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ACR/ASTRO Announce Joint Radiation Oncology Practice Accreditation Program

Fairfax, Va., November 26, 2008 – The American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and the American College of Radiology have announced a new partnership for radiation oncology practice accreditation that builds on the ACR’s current successful program that has served as the industry standard for more than 20 years.

As a result of this collaboration, radiation oncology programs will have expanded access to this well established and efficient process of both self-assessment and independent external expert audit, based on nationally recognized guidelines, including ACR and ASTRO guidelines and technical standards, that assesses the qualifications of personnel, policies and procedures, equipment specifications, quality assurance (QA) activities, patient safety, and ultimately the quality of patient care.

During the review, the facility’s personnel, equipment, treatment planning and treatment records, and quality control measures will be measured and evaluated. This process is designed to be educational in nature and promote quality among radiation oncology facilities. This joint accreditation program presents an opportunity for radiation oncology facilities to demonstrate to their communities, patients, payers and referring physicians that they are committed to providing the highest quality care.

“Quality is extremely important for our members as they strive to provide cancer patients and their families with superior treatments to cure their disease. It is also becoming increasingly clear that accreditation programs like this will become more necessary for cancer programs as they strive to demonstrate quality to both patients and payors,” said Laura I. Thevenot, CEO of ASTRO. “ACR has a long track record of running excellent accreditation programs and we are excited to be able to work them in this new partnership to provide an outstanding radiation oncology accreditation program to the entire radiation oncology community.”

“With nearly 16,000 accredited facilities across the United States, and a long history of providing accreditation for diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology facilities dating back to 1963, the ACR has a long and distinguished record of providing top quality practice accreditation programs. We are glad to be working with ASTRO to make practice accreditation more accessible to radiation oncologists. This historic step is further indication of the commitment that both organizations and their members have to providing patients with the best possible care,” said ACR Executive Director Harvey L. Neiman, M.D., FACR.

The ACR is a national, professional organization serving more than 32,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of radiology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

Based in Fairfax, Va., ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with 10,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through education, clinical practice, advancement of science and advocacy. For more information on ASTRO, visit www.astro.org. To learn more about radiation therapy, visit www.rtanswers.org.

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