The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a consortium of professional organizations committed to improving the survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients, has recognized the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) for its dedication to providing high-quality care to its patients. The DF/BWCC met the qualifications for the CoC’s three-year accreditation, which includes access to the CoC’s National Cancer Data Base and educational and training opportunities. The database will automatically merge patient records from Dana-Farber and BWH, allowing clinicians to look at unduplicated cancer patient records across the two hospitals to see outcomes and measure the quality and effectiveness of care.
“The DF/BWCC is delighted to join the CoC,” said Cancer Committee Chair Mehra Golshan, MD, director of breast surgical services at DF/BWCC . “We know that this will help improve the survival and quality of life of cancer patients through setting standards, prevention, education and research.”
The CoC is among the nationally recognized American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs and sets standards to ensure high-quality, comprehensive care for patients. In addition, the CoC maintains a database of more than 30 million patient records from accredited hospitals across the country. This database can be used to generate reports on survival and quality of care, allowing clinicians to access evidence-based cancer care information in real time as they treat patients. Clinicians can search by age, race, co-morbidity and a variety of other factors. The database can also serve as a rich resource for research investigations – researchers at DF/BWCC will be able to apply to conduct case-level studies using de-identified data from the database.
The DF/BWCC will also be able to use the database to evaluate itself against measurement guidelines set forward by the CoC for standards of various forms of cancer care, comparing performance both internally and against other centers around the region and the country.
CoC accreditation is based on several rigorous criteria including state-of-the-art services; quality improvement mechanisms for evaluating and improving patient outcomes; committees that provide oversight and leadership; and more. Physician surveyors visit institutions seeking accreditation to evaluate new sites and rate them on multiple standards. DF/BWCC was given three commendations as part of its preliminary survey for its extremely high percentage of clinical trials; its registrar education including a national education event; and its voluntary participation in the Rapid Quality Reporting System.