Masters Thesis

Preparing for accreditation

Healthcare organizations must meet the medical needs of the population and in order to meet those needs, accreditation covers the Institute of Medicine’s six aims for improving healthcare services for patients: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable. Accreditation is a review process in which healthcare organizations participate in voluntarily to demonstrate their ability to meet national, predetermined criteria and standards established by reputable accrediting agencies. The goal of this research is to assist a community cancer center in Kern County to address needs of the service population through accreditation and offer recommendations for accreditation selection. Appropriate selection of accreditation will require a comprehensive analysis of the following organizations: Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx); American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO); American College of Radiology (ACR); Commission on Cancer (COC); National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and; Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI). This study concluded that each association’s focus and orientation varies, and recommendations were contingent on: the organizational needs of the cancer center; the individual standards and its performance outcomes; the likelihood to achieve and maintain compliance with those standards and; the specialization of technology and care focus. The first recommendation suggests a long-term goal to pursue accreditation that offers a full continuum of cancer care ranging from education and prevention to end-of-life care and survivorship support. The second recommendation suggests a short-term goal to pursue two accreditations that integrate multiple angles of cancer care quality and demonstrate a comprehensive cancer program that is specialized in radiation oncology as well as breast cancer care.

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