After months of preparing and a thorough review process, we are proud to announce Provision CARES Proton Therapy-Knoxville is the first radiation facility in the state of Tennessee and the first private practice proton center to receive the official certificate of ASTRO’s Accreditation Program for Excellence (“APEx”). APEx is an independent radiation oncology practice accreditation program developed by ASTRO, American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, based on a comprehensive set of sixteen evidence-based standards of radiation oncology practice.
The sixteen standards are focused on five pillars of patient care:
- the process of care
- the radiation oncology team
- quality management
- patient-centered care.
“We were meticulously evaluated in every aspect of our center, including audits of patient experience surveys, radiotherapy quality assurance procedures, and medical records of the entire treatment process” said Rebecca Bergeron, RN, BSN, OCN and Director of Clinical Operations at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville. “We not only met APEx requirements; we achieved very high scores of 96-100% in these audits for both the proton beam therapy facility and IMRT facility. This achievement reflects the aptitude of our entire team, and I am so very appreciative and proud of their diligence.”
Accreditation through APEx is a rigorous, voluntary, multi-step process that can take up to one year to complete. Each center seeking APEx accreditation must have its policies and procedures evaluated using objective, verifiable expectations for performance in radiation oncology. The facility must demonstrate its commitment to high standards of safety and quality in the practice of radiation oncology and that it practices patient-centered care by promoting effective communication, coordinating treatment, and engaging patients and their families as partners in care.
The value of this accreditation is a quality dividend that Provision CARES Proton Therapy will reap for years to come. The process challenged the team to develop a robust foundation of policies and workflows; however, we have made a commitment to continuously evaluate our practices and strive for excellence in quality, safety, and overall patient care as it is constantly redefined in our field.