Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer and Hammond, Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point and Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City carry the distinction of being accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
Accreditation signifies the hospitals provide the utmost in prevention, early diagnosis, pretreatment evaluation, staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, surveillance for recurrent disease, support services and end-of-life care.
Accreditation only is granted to facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment and are able to comply with stringent standards.
The availability of medical services, coupled with a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care, has resulted in approximately 80 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients being treated in accredited programs, according to the commission.
Elements viewed as key to success of commission-accredited programs include:
* Clinical services provide state-of-the-art pretreatment evaluation, staging, treatment and clinical follow-up for cancer patients seen at the facility for primary, secondary, tertiary, or quaternary care.
* The hospital’s cancer committee leads the program through goal-setting, monitoring activity, evaluating patient outcomes and improving care.
* Cancer conferences provide a forum for patient consultation and contribute to physician education.
* Quality improvement programs are the mechanism for evaluating and improving patient outcomes.
* The cancer registry and database is the basis for monitoring quality of care.
The commission requires the following services be provided for accredited programs, either onsite, by referral, or coordinated with other facilities or local agencies:
* Diagnostic – Clinical laboratory, diagnostic testing.
* Treatment – Medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical procedures.
* Other clinical services – AJCC staging, clinical research, patient guidelines, oncology nursing, pain management.
* Support – Counseling, discharge planning, hospice care, nutritional support, pastoral care, patient and family support.
According to the commission, there are more than 1,500 accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, which represents 30 percent of all hospitals that provide care to more than 70 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients annually.