JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
Brooke Army Medical Center once again has been re-accredited for three years by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on 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.
“Accreditation by the CoC assures patients that BAMC maintains high standards in cancer care, equivalent to what they would receive in any civilian institution accredited by the CoC,” said Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Timothy Vreeland, chair of the BAMC cancer program.
The CoC is one of BAMC’s longest-standing accreditations, dating back more than 70 years. The CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.
The cancer committee at BAMC consists of a diverse, multi-disciplinary group of professionals from all areas of cancer care.
“We take 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,” Vreeland said. “This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.”
To aid with family support, BAMC offers multiple support groups throughout the year to provide patients and family members the support they need when faced with a serious illness. Support group topics range from Life After Cancer Diagnosis, Caring for Caregivers, and Coping with Loss, to name a few. For more information, patients should consult with their care team.
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, BAMC maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base, a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society,” explained Lacey Johnson, BAMC Cancer Program administrator. “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.”
CoC-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 us with our quality improvement efforts,” said Johnson.
“BAMC is committed to providing our patients the best quality care possible,” said BAMC Commander Army Col. Mark Stackle. “This long-standing accreditation exemplifies that commitment. I’m incredibly proud of our medical professionals and support staff for their commitment to our cancer patients and their families.”