Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
Bay Pines Earns National Accreditation for Cancer Program
August 22, 2016
BAY PINES, FL – The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted three-year Accreditation to the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System’s (VAHCS) cancer program. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC 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.
The Bay Pines VAHCS has been continuously accredited by the CoC since 1995 and is the only VA healthcare system in the state of Florida with an active accreditation.
Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, Bay Pines 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.
"Through the accreditation process, our health care professionals – surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, nurses, tumor registrars and more – have displayed that they use and advocate a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS. “This model of health care delivery has resulted in improved patient outcomes for the Veterans we have the honor to serve," she said.
The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for the healthcare system 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, life-long 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.
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, the Bay Pines VAHCS maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society (ACS). This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care. Accredited cancer centers, in turn, have access to information derived from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional, and state benchmark reports. These reports help facilities with their quality improvement efforts.
There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing 30 percent of all hospitals. These facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients. When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each accredited cancer program through the CoC Hospital Locator at: http://www.facs.org/cancerprogram/index.html.
About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 4,000 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fourth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring.