Meridian Health is First System in NJ to Earn National Accreditation as Integrated Network Cancer Program
Elite status presented by Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons recognizes excellence in patient-centered cancer care
The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted three-year accreditation to the cancer program at Meridian Health, making it the first health system in New Jersey to be recognized as an Integrated Network Cancer Program.
This elite recognition acknowledges the high-quality cancer care provided at Meridian’s five hospitals. They include Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin.
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. Meridian completed its survey in February 2015.
“The quality standards established by the Commission on Cancer ensure an exceptional level of cancer care for patients,” says Mark Krasna, M.D., medical director of Meridian Cancer Care. “Our community members can be confident that they will receive comprehensive, quality care, close to home. Better yet, it is rendered by talented professionals who are members of the same community and treat each patient like they are family.”
An Integrated Network Cancer Program provides some of the following key components: a complete range of state-of-the-art services and equipment; a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best available treatment options; information about ongoing cancer clinical trials and new treatment options; access to prevention and early detection programs, cancer education and support services; a cancer registry that offers lifelong patient follow-up; and ongoing monitoring and improvements in cancer care.
“One of the main features of being a CoC-accredited cancer program is taking a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer,” notes Dr. Krasna. “At Meridian, consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists is a critical component of multidisciplinary care, which results in improved patient care.”
The CoC is dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients and has established standards to ensure quality cancer care delivery in health care settings. The organization focuses and evaluates cancer programs based on patient care, outcomes, safety, high-quality, infection control and prevention, facilities, patient information, health care providers, clinical research, diagnostic and treatment services and more.
“The hard work, expertise and dedication of Meridian’s physicians and oncology team members clearly met the high standards of the Commission on Cancer,” says Timothy J. Hogan, FACHE, regional hospital president for Monmouth county. “Meridian’s Cancer Care team is to be commended for achieving this award and providing such an exceptional health resource to the members of the community“
Notification of the accreditation comes as Meridian Health recently launched a $128 million investment to bring a higher level of care close to home by enhancing its cancer services in Monmouth and Ocean counties. The project builds upon well established and trusted cancer services already offered through Meridian Cancer Care, providing patients with better access through six expansion projects that will blend clinical expertise with an optimal patient and family experience. Full details about cancer services and the BuildingHope expansion project at Meridian Health can be found at MeridianCancerCareNJ.com.
The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for Meridian Health to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care, which includes: 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.