Published on September 24, 2013 at 3:02 AM
The University of New Mexico Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Department recently received the widely recognized accreditation from the American College of Radiology. The ACR is comprised of over 36,000 members who aim to educate health professionals, improve the quality of care, and conduct further research in the field of radiology. "This accreditation is an external validation of the quality and robustness of our programs and care," said Thomas Schroeder, MD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UNM School of Medicine. Dr. Schroeder is also the Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at the UNM Cancer Center.
The ACR completed an on-site survey to assess the program's standing. This voluntary process has been run by the ACR for over twenty five years and involves the evaluation of various components of a department. The assessment includes evaluating personnel training, equipment calibration, records maintenance and security, treatment procedures and quality control. The ACR surveyors also conduct interviews with the Chief Physicist of the Department of Radiation Oncology. One of the primary goals of this on-site survey is to ensure that the proper protocols are in place for quality assurance.
Within the Department of Radiation Oncology, equipment quality assurance is handled by the physicists. These scientists ensure the machines that produce the radiation are calibrated correctly. "We have to make sure what we've calculated reflects what is actually given to the patient," said Dr. Schroeder. The physicians work with the physicists to achieve the consistency of quality care within the department.
The accreditation confirms that the UNM Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Department meets countrywide standards and benchmarks in an environment that provides quality care and treatment. "The real value, in my opinion, is in the process and not the result," said Dr. Schroeder.
SOURCE UNM Cancer Center