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Hospital's cancer center again earns accreditation

With nurse Lisa Moore looking on, cancer patient Thomas Redner is treated in the infusion center at River Falls Area Hospital. (Submitted photo)

The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, has granted a three-year accreditation with commendation to the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute at River Falls Area Hospital.

To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed the CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain excellent levels in the delivery of comprehensive, patient-centered care.

Only about 25 percent of U.S. hospitals have accredited cancer programs.

"Our comprehensive cancer program focuses on the full spectrum of cancer care, including prevention, early diagnosis, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, survivorship and end-of-life care," said Heather Simpson, RFAH cancer program coordinator. "Accreditations such as this confirm that our hospital offers our neighbors the exceptional care that they expect and deserve, without having to leave the community."

Accreditation ensures that patients within the community have access to:

• Quality cancer care that's available close to home

• Dedicated resources to provide quality treatment and supportive care services to cancer patients

• Comprehensive, patient-centered care through a team approach to coordinate the best treatment options

• Information about clinical research studies and trial options

• Access to prevention and early detection programs, cancer education, rehabilitation and support services such as psychosocial and survivor care

• Cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment, and lifelong patient follow-up

• Ongoing monitoring and continuous improvements in patient care.

Said Simpson: "This accreditation is especially satisfying because it means that we have sustained our high level of quality care for patients since our initial survey in 2010, when we earned our first three year accreditation with commendation."