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Harris Health System Receives Hallmark Accreditation for its Cancer Programs

Harris Health System has received a hallmark accreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, meaning its comprehensive cancer programs in its hospitals and outpatient facilities have met stringent quality care standards.

The accreditation means Harris Health joins elite cancer institutions across the country that follow a multidisciplinary approach to treat cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists. This approach results in improved patient care. 

“The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons accreditation is an outside validation that Harris Health patients receive high-quality care when they come to us,” says Dr. Parikshet Babber, chief medical officer, Harris Health System. “Our comprehensive cancer program focuses on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up and end-of-life care.”

To earn the recognition, a cancer program must meet 34 quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.

“This accreditation is the result of a lot of hard work by the doctors, nurses, case managers and social workers who take care of our patients with support from Harris Health administration and the fantastic work of our cancer registry,” says Dr. Martha Mims, chief, Internal Medicine-Hematology/Oncology, Ben Taub Hospital, and professor, Internal Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine. “I am particularly proud of the innovative programs we have developed including access to clinical trials, the diagnosis and screening clinics and cancer education and prevention strategies we have rolled out to the community.” 

When patients receive care at Harris Health, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling and patient-centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve each cancer survivor’s quality of life.

“The Commission on Cancer truly values Harris Health’s participation in the accreditation program—as part of an elite group of cancer programs committed to providing high-quality cancer care,” says Dr. Danny Takanishi, chair, Accreditation Committee of Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

Like all accredited facilities, Harris Health maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base, a joint program of the Commission on Cancer and the American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed and used to explore trends in cancer care. 

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 71 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients in the U.S. are treated in the more than 1,400 facilities that are accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Receiving care at a commission-accredited cancer program hospital or facility ensures patients receive high-quality, comprehensive care from teams of specialists who can coordinate the best treatment options available.