Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care earns national seal of accreditation from the American College of Radiology

Seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care, part of Southcoast Health, has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in radiation oncology as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety.

“American College of Radiology certification for radiation oncology has been the gold standard in our field for quite some time, yet has historically not been achievable by many institutions – even some of the most renowned,” said Sheri Weintraub, MS, DABR, Director and Chief Physicist of Radiation Oncology for Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care. “Certification requires an organized, systematic, and well-documented adherence to published best practices. As simple and reasonable as this sounds, there are many ways to follow best practices and it took a lot of focused teamwork to develop standard operating procedures that utilized the best of what each of us brought to the table. Developing those procedures was one thing, and holding ourselves accountable was another. We spent countless hours tracking and evaluating data to determine where our weak areas were and what was being done effectively to improve not only quality, but the patient experience.”

Radiation oncology (radiation therapy) is the careful use of high-energy radiation to treat cancer. A radiation oncologist may use radiation to cure cancer or to relieve a cancer patient’s pain.

The ACR seal of accreditation is awarded only to facilities meeting specific Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards developed by ACR after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Patient care and treatment, patient safety, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Radiation Oncology Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.

“Preparation for this audit was not so much a project, but a long-term commitment from the entire group to our patients,” said Weintraub. “We have just earned our second three-year unconditional accreditation and are all prepared and excited for the challenges that still lie ahead. We are committed to bringing the highest level of care to our patients and will continue to do so in an ever-changing environment. I am so proud to be a part of the Southcoast radiation oncology team.”

The ACR is the nation’s oldest and most widely accepted radiation oncology accrediting body, with more than 500 accredited sites, and 25 years of accreditation experience.

About the American College of Radiology

The American College of Radiology (ACR) is a national professional organization serving more than 36,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.