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Exterior of the N.C. Basnight Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC
Exterior of the N.C. Basnight Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC.

The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, a national consortium of professional organizations committed to improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients, has awarded three-year accreditation to UNC Hospitals’ cancer program.

The designation demonstrates the commitment of UNC Hospitals, including N.C. Basnight Cancer Hospital, the clinical home of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and UNC School of Medicine, to provide comprehensive patient-centered care that utilizes a multidisciplinary approach and is focused on prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care.

“Earning this accreditation is extremely gratifying because it is an external validation of the commitment and hard work of our cancer care program team members and leadership to provide our patients with the most advanced and highest quality of care,” said David Ollila, MD, James and Jesse Millis Distinguished Professor at UNC School of Medicine. Ollila and Brendan Fitzpatrick, associate vice president for cancer services at UNC Health, led UNC Hospitals’ application process for accreditation.

The Commission on Cancer accreditation program was created by the American College of Surgeons to  provide the framework for quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs. The accreditation process includes a rigorous on-site survey to assess 34 quality standards and determine whether a cancer center is providing comprehensive patient-centered care.

“The renewal of our accreditation is a wonderful recognition of our cancer program and the value we place on providing collaborative and multidisciplinary patient care,” Fitzpatrick said. “Moreover, it is another measure of excellence that our people might find reassuring when they entrust us to provide their cancer care.”

As an accredited facility, UNC Hospitals maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the Commission on Cancer and American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database includes data from 1,500 institutions and 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. 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.