American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Program Update for National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) Accredited Centers

NAPBCDear Colleagues,

Well it certainly has been a challenging year! My hospital and cancer center has had to go through a great deal and we have had to learn to do almost everything in a different way; I’m sure it has been the same where you are.

Similarly, the volunteers and staff of NAPBC have had to confront new obstacles with respect to how we support and continue to accredit our participating centers. In response to the pandemic, NAPBC:

  • Postponed 2020 accreditation visits from earlier this year and extended accreditation for up to a year with site visits resuming in 2022.
  • Started virtual site visits with centers to complete those due in 2020 through June of 2021.
  • Led a consortium of breast cancer specialists to issue guidance for care when we were all completely “off the rails” during the initial pandemic surge.
  • Increased our web-based educational offerings.
  • Conducted our Board and committee meetings virtually.
  • Continued to work on the objectives derived from our 2019 retreat.
  • Appointed new leadership and members to the NAPBC Board to include Jill Dietz, MD as chair, and Hannah Gilmore, MD as vice-chair of the Standards & Accreditation Committee, and appointed the following new members to the Board:
    • Wendy Austin, RN, MS, AOCN, NEA-BC, FACHE – Association of Cancer Executives
    • Christoph Lee, MD – American College of Radiology Imaging Network
    • Timothy Mullett, MD, FACS – American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer
    • Lauren Teras, PhD – American Cancer Society

Sadly, and often tragically the pandemic is not over. This will require even more adjustments and a willingness to learn to do things differently and remain relevant. During the foreseeable future, we will:

  • We wholeheartedly agree that some standards are outdated and don’t add value and others need refreshing. Without adding undue burden to centers we will focus on reviewing and update those standards with the goal of providing the revised standards for public comment in the summer of 2021.
  • Find ways to reach out to breast centers that we have not been able to reach in the past. This will include addressing disparities and assisting under-resourced and rural as well as inner-city centers.
  • Continue to provide education to our centers.
  • Develop a feedback tool so that accredited centers can compare the results of their care with other participating centers.

The NAPBC Board volunteers remain extremely grateful to the excellent staff at the American College of Surgeons. Without their knowledge, skills and dedication none of this would work.

During these times, and I hope once things are clearer, please reach out to me, the other volunteers and the staff so we can collaborate and assist. We all wish all of you a happy holiday season and good health.

Scott Kurtzman, MD, FACS
Chair, NAPBC