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

Important Update for Cancer Accreditation Programs

Dear Cancer Programs Colleagues:

The leadership and staff of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC), National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), and the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC) remain committed to the health and safety of our participating accredited program staff, health care professionals, physicians, and patients as we continue to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently our CoC, NAPBC, and NAPRC site reviewers have been given the go ahead to resume scheduling for the remaining 2020 site visits and should be reaching out to those programs that need to reschedule beginning this September/October through June 30, 2021. We’ve asked our site reviewers to confirm dates with all programs that were initially due in 2020 by November 1, 2020.

The American College of Surgeons has created virtual site visit plans for each accreditation and verification program that includes the CoC, NAPBC and NAPRC. The virtual plans we have developed will retain the key components of the in-person visit and offer the same level of quality to assess compliance with the accreditation standards, provide education and consultation, and offer strategies to help programs enhance the quality of their cancer care delivery.

A total of ten cancer accreditation programs (four CoC, four NAPBC, and two NAPRC) have agreed to serve as pilot sites to test the virtual site visit plans. These pilot site visits are currently taking place through October 1. All of our site reviewers have been trained on the virtual site visit plans and are encouraged to communicate the virtual site visit as an option when talking with their assigned programs about re-scheduling. However, where feasible and based on state COVID-19 regulations, in-person visits are allowed and can take place if both the program and site reviewer agree.

To educate our accredited programs about what is involved in a virtual site visit, we are presenting a webinar - CoC, NAPRC and NAPBC Virtual Site Visits – What Programs Need to Know – scheduled for Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm Central Time to review the components of the virtual site visit plans for each ACS Cancer Program, share results from the pilot site visits, and discuss how the virtual plan option can be utilized by interested programs during the pandemic. Register here.

Lastly, we want to remind programs that we have developed COVID-19 Accreditation Trackers for each program to assist with documenting the impact of COVID-19 on compliance with the CoC, NAPBC and NAPRC accreditation standards. Although 2020 standards compliance is not being reviewed as part of the re-scheduled 2020 site visits, the tracker could be used as the basis for a conversation with the site reviewer about the overall impact of the pandemic on the program. The COVID-19 Accreditation Trackers are located in the respective program portals.

We encourage you to regularly visit the following accreditation program websites for program updates and resources. We value your continued participation in our accreditation programs, and welcome your feedback, questions and concerns. Please contact us anytime at acscancerprograms@facs.org.

Thank you,
Commission on Cancer
National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers
National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer