MultiCare Regional Cancer Center gains national accreditation
The MultiCare Regional Cancer Center recently achieved a four-year accreditation from the largest radiation oncology society in the world for meeting high standards in radiation oncology safety and patient-centered care.
The center’s locations in Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Auburn all met the high standards required for the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx®) earlier this year. MultiCare’s is the first, and currently the only, radiation oncology practice in Western Washington to achieve this distinction.
“We are very pleased to receive APEx accreditation from the largest radiation oncology society in the world,” says Carolyn Rutter, MD, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at MultiCare Regional Cancer Center. “Evaluating our processes in relation to ASTRO’s high standards, including standards for safety and quality, validates our practices and recognizes the efforts of our radiation oncology team to deliver world-class, patient-centered radiation oncology care.”
APEx is an independent radiation oncology practice accreditation program based on a comprehensive set of 16 standards of radiation oncology practice. The standards focused on pillars of patient care including process of care, the radiation oncology team, safety, quality management and patient-centered care.
“ASTRO is excited to recognize MultiCare Regional Cancer Center for achieving APEx accreditation,” said ASTRO Chair Brian Kavanagh, MD, MPH, FASTRO. “They have demonstrated a commitment to providing their patients with safe, high-quality radiation therapy services.”
Accreditation through APEx is a rigorous, voluntary, multi-step process that can take up to one year to complete. Each center seeking APEx accreditation must have its policies and procedures evaluated using objective, verifiable expectations for performance in radiation oncology. It must demonstrate its commitment to high standards of safety and quality in the practice of radiation oncology and that it practices patient-centered care by promoting effective communication, coordinating treatment, and engaging patients and their families as partners in care.
APEx has a distinctive program structure that includes both a self-assessment process and a facility visit conducted by medical physicist and a radiation oncologist surveyors, in cooperation with the radiation oncologists, physicists, radiation therapists, nurses, and dosimetrists from the center seeking accreditation. APEx also integrates templates that promote value and efficiency for physicians, and final evaluation reports that link standards and performance to quality improvement resources.
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