Marin General Hospital’s Cancer Program Receives Perfect Score From American College Of Surgeons

GREENBRAE, CA — Marin General Hospital’s Marin Cancer Institute has received a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). It is the only North Bay hospital to have received this designation.

The award follows an on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor to review compliance with standards for the full scope of 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. Marin General Hospital received a perfect score on all evaluative measures.

“It’s extraordinary for a community hospital to achieve this designation,” said Lee Domanico, Marin General Hospital CEO. “But we are particularly proud of having received a perfect score across the board. It really speaks to the exceptional quality of our staff and physicians.”

“Cancer care is a team effort—success cannot be achieved by any single provider,” said Peter Eisenberg, M.D., a medical oncologist who has practiced in Marin for more than 30 years. “Over and over again, I am impressed at how important communication is and how much better the care is when provided by a team of thoughtful, responsive and thorough providers such as those at Marin General Hospital. It is gratifying that the American College of Surgeons has confirmed that the cancer care program here deserves its highest commendation.”

Just 25 percent of all hospitals in the U.S. and Puerto Rico earn the CoC designation, but they diagnose and/or treat 71 percent of new cancer patients each year. The CoC’s Accreditation Program sets quality-of-care standards and reviews cancer programs to ensure they conform to those standards. Accreditation is given only to those that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and are willing to undergo a rigorous evaluation process and performance review. On-site reviews to maintain accreditation are performed every three years.

The program looks at are how patients are evaluated, staged, treated and followed up, as well as whether there is a cancer committee in place to lead the program through goal-setting, monitoring and evaluating patient outcomes and improving care. Programs also are measured by whether they provide and promote cancer conferences that facilitate patient consultation and physician education; whether quality improvement is a key part of the evaluation and education program, and whether the cancer registry and database provides a basis for monitoring quality of care.

In addition to the expanded patient triage area, the project will include creating a separate waiting space with a specially designed pediatric section and a room equipped specifically for pediatric emergency care.

Because cancer patient data are reported by each CoC-accredited cancer program to the CoC’s National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), participating facilities can access a rich resource of patient demographics, tumor characteristics, and treatment and outcomes information for more than 18 million cancer patients diagnosed and treated at US hospital cancer programs between 1985 and 2004.

The CoC accreditation ensures that Marin General Hospital patients will have access to a range of state-of-the art services and equipment and a multi-specialty team approach to coordinate the best treatment options. Most importantly, it assures quality care close to home for cancer patients.

“What continues to amaze those of us practicing at Marin General Hospital is that many in the community still think they must go to San Francisco for state-of-the-art care,” said Dr. Eisenberg. “In fact, they just can’t get better care than that available right here in Marin. Marin General Hospital’s cancer program not only aced the test, but received every possible point that could be awarded. The CoC has confirmed what we already knew—you can have the best care without leaving home.”

ABOUT THE COMMISSION ON CANCER OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS

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. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons and 42 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care. Its core functions include setting standards for quality, multidisciplinary cancer patient care, surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with standards, and collecting and evaluating standardized data from accredited facilities to use for educational interventions to improve cancer care outcomes.

For public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program you can visit www.cancer.org or call 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.