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Hartford Hospital Earns Accreditation From the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer of the American College of Surgeons

March 30, 2023

Hartford Hospital has earned a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons.

To achieve NAPRC accreditation, a rectal center must demonstrate compliance with the NAPRC standards addressing program management, clinical services, and quality improvement for patients. Centers are required to establish a multidisciplinary rectal cancer team that includes clinical representatives from surgery, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology.

The center is part of Hartford HealthCare’s Digestive Health Institute and its Cancer Institute.

Additionally, the program met standards addressing the clinical services that the rectal cancer program provides, including Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA testing), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Computerized Tomography (CT) imaging for cancer staging which allow patients to start treatment within a defined timeframe. Rectal cancer programs accredited by the NAPRC undergo a site visit every three years and are also accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

Work to formalize the rectal cancer center at Hartford Hospital started in 2021 under the guidance of Paul Vignati, MD, a colorectal surgeon at Hartford Hospital, and Jaime Holder, PA, who is program coordinator.

“Colorectal cancer care is complex,” said Vignati, who is director of the new rectal center. “The center brings together a multidisciplinary team to work seamlessly to care for these patients. Rectal cancer rates are increasing and we are seeing it more in younger patients, so to have this team in place improves the patient experience.”

Holder said creating the center meant bringing together all the disciplines involved in treating rectal cancer, including surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and more. Together they form a rectal cancer tumor board that reviews each patient’s case as a group and determines course of treatment.

“This has improved the relationships between the departments and our ability to communicate,” Holder said. “It has also improved our expediency in getting patients to treatment.”