Northeast Pennsylvanians often think that excellent cancer care is found strictly in larger cities. But that perception was recently disproved by Northeast Radiation Oncology Center (NROC).
The experienced team of physicians at NROC were one of only two centers in the commonwealth awarded a four-year accreditation for radiation oncology services from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) after successfully demonstrating compliance with the Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx).
In order to gain the APEx accreditation, NROC had to meet a comprehensive set of 16 evidence-based standards of radiation oncology practice. The 16 standards are focused on five pillars of patient care: 1) the process of care; 2) the radiation oncology team; 3) safety; 4) quality management; and 5) patient-centered care.
“The NROC team is very pleased to receive the APEx accreditation from the premier radiation oncology society in the world,” said Christopher A. Peters, M.D., medical director. “We are particularly honored to be one of only two centers in the state to receive this accreditation. Evaluating our processes in relation to ASTRO’s high standards, including standards for safety and quality, validates our practices and recognizes the efforts of our radiation oncology team to deliver patient-centered, highest quality radiation oncology care.”
Accreditation through APEx is a rigorous, multi-step process that can take up to one year to complete. In becoming accredited, NROC had to have its policies and procedures evaluated using objective, verifiable expectations for performance in radiation oncology. NROC also had to demonstrate its commitment to high standards of safety and quality in the practice of radiation oncology and that it practices patient-centered care by promoting effective communication, coordinating treatment and engaging patients and their families as partners in care.
“At NROC, patients always come first,” said Peters. “As your partners in cancer care, we’ll answer all your questions precisely and promptly. We’ll guide you in the right direction, doing everything humanly and scientifically possible to get you on the road to recovering. You do not need a referral to get our help. Even if our groundbreaking radiation treatment is not right for you, we’ll connect you to the best doctors and the proper treatment — wherever that might be.”
NROC patients are also given the opportunity to participate in cancer clinical research trials. NROC physicians have served as principal investigators for National Cancer Institute research trials for almost 30 years.
The APEx program involves both a self-assessment process and a facility visit by a medical physicist, radiation oncologist, radiation therapist, nurse, dosimetrist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or practice administrator.
“ASTRO is proud to recognize Northeast Radiation Oncology Center for achieving APEx accreditation,” said ASTRO chair Bruce D. Minsky, M.D., FASTRO. “NROC has demonstrated a commitment to providing their patients with safe, high quality radiation therapy services.”