Cancer Center receives high grades from Commission on Cancer

Published 01/10/2019

The Commission on Cancer (CoC), under the auspices of the American College of Surgeons, has re-accredited the South County Health Cancer Center through 2021.

The CoC is an organization that monitors comprehensive quality of care to improve survival and quality of life for cancer patients. As a result of the survey, conducted on October 9, 2018, the CoC awarded the Cancer Center a three-year accreditation for complying with the organization’s strict standards, noting seven areas earning commendation.

In his evaluation of the South County Health Cancer Center, Arnold H. Herman, MD, FACS, surveyor for the Commission on Cancer wrote:

“The hospital CEO (Lou Giancola) has continued strong support for the cancer program and led the transformation of the old ICU into the new Cancer Center which is not only very beautiful but also very functional.

New personnel have been recruited adding to the base of excellent experienced clinicians already here. A surgical oncologist now attends their Cancer Conferences and participates in a Multidisciplinary Clinic when needed. A thoracic surgeon also participates in a similar fashion. What is more remarkable is that these two surgeons are from two other competing hospital systems. New members of the medical oncology staff have infused the program with an increased interest in clinical trials here as well as a more academic atmosphere to the program.

Navigation, survivorship and palliative care are strong and growing. An oncology nutritionist sees all new cancer patients and they have an oncology pharmacist as well.

In 2018, South County has named a new Cancer Committee Chair and Cancer Program Administrator, new to South County Hospital, but very experienced. All the changes I have observed have been effective in strengthening this community cancer program. I anticipate that the next surveyor will find an even larger program in three years.

I could find no deficiencies in the SAR and find they met all seven commendation standards for this survey. Their quality studies included one of the lifetime dose of anthracyclines and one of monitoring cardiac function during and after treatment with cardiotoxic chemotherapy drugs.

This is a best practice that might be applied in all CoC programs, regardless of their size or designation.

South County Hospital’s cancer program easily qualifies for re-accreditation by the CoC.”

Areas of Commendation:
Standard 1.9 - Clinical Research Accrual
Standard 1.11 – Cancer Registration Education
Standard 1.12 – Public Reporting of Outcomes
Standard 2.1 – College of American Pathologists Protocols and Synoptic reporting
Standard 2.2 – Oncology Nursing Care
Standard 5.2 – Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) Participation
Standard 5.6 – Data Submission; Accuracy of Data

The South County Health Cancer Center offers a comprehensive breadth of services, diagnostics, and treatments for cancer patients and survivors. For more information, visit the South County Health Cancer Center web page or call 401-783-6670.