UF Health Cancer Network earns national accreditation for quality care

The UF Health Cancer Network, comprising UF Health and the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health, has received a full accreditation by the Commission on Cancer, a quality program of the American College of Surgeons.

The UF Health Cancer Network is one of seven facilities in the state of Florida to have achieved accreditation in the Integrated Network Cancer Program category from the Commission on Cancer, or CoC, which is bestowed on cancer programs that meet or exceed the organization’s 34 quality care standards. These standards are evaluated every three years through a survey process and accredited facilities must maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.

This is UF Health and the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health’s second accreditation in the CoC’s Integrated Network Cancer Program category. This recent accreditation is even more difficult to achieve and requires UF Health locations in Gainesville and Orlando to collaborate in setting goals, standardizing policies and procedures and completing quality improvement projects — among other things.

The UF Health Cancer Network achieved five commendations, which are only awarded to facilities that exceed standard requirements at the time of the survey. The areas that received commendation are clinical research accrual, public reporting of outcomes, oncology nursing care, rapid quality reporting system participation, and data submission and accuracy.

Commission on Cancer standards require that accredited facilities take a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists — resulting in improved patient care. Patients who receive care at a CoC facility also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling and patient-centered services, including psychosocial support, a patient navigation process and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life, according to the American College of Surgeons website.

Like all CoC-accredited facilities, the UF Health Cancer Network maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Database, a joint program of the CoC and the American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world and is a resource for exploring 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.

UF Health and Orlando Health launched a joint oncology program in 2014, which has resulted in one of the state’s largest, most comprehensive cancer programs, staffed by some of the nation’s top oncology experts. As partners, these facilities boast 11 multidisciplinary programs offering state-of-the-art treatment programs that include minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, plastic and reconstructive surgery and proton beam therapy, as well as access to new treatments through clinical trials. The UF Health Cancer Network serves nearly 10,000 new cancer patients annually.

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