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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on January 15, 2015

Waccamaw Community Hospital earns national cancer accreditation for excellence in treatment

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Patients who choose Waccamaw Community Hospital for cancer care can do so with the knowledge and comfort that the hospital has earned national accreditation that recognizes excellence in cancer treatment. 

The accreditation, awarded by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, is granted to hospitals that meet specific standards for treating cancer as a complex group of diseases requiring coordination among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer care specialists.

Debra Magnanelli, director of oncology services for Georgetown Hospital System, said the accreditation affirms the quality of services available through Waccamaw’s cancer program.

“We have an outstanding cancer program in our community,” Magnanelli said. “Patients who choose Waccamaw Community Hospital have access to high-quality, cost-efficient care right here at home. They do not have to leave the area to receive state-of-the-art treatment and care that is specific to their needs.”  

Waccamaw’s program includes surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, specialized nursing, community health (prevention and screening), clinical trials, quality measures, reconstructive surgery, patient navigation, pathology, radiology, genetics, a tumor registry for data collection and reporting, psychosocial services, palliative care and hospice, rehabilitation, pharmacy and nutrition.

To earn the voluntary accreditation, which is granted for a three-year period, 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 patient-centered care. 

“Meeting and maintaining these standards means that we are constantly striving to deliver quality – to offer the very best care that we can to our patients,” Magnanelli said.

The accreditation program provides the framework for enhanced patient care through prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease and end-of-life care.

All accredited facilities maintain a cancer registry and contribute data to the National Cancer Data Base, a joint program of the CoC and 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 through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care. CoC-accredited cancer centers, in turn, have access to information from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional and state benchmark reports. The reports help CoC facilities with their quality improvement efforts.

Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care.

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in our region - with three hospitals and more than 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Hemingway to North Myrtle Beach. At Tidelands Health, we are anchored by our mission to help people live better lives through better health.