Mercy Medical Center was awarded the Commission on Cancer’s Outstanding Achievement Award for the third straight year and granted a three-year accreditation with gold-level commendation from program on Jan. 31.
To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed the program’s quality standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain levels of excellence in patient care. Three-year accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to facilities that exceed standard requirements at the time of the survey. A program achieving all seven commendation standards with no deficiencies is recognized at gold level with the Outstanding Achievement Award.
“It was really an honor to earn this award three times in a row,” said oncologist Dr. Kenneth Ng. “It’s never easy for an outside agency to come and assess our program. But we’re very happy that for the third consecutive survey, which is once every three years, we have achieved this outstanding award.”
Mercy was in compliance with all 34 CoC standards at the time of the survey, plus seven commendations. Overall, the program has maintained accreditation from the CoC for 46 straight years, since 1970.
“This latest recognition from the CoC affirms that high level of expertise and dedication offered to our cancer patients,” said Mercy Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Ron Steimel. “Many thanks to the cancer committee and to each and every team member for this prestigious achievement.”
Mercy Medical Center provides cancer care in collaboration with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which has been providing outpatient medical and radiation oncology services at Mercy for 20 years. The partnership was designed to better meet the needs of patients and families dealing with all phases of cancer, from diagnosis to treatment and survivorship.
Ng gave full credit to the cancer-care team for maintaining the department’s high level.
“I think it’s really the constant attention to detail, the constant attention to working together as a team to provide the best care possible in meeting the standards and, of course, we really take to hear the meaning of completing all of the work that is necessary to meet these standards,” he said,
The team itself consists of medical and radiation oncologists, administrators, surgeons, physician assistants, nutritionists, social workers, pastoral counselors, and even volunteers. Besides providing patient care and radiation and chemotherapy treatments, their approach addresses physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs by coordinating inpatient and ambulatory care, home care, education, support groups and bereavement care.
“It’s not just about giving radiation treatment, but it’s also coming all together to work as a team, which can be a challenge sometimes because you deal with all the mechanics of different players and different people, different jobs [and] different personalities” Ng said. “[We are] all pushing everybody to work towards the same goal.”