National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) Program Administered by the American College of Surgeons to Ensure U.S. Breast Centers Meet Quality Standards
WPH the Only Hospital in the United States with Two NAPBC Surveyors on Staff
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (November 21 , 2016)— Drs. Caren Greenstein and Randy Stevens, breast cancer specialists at White Plains Hospital, are among a group of 40 healthcare professionals nationwide chosen by the American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) to survey breast centers across the country to determine eligibility for or continuation of existing NAPBC accreditation. Of more than 1,000 NAPBC-accredited breast centers in the U.S., White Plains Hospital is the only one to have two physician surveyors on staff.
Getting a breast cancer diagnosis is always anxiety provoking, but as recently as 10 years ago, the lack of communication and cooperation between medical specialists made a bad experience even worse for women. “There was such a separation between practitioners—surgeons, radiologists, medical oncologists—that the treatment process was confusing for patients. With this diagnosis hanging over their heads, they’d have to muster the strength to shuttle between practices and endure long wait times between appointments,” says Caren Greenstein, MD, Director of Breast Imaging at White Plains Hospital.
The NAPBC changed that when it created a standard of multi-disciplinary care for breast cancer. “Now, when a woman goes to an NAPBC-accredited center, she knows she’s in a place where all of her needs can be met and where she will receive the highest level of care,” notes Dr. Greenstein.
The accreditation process relies on the expertise of medical experts in breast cancer care known as “surveyors,” who are leaders in their fields. Designated surveyors visit breast care facilities to evaluate compliance with 28 unique standards established by the American College of Surgeons. Randy Stevens, MD, Director of Radiation Oncology at White Plains Hospital was first nominated to become a surveyor in 2009. “I was inspired to volunteer my time and expertise because the NAPBC looks at breast cancer like we do at White Plains Hospital, through the lens of a multidisciplinary approach,” says Dr. Stevens. Currently an NAPBC board member and Chair of the NAPBC’s Education and Dissemination Committee, she explains, “For me it was very important because we’re setting standards. When you go to an NAPBC-accredited facility, you know that it has met those 28 standards required to provide the best care.”
Dr. Greenstein recently completed NAPBC surveyor training. “Previously, I was the director of a large breast center in Connecticut that was the first in the country to receive NAPBC certification,” she says. “Surveyors are chosen because they are affiliated with successful breast cancer care centers, and they are aware of the latest developments in the field. It’s gratifying to be able to share what works best here with other centers across the country.”
White Plains Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care has been NAPBC-certified since 2012 and applies for re-accreditation every three years. In addition, the Hospital also was recently selected as a model for best practices in clinical trials for breast cancer, in a community hospital setting. The Hospital presented its program at the NAPBC 1st Annual Best Practices national meeting in May of 2016 in Orlando, FL.
The NAPBC is a consortium of national, professional organizations focused on breast health and dedicated to the improvement of quality outcomes through evidence-based standards and patient and professional education. The NAPBC encourages hospitals, treatment centers, individual physician practices, and other facilities to improve their quality of care through various breast-related programs. The availability of a full range of medical services, and a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care, are the hallmarks of accreditation.
To achieve NAPBC accreditation a breast care facility must undergo a rigorous evaluation and performance review and demonstrate compliance with NAPBC standards. To maintain accreditation, centers must monitor compliance with NAPBC standards to ensure quality care, and undergo an on-site review every three years.
Both Drs. Stevens and Greenstein point to the positive benefits of the collaborative spirit of the NAPBC. “Each time you go to a new facility, you learn something special. Our team and our patients benefit, too,” Dr. Stevens says. “We are able to be at the forefront of new standards, new education, and new protocols that directly benefit our patients.”