HHC Cancer Institute Receives National Recognition

May 08, 2017

Accreditation benefits include high quality care, close to home for patients

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute (HHCCI) meets or exceeds all the national standards required by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, according to recent site surveys and data analysis.

The site surveys and data analysis were part of a rigorous survey process by the Commission, which in March accredited the HHCCI as an Integrated Network Cancer Program -- something only a small percentage of cancer centers have been able to accomplish nationwide.

Typically, cancer center accreditations are given to individual hospitals. But because of the Institute’s cohesiveness, physician involvement and consistent standards of care across Hartford HealthCare, the entire cancer center spanning five sites received one accreditation.

For patients and the community, the accreditation means:

  • Patients and family members participate in care decisions.
  • Hartford HealthCare is dedicating resources to provide quality treatment and supportive care services to cancer patients.
  • Patients have access to important components of treatment recommended by the Health and Medicine Division (formerly the Institute of Medicine [IOM]), National Cancer Comprehensive Network, and American Society of Clinical Oncology.
  • A multidisciplinary oncology team is involved in the planning and coordination of cancer care.
  • Patients are informed about clinical research studies and trial options, including those offered by Memorial Sloan Kettering.
  • Programs work in collaboration with the community to provide cancer prevention and cancer screening events.
  • Standards of care are verified by a reputable national organization.
  • There is a high level of physician participation, including Disease Management Teams that meet regularly.
  • Quality cancer care is available close to home.

The accreditation focused on 34 standards, 31 of which the HHCCI met and three of which   surpassed expectations. “Commendations” were granted in the three areas that surpassed – clinical research, nursing care and accuracy of data.

“This has been a major undertaking, and a clear indication of the progress we have made in realizing our vision to become one cohesive cancer center that ensures that patients have access to the highest standards of care no matter where they enter our system – Backus Hospital, Hartford Hospital, MidState Medical Center, The Hospital of Central Connecticut and Windham Hospital,” said Donna Handley Vice President of Operations for the Institute. “This took an incredible amount of teamwork -- I am so proud of everyone who helped make this happen.”

“This validates the extensive work the Institute has undertaken since 2016, establishing Institute-wide policies and procedures, Disease Management Teams, community education and support and countless other wrap-around services and achievements,” said Peter Yu, MD, Physician in Chief of the Institute. “Moving forward, there is nothing we can’t do for our patients as we share our experiences, expertise and best practices.”

According to the Commission on Cancer, an accreditation of this kind demonstrates a cancer program’s commitment to providing high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered cancer care, and its ability to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate, and support no matter where they enter the system of care -- Backus, Hartford Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, MidState Medical Center, or Windham Hospital.

 “This accreditation really is important,” said Judith Keating, who, as manager of the Cancer Registry for the Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center, played an instrumental role in coordinating the accreditation effort. “People should realize that when they go to one of our local hospitals for care, they have access to resources that spread far beyond that one particular location. There is a full network that they can tap into, and that expands their options and reasons for hope.”