FORT SMITH, Ark. – Mercy Hospital Fort Smith continues a long history of improving patient care as its cancer program has been granted its 12th consecutive three-year accreditation since 1983 by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.
To earn voluntary Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation, a program must meet 34 quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.
“This continued accreditation shows that Mercy’s cancer program in Fort Smith has benefitted its patients for many decades,” said Dr. Tony Flippin of Mercy Clinic Oncology and chair of the hospital’s Cancer Committee. “At Mercy clinics, cancer patients have access to comprehensive, technologically advanced cancer care close to home.”
Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, Mercy Hospital Fort Smith takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.
The CoC Accreditation Program provides a framework for the hospital to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, lifelong follow-up for recurrent disease and end-of-life care.
When patients receive care at a CoC facility, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling and patient-centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.
CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed patients with cancer.