Health care quality is measured by constantly evolving accreditation mechanisms carried out by a number of different national organizations, such as the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer (CoC) and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), Joint Commission, American Society of Clinical Oncology’s, Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI), and the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). Member organizations have found opportunities for quality improvement through their involvement in the Connecticut Cancer Partnership.
Many Partnership member organizations incorporate accreditation standards into their programs. Some common elements may include:
- community outreach
- use of community needs assessment data
- cultural competence
- workforce development
Acording to their website, “The Commission on Cancer is a nationally recognized multidisciplinary accreditation program. By working with its national partners, the CoC has developed comprehensive, patient-centered standards for cancer programs that went into effect on January 1, 2012. Each cancer program will be evaluated against these standards to demonstrate compliance and commitment to providing high quality cancer care.
The foundation of CoC accreditation includes these five elements: State-of the-art clinical, rehabilitation and support services; quality improvement mechanisms for evaluating and improving patient outcomes; a cancer registry and database that provide the basis for monitoring patient care data; cancer committees that provide leadership and cancer conferences that provide a forum for patient consultation and physician education.”
The Connecticut Cancer Plan, 2014-2017 aligns with CoC requirements by offering information and support to Connecticut hospitals with cancer programs in the accreditation survey process. Many resources required to meet CoC standards are available within the context of the Connecticut Cancer Partnership.
CoC Standard 1.11 requires that all members of the cancer registry staff participate in at least one cancerrelated educational activity each year.
Collaboration with member organizations to offer programs for professional development is increasingly important. The Partnership’s Education Committee will continue to identify opportunities that satisfy requirements for CEUs, CMEs and other credits, working with partner organizations to offer professional development programs in areas ranging from cultural competence, to clinical guidelines development, to emerging science. In addition to the annual meeting, the Partnership strives to collaborate on workforce development by sharing educational materials and seminar/conference information with members. The Education Committee also helps member organizations acquire needed information and resources, such as sharing the best practices to meet the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) Standards. Education is frequently eferred to as an “implementation mechanism” for ensuring that objectives and strategic actions set forth in this Plan are undertaken to enhance and improve cancer care in Connecticut.
Out of 29 Connecticut acute care hospitals, 25 are accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.