SAN DIEGO – Scripps Cancer Center has become the first multi-hospital cancer program in California and one of only 28 nationally to earn network accreditation from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer (CoC).
Scripps Cancer Center, which provides comprehensive patient care and support services at Scripps Health’s five hospital campuses in San Diego County, was granted a three-year accreditation. Scripps received commendation in each of the categories of standards assessed by the CoC, including clinical services and patient management; quality improvement; clinical research; community outreach and education; staff education and support; and program structure and leadership.
Surveyors from the CoC visited Scripps Cancer Center facilities in June 2008 to conduct site inspections and review 174 Scripps cancer cases, selected from more than 3,000 new patients Scripps diagnosed in 2007. Scripps pathologists were praised for 100 percent compliance to College of American Pathologists’ protocols, and Scripps’ cancer registry was lauded for its 99.3 percent compliance to on-time reporting of quality data to regional and national statistical databases, which provide reliable information that can lead to improved treatments and outcomes for patients. CoC surveyors also cited Scripps for demonstrating excellent nurse-to-patient ratios; a wide breadth of clinical services; and outstanding physician involvement and leadership.
“This accreditation reaffirms to our patients, their families and friends that Scripps is committed to consistently providing the highest quality of cancer care across our network of hospitals, Scripps Clinic locations and affiliated physicians’ offices,” said William Stanton, M.D., medical director of Scripps Cancer Center at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego and chair of Scripps’ network cancer program committee. “Our patients can have peace of mind knowing they’ll receive the very best cancer care close to home, while having access to the latest specialized technologies, clinical trials and ancillary services as needed at other Scripps locations.”
In addition to offering standardized diagnosis and care for a wide range of tumor sites at all five of its hospital campuses, Scripps provides an array of leading-edge resources distributed throughout its health care system and available to all cancer patients. These include:
- Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program at Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego
- Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at Scripps Green Hospital/Scripps Clinic
- Scripps Polster Breast Care Center and San Diego Gamma Knife Center, both at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla
Other exemplary Scripps programs include rehabilitation services at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, and early detection services at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista.
Scripps Cancer Center’s network accreditation sets the stage for myriad benefits to patient care. For example, Scripps physicians now have access to additional national cancer databases and other benchmarking data, enabling them to constantly self-evaluate and refine their care practices. Network accreditation also fosters and reinforces cancer research, bringing new treatments and diagnostics to patients. The process leading up to accreditation also created an important platform for sharing and achieving consistency of best practices throughout the Scripps system.
Before receiving network accreditation, Scripps Cancer Center had been operating under a network model for several years and its facilities had been accredited individually as community hospital cancer programs by the CoC. Because high-quality cancer care is a top priority for Scripps, it sought CoC network accreditation as a way of assessing and validating its processes and programs.
“CoC surveyors told us during their evaluation of Scripps that they have rarely seen such an intense and passionate effort for a multi-hospital system to coalesce as a network,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “We’re confident that our affiliated physicians and staff will now accelerate this momentum to elevate Scripps Cancer Center to even higher levels of quality patient care, support and clinical research.”
CoC network accreditation requires compliance to 36 standards, focused on areas such as: state-of-the-art cancer services that incorporate current standards of practice; quality outcomes and ongoing program improvement; and evidence of multi-disciplinary programmatic organization and collaboration. Other areas include patient, community and staff education programs and participation in research and prevention activities.
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and monitoring of comprehensive, quality care. Its members include fellows of the American College of Surgeons and 42 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care.
The CoC’s approvals program sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to these standards. The CoC gives accreditation only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and performance review. CoC-accredited programs must undergo an on-site review every three years to maintain accreditation.
With more than 300 affiliated physicians with expertise in 22 different specialties, Scripps Cancer Center is a nationally recognized leader in cancer care and research. Since 1975, Scripps has treated more than 97,000 cancer patients, with approximately one in three newly diagnosed cancer patients in San Diego choosing Scripps Cancer Center for their care.
Scripps Cancer Center seeks to provide the best possible treatment and cutting-edge research trials for patients by coordinating medical expertise in the areas of clinical cancer care, community outreach and clinical, translational and basic research.
Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2 billion nonprofit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 12,200 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of clinics, physician offices and outpatient centers.
Recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research and graduate medical education. In 2007, Scripps committed more than $150 million in capital and facility improvements across the San Diego region while providing significant charity care to the community — more than $236 million in uncompensated care in 2007.
Scripps Health Foundation generated $74 million in charitable donations in 2007 to support the Scripps mission.
Scripps Health includes: Scripps Green Hospital, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, two Scripps Mercy Hospital campuses, 10 Scripps Clinic locations, eight Scripps Coastal Medical Center locations, and Scripps Home Health Care Services.