Crozer Joins DCMH with Joint Commission Accreditation for Breast Care
- Crozer-Chester Medical Center recently joined Delaware County Memorial Hospital by receiving disease-specific certification for breast cancer care from The Joint Commission.
- Accreditation means that these programs have met the highest national standards and guidelines known to significantly improve outcomes and satisfaction for patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
- Crozer-Keystone is a regional and national leader in this accreditation: DCMH was the first hospital in the state and the fifth in the nation to receive this distinction, and Crozer was among the first four programs in the state.
Crozer-Chester Medical Center recently joined Delaware County Memorial Hospital by receiving disease-specific certification for breast cancer care from The Joint Commission.
Accreditation means that these programs have met the highest national standards and guidelines known to significantly improve outcomes and satisfaction for patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Crozer-Keystone is a regional and national leader in this accreditation: DCMH was the first hospital in the state and the fifth in the nation to receive this distinction, and Crozer was among the first four programs in the state.
Even for an outstanding health center, applying for accreditation is not an easy procedure. “It’s a rigorous auditing and inspection process that requires a certain degree of performance and technical skill as well as technologic instrumentation,” says Raymond Vivacqua, M.D., medical director of the Crozer Regional Cancer Center and chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Crozer in Chester.
Mary Lou Patton, M.D., M.D., F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S., F.S.S.O., F.C.C.M., Crozer surgeon and American College of Surgeons liaison for Crozer, views the accreditation as the natural next link in a chain of recognitions. “At Crozer, we have had a breast panel to review patient cases for 24 years—long before it was commonplace to have a breast panel in hospitals,” she says. “We have previously been recognized by the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Radiology, so all of this lets people in the community know that we are truly a center of excellence.”
“The dedication of all of our personnel is reflected in this acknowledgement by the Joint Commission, and we are proud and honored to have earned this distinction. The interdepartmental breast cancer program at Crozer has always put its emphasis on the patient. It is because of our dedication to patient care and superb communication between departments that our program is so successful. This has been enhanced by the addition of our nurse navigator, Mary Rooney,” says C. Amy Wilson, M.D., director of Breast Imaging at Crozer.
In addition to the physicians, Crozer’s multidisciplinary accreditation team was led by Marie DeStefano, R.N., administrative director of Oncology for CKHS; Mary Rooney, R.N., B.S.N., OCN, Crozer’s breast patient navigator; and representatives from Administration, Nursing, Radiology, Radiation Therapy, Physical Therapy, Case Management, Social Work and more.
Patton adds, “I’m just a spoke in the wheel but it’s an honor to be working here. And as a surgeon, it’s wonderful to know that I can go to any department that provides breast care, knowing that they’re all certified and will give patients the best treatment available.”
At both sites, visiting inspectors performed a thorough review of all of the departments involved, from radiation to the operating room. “When they inspect, they’re looking for enhanced coordination, communication, patient engagement and patient education,” says John Sprandio, M.D., medical director of the Delaware County Regional Cancer Center and chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology at DCMH. “They looked closely at our surgical results, our breast care coordinator, and our diagnostic radiology and pathology services. These departments have all worked in a highly collaborative way for the past five or six years, so we view this honor as a recognition of what we’ve been doing, and it’s been great to have that validation.”
What accreditation means for Crozer or DCMH patients is more peace of mind during a difficult time. “To be diagnosed with breast cancer is an overwhelming emotional experience — probably more emotional than any other cancer I’ve dealt with,” says Thomas Matulewski, M.D., medical director of the Center for Breast Health at DCMH. “The patient has a sense of loss, fear of what’s in store, and a worry about losing her identity as a woman. Because we are certified by several agencies she can rest assured that we meet certain standards and our outcomes are as good as they are anywhere across the country. She can be confident that she will have access to latest treatment options provided by people that understand state-of-the-art thinking in the management of breast cancer.”
Sprandio believes that accreditation is part of an overall shift in healthcare, as medical centers adapt process improvement and transparency. “I think there will be other centers in the area that will be recognized, but once again, we’re ahead of the curve. The world is moving to a model of transparency and demonstration of clinical outcomes, with people getting care based on their unique, specific needs. I think we will continue to see it and it will be interesting to watch the evolution of care over the next 15 years—and measure our process of continuous improvement.”
To request an appointment with a Crozer-Keystone cancer specialist, or to learn more about CKHS cancer services, call 1-866-695-HOPE (1-866-695-4673) or visit https://www.crozerkeystone.org/services/cancer/.