The program was evaluated by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, said Allison Knutson, cancer program specialist for the commission. It was accredited in April, Knutson said.
David McCormack, RMC president and chief executive officer, said the gold level commendation means the hospital’s cancer program ranks in the top 5 percent of United States hospital programs. This is the second time the hospital has received the commendation, McCormack said.
The accreditation process is comprehensive, and gives hospitals a way to evaluate their performance as compared to other accredited oncology programs, Knutson said.
According to the commission’s website, the oncology programs must meet 36 standards to receive accreditation. The standards include things like, all members of the cancer registry staff participate in one cancer-related education activity other than cancer conferences and oncology nurses have specialized knowledge and skills for their job, that are evaluated annually.
Knutson said the accreditation also gives the hospital a way to show the community their commitment to providing quality care to patients.
McCormack said the hospital uses a variety of innovative methods to provide high-quality care to its cancer patients. For instance, the oncologists have “tumor boards” in which they get together and discuss their cases and offer treatment suggestions and support to each other, he said.
“I’ve never had it at any other hospital I’ve been in,” McCormack said. “I’ve been to 12 hospitals.”
The oncology physicians, staff and volunteers work together to provide the best care possible, he added. This recognition validates all their efforts, he said.
“As regional provider for a five-county area, we strive each day to find ways to improve our patient care,” McCormack said. “Our commitment to this survey process and to our patients is evident through this recognition.”
There are more than 1,500 accredited programs — about 30 percent of all hospitals — in the United States and Puerto Rico, according to the commission’s website. Those accredited programs provide care to more than 70 percent of the newly-diagnosed patients each year, the website states.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.