Scripps Green Hospital has become the first civilian hospital in San Diego County to earn accreditation in radiation oncology from the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO).
Of the approximately 2,400 facilities offering radiation oncology in the United States, approximately 10 percent are accredited by ACR-ASTRO. Only seven facilities in California are accredited by ACR-ASTRO, and in San Diego County only Naval Medical Center San Diego has earned the distinction.
The three-year accreditation represents the gold standard for quality and patient safety in radiation oncology, and applies to Scripps Green’s external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy services. Nearly two-thirds of all cancer care typically receive a form of radiation therapy as part of their treatment.
“We are continually searching for ways to improve the care we provide to our patients, and this accreditation is an important step in this ongoing process,” said Ray Lin, MD, medical director of radiation oncology at Scripps Green Hospital. “When cancer patients receive radiation treatments at Scripps Green, they can be assured they are receiving the absolute highest standards of quality and safety, as verified by independent experts.”
Surveyors from ACR-ASTRO visited Scripps Green in late 2010 to inspect its facilities and conduct a detailed review of 10 current medical cases, which included the full spectrum of cancer diagnoses treated at the facility. Participation in the ACR-ASTRO accreditation process is voluntary in California.
ACR-ASTRO accreditation is awarded only to facilities that meet specific practice guidelines and technical standards developed by ACR-ASTRO. More than 30 different standards are assessed, covering wide-ranging areas such as patient care and safety, personnel qualifications, calibration of equipment, calculation protocols for treatment plans, quality control procedures and many others. Adherence to these standards is verified after a peer-reviewed evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists.
The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 34,000 diagnostic and interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists. ASTRO is a professional organization serving more than 10,000 radiation oncologists, medical physicists and other health care professionals involved in the treatment of cancer patients.