisciplinary cancer care and lead to ongoing educational interventions with local providers in the Commission-approved cancer programs.

Through an exclusive partnership with the American Cancer Society, the Commission provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each Commission-approved cancer program. This information is shared with the public on the American Cancer Society's Web site at and through the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Information Center at 1-800-ACS-2345.