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Morristown Regional Cancer Center Earns National Accreditation

Posted on February 15, 2017

Morristown Regional Cancer Center Earns National Accreditation

The Morristown Regional Cancer Center has been awarded a national, Three Year Accreditation by the American College of Surgeons. To earn the voluntary accreditation, the cancer program of Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System/Covenant Health met no less than 34 quality care standards of the ACS’ quality program, the Commission on Cancer.

“I am very proud of our cancer team achieving this national accreditation. It is affirmation of the excellent care our team provides,” Gordon Lintz, MH Healthcare System chief administrative officer, said.

Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, Morristown Regional Cancer Center takes 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. The multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.

The effort to earn the accreditation is a three-year process, according to Suzanne Mickey, MRCC director of oncology. “We are required to complete extensive chart abstracting and data abstracting, along with following the CoC standards and showing the commission that we canmaintain the standards,” Mickey said. 

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for the cancer center to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care. When patients receive care at a CoC facility, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient centered services including psycho-social 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.

Like all CoC-accredited facilities, Morristown Regional Cancer Center maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base, a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore 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.

There are currently more than 1,500 CoC accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, CoC accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed patients with cancer. When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home.

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Story written by Glenna Howington, Citizen Tribune Staff Writer