When you have cancer, knowing that the best quality care is available nearby can give you peace of mind. That’s why the Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Cancer Center underwent the voluntary accreditation process with the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a program of the American College of Surgeons.

The CoC granted Springfield Regional Cancer Center three-year accreditation. To earn this, Mercy Health’s cancer program met 34 CoC quality care standards, maintained levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care and agreed to be evaluated every three years through a survey process.

Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, Springfield Regional Cancer Center takes 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. This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.  

“This accreditation is a testament to the hard work of our staff and the quality of care our patients receive. The cancer program at Springfield Regional Cancer Center is extraordinary, starting from diagnosis through to remission,” said Matt Caldwell, President, Mercy Health – Springfield.  

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for Springfield Regional Cancer Center to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including 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.   

Like all CoC-accredited facilities, Springfield Regional Cancer Center maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society. 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 CoC facilities with their quality improvement efforts.   

The American Cancer Society estimated that doctors would diagnose more than 1.7 million cases of cancer in 2018. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed patients with cancer. When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program through the CoC Hospital Locator at https://www.facs.org/search/cancer-programs

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care. Its membership includes Fellows of the American College of Surgeons. For more information, visit: www.facs.org/cancer.