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Why Accreditation Matters for Breast Cancer Treatment Centers

As we noted in our last blog post, Southeastern Med takes a great deal of pride in offering world-class cancer services right here in Cambridge, Ohio, reducing the stress on patients who would otherwise need to travel an hour or more for their care. Of course, it’s one thing to merely call our cancer center “world class”; it’s another thing to have that statement backed up by official accreditation from one of the leading national authorities in this field.

You may have seen Southeastern Med referred to as a “NAPBC-Accredited” cancer center. The NAPBC is the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. Affiliated with the American College of Surgeons, the NAPBC represents “a consortium of more than twenty national, professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with diseases of the breast,” according to its own official mission statement. “It is the first and only national accreditation program to specifically focus on breast disease.”

It’s not easy for a hospital to become NAPBC-accredited, particularly a smaller regional hospital. Of the 27 medical centers in Ohio to earn this recognition, only eight are located outside of the five largest metropolitan regions (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron/Canton, and Toledo). According to the website of the American College of Surgeons, in order to receive NAPBC accreditation, “Each breast center must undergo a rigorous evaluation and review of its performance and compliance with NAPBC Standards.”

Dr. Michael Sarap, the Director of the Breast Care and Colorectal Cancer Teams at Southeastern Med, says the process more specifically involves “fulfilling 28 individual standards with a comprehensive site visit every three years conducted by national experts in breast cancer care. The standards involve Center Leadership, Clinical Services, Research, Community Outreach, Professional Education, and Quality Improvement.”

Dr. Sarap is proud of Southeastern Med’s standing with the NAPBC, but not necessarily surprised by it, considering the effort that’s gone into building every aspect of this department.

“Our Cancer and Breast Program routinely exceeds national quality benchmarks in key categories,” he says, “including minimally invasive biopsies for initial diagnosis, use of sentinel node technology for axillary lymph node testing, conservative surgery instead of mastectomy, and appropriate utilization of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and hormonal therapy. Our wait times to begin therapy are also significantly shorter than larger centers. Each and every breast cancer patient has their case discussed at a multi-disciplinary meeting to assure that they get the most appropriate care.”

To learn more about the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, you can visit the NAPBC and American College of Surgeons website here. To discuss the  services available at Southeastern Med’s Cancer Center, feel free to visit our site or contact us directly today.