Quality & Registry

Quality and Registry

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) - a division of the American College of Surgeons - challenges cancer programs to enhance the care they provide by addressing patient-centered needs and measuring the quality of the care they deliver against national standards. Saint Agnes Medical Center has proudly maintained a Commission on Cancer (CoC) approved cancer program since 1986.

As part of our CoC accredited status we participate in the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) which offers us the opportunity to compare our cancer program’s performance to nationally recognized standards of care.  To that end, we continuously monitor all twenty-three currently available CoC/NCDB quality measures to ensure that Saint Agnes Cancer Program consistently provides the highest level of quality patient care.

Cancer Committee is our multi-disciplinary approach to decision making to elevate the quality of cancer care in our community. The Cancer Committee is comprised of a range of physician and clinical specialties including: Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Surgery, Radiology, Pathology, Pharmacy, Nursing, Clinical Research, and Quality. In addition, Cancer Registry, Social Services and Community Outreach also attend. The group meets at least quarterly to ensure cancer program elements are functioning as required by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and Cancer Registry is integral part of this process.

Lifetime follow-up is important to the care of cancer patients. The Saint Agnes Cancer Registry collects and maintains data that provides follow-up evaluation of a cancer patient's care, treatment and survival. Anytime a cancer diagnosis is given at Saint Agnes, information about the patient's medical treatment is entered into our Cancer Registry (even if the patient goes for treatment outside of the area). Each year, the Registry contacts the patient's physician (or the patient) to record and update the medical records. These records are a key element of all cancer programs approved by the Commission on Cancer.

Why is the Registry important? 

Analysis of the data in the Cancer Registry helps us: 

  • Provide information to physicians who treat cancer to evaluate the success of treatment and help in early detection of recurrent cancer.
  • Gain a better understanding of the nature of cancer by providing information for clinical research and medical education.
  • Evaluate the patterns of referral for cancer patients and obtain accurate information about the types of tumors diagnosed here. This helps us coordinate all of our cancer treatment activities.

Who has access to the information?

The California Department of Health Services has been mandated under state law (Chapter 841, Statutes of 1985) to gather information about the amount and types of cancer occurring throughout the state. The purpose of the law is to help identify preventable causes of cancer. Therefore the law requires hospitals and physicians to notify the appropriate regional registry of each new cancer case.

The information collected is confidential under Safety Code Sections 211.3 and 211.5, and the identities of patients are not revealed. Some cancer patients may, however, be contacted later by the California Department of Health Services or the regional cancer registries as part of their ongoing investigations into the causes of cancer.

As a contributor to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), our information will help facilitate informed decisions for new directions in cancer control. The goal of the NCDB is to present an annual summary of patient care for cases of cancer diagnosed and treated at hospitals across the country.

For more information, contact the Saint Agnes Cancer Registry, (559) 450-3570.