The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons granted three-year accreditation with commendation to Irwin Army Community Hospital's cancer program after a thorough review process that ended May 22.
IACH is the smallest medical treatment facility within the Department of Defense to earn the distinction of accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, said Maj. Amber Ritenour, IACH surgeon and member of the cancer program.
IACH received the accreditation following an onsite evaluation when the program demonstrated a commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program, including cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach and quality improvement. Additionally, IACH received a compliance rating for all other 36 standards.
Applying for and maintaining Commission on Cancer accreditation is a voluntary commitment that ensures patients have access to the full scope of services required to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and support them.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2012.
"Accreditation with multiple commendations demonstrates (IACH's) continued commitment to providing high-quality cancer care to the service members and beneficiaries of the Fort Riley community," Ritenour said. "It also reflects the dedication and hard work of the (IACH) team."
The accreditation at IACH means new treatment options, like clinical trials, can be offered to cancer patients. Patients also will receive cancer education, support services and lifelong follow up by the cancer registry at the hospital.
"For me, it feels great to have our program looked at and be told (by accreditation) that we meet or exceed the high standards set forth by the Commission on Cancer," said Marie Jordan, IACH tumor registry manager. "Every cancer patient that walks through our facility's doors should know, without a doubt, they will receive the best treatment they can possibly get."
The core functions of the Commission on Cancer include setting standards for quality, multidisciplinary cancer patient care; surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with the 36 Commission on Cancer 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 level.
There are currently more than 1,500 Commission on Cancer-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing close to 30 percent of all hospitals.
To maintain accreditation, facilities with Commission on Cancer-accredited cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.