News and Information

March 19, 2013

St. Francis Radiation Oncology Center Earns National ACR Accreditation

Coveted and rare, American College of Radiology seal represents the highest quality and patient safety in radiation therapy

St. Francis Radiation Oncology Center, located on the St. Francis Hospital campus in Federal Way, in collaboration with Virginia Mason Medical Center, has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in radiation oncology as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

“This is a testament of our commitment to provide high quality care for our patients,” says Paul Mitsuyama, MD, medical director of St. Francis Radiation Oncology. “This radiation oncology program is the only private [radiation oncology program] in the state of Washington to have been awarded ACR accreditation,” he adds. “The ACR seal assures our patients that their treatment is being performed at a facility and by staff that have met the highest levels of quality and radiation safety.”

The ACR seal is awarded only to facilities meeting exacting practice guidelines and technical standards. Assessment areas include:

  • patient care and treatment
  • patient safety
  • staff qualifications
  • adequacy of facility equipment
  • quality control procedures
  • quality assurance programs

One of the most common treatments for cancer, radiation therapy is used in more than half of all cancer cases. Virginia Mason Radiation Oncology is a pioneer in the use of targeted radiation therapy that results in a shorter course of treatment and less damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Virginia Mason and St. Francis opened the Center in January, 2003.

“The St. Francis Radiation Oncology Center collaboration is dedicated to providing the most advanced, and also the most appropriate care to patients, close to home,” says Tony McLean, president of St. Francis Hospital. “Patients can conserve their time and energy for activities meaningful to them, rather than spend it commuting for what is usually a five-days-a-week course of treatment.”

Innovative approaches available at St. Francis Radiation Oncology Center include image-guided radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and brachytherapy. All types of cancer are treated at the Center, such as lung, breast, colon, prostate, skin, and head and neck. Cancer patients and their families receive comprehensive support, including a dedicated nurse navigator to guide them through the treatment process, and social work services to help manage challenges associated with treatment – financial, logistical and emotional. Other support options may include nutrition education, symptom management, support groups, and services such as massage and acupuncture to complement treatment and increase comfort.

About the ACR

The ACR is the nation’s oldest and most widely accepted radiation oncology accrediting body. The ACR seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting specific Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards developed by ACR after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Patient care and treatment, patientsafety, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Radiation Oncology Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 36,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

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