Newswise — LOS ANGELES – Dec. 1, 2017 –  The Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai has been honored with a three-year accreditation with commendation from the American College of Surgeons.

Accreditation by the college’s quality assurance program, called the Commission on Cancer, demonstrates a cancer program’s commitment to high-quality, multidisciplinary patient care. A three-year accreditation with commendation is awarded only to programs that comply with all standards at the time of a comprehensive on-site survey.

The accreditation is recognized by the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, The Joint Commission, the American Cancer Society and other prominent national organizations.

“Receiving this accreditation validates Cedars-Sinai’s strong commitment to outstanding, multidisciplinary, patient-centered cancer care, which we’re proud to provide,” said Howard Sandler, MD, interim director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology.

The 2017 Accreditation Survey found that the Cancer Institute met or exceeded all 27 standards measured during the inspection, including diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology services, psychosocial services and clinical trial information. Additionally, the Cancer Institute received commendations in all seven areas of care that are measured. This “gold” level of achievement qualifies the Cancer Institute to receive an Outstanding Achievement Award, which it first earned during a 2011 inspection. Only 6 percent of the 1,500 accredited hospitals, freestanding cancer centers and cancer program networks nationwide that were surveyed achieved the gold status this year.

The accreditation is the result of several years’ work, during which a Cedars-Sinai task force of 60 physicians, nurses and administrators developed and implemented initiatives aimed at improving patient care and quality of life, said Scott R. Karlan, MD, associate director of the Breast Center at Cedars-Sinai, who led the Cancer Committee. Those initiatives included: 

  • Reducing chemotherapy administered during the final two weeks of life
  • Referring advanced cancer patients to the Cedars-Sinai Supportive-Care Services program, which offers services such as Gentle Yoga for Wellness; the Cancer Exercise Recovery Program; and Emerging from the Haze, a psycho-educational program that helps patients cope with the effects of "chemo brain"
  • Planning for end-of-life care  
  • Reducing overuse of imaging for breast cancer patients determined to be at low risk for spread of their disease
  • Holding screenings for colorectal cancer in communities where the disease is more prevalent, such as the Korean-American community, and increasing screenings for breast, prostate and skin cancers throughout the area served by Cedars-Sinai 

The time commitment required of members has proven well worth the effort, said Zuri Murrell, MD, director, Colorectal Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai

“Cedars-Sinai employees, faculty, physicians and patients take great pride in knowing that our Cancer Institute provides fantastic care,” he said. “I’m especially proud of our community outreach, which provides free breast and colorectal cancer screening and tests for diabetes.” 

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