BreastCare Center Receives NAPBC Accreditation
BIDMC's BreastCare Center has received full three-year accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). To date, BIDMC has the only breast center in an academic medical center in Boston to achieve this elite status, says Michael D. Wertheimer, MD, Director of the BreastCare Center and Chief of Breast Surgery in BIDMC's Roberta and Stephen R. Weiner Department of Surgery.
NAPBC is a consortium of national professional organizations launched in 2008 to improve the quality of care for patients with breast diseases. The accreditation process required "opening all aspects of the BreastCare Center to critical, rigorous internal and external review and comparing them to ideal national standards," says Wertheimer.
Full accreditation by the NAPBC - a part of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons - requires that a breast center provide 17 program components and meet 27 exacting standards that collectively provide the most efficient, contemporary, multidisciplinary care for patients with diseases of the breast.
A National Leader
The standards - which span areas from a center's leadership to its research, clinical management, professional education, quality improvement, and more - were established by the NAPBC's multidisciplinary board, which is composed of experts representing the disciplines that work together to diagnose and treat breast diseases. "We met or exceeded 100 percent of the standards for accreditation," says Wertheimer. "This demonstrates that our BreastCare Center is a national leader in providing outstanding, multidisciplinary care for patients."
The currently voluntary accreditation process, which included a November 17 site visit, required months of preparation and involved staff from many areas: general surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, social work, pathology, plastic surgery, radiology, health information/medical records, health care quality, oncology nursing, and community benefits.
In his written summary remarks, the NAPBC surveyor, Arnold H. Herman, MD, described the BreastCare Center as "a model for any large institution" and a "truly exemplary program that will hopefully start a trend in large academic centers coming forward for NAPBC accreditation."
Herman also cited the fact that BIDMC president and CEO Kevin Tabb, MD, and other top medical center administrators and department heads attended his presentation and summation, and made special note of the weekly tumor board, which he called "superb." He also commended the "unique" multidisciplinary evaluation process for new breast cancer patients and the high quality of support services, "which serve…patients in a manner that could be cloned for all to use."