Everyone can agree on what breast cancer is. But, until now, no one could agree on what a Breast Center is. Over the past 20 years, almost any healthcare organization could stake a claim for having a “breast center”, which meant…. what? Perhaps it offered only imaging. Or surgery. Maybe both. The center may have been owned by a hospital. Or a physician. Offered comprehensive support programs. Or none at all. No breast center was alike; no standards in place. Good news: that’s changed. Even better for you: the first nationally accredited breast center in Virginia and Washington, DC is the Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health at Virginia Hospital Center.
The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a Program of the American College of Surgeons is dedicated to improving the quality of care for patients with breast cancer and other diseases of the breast. It defines 27 breast program standards and 17 care components—from medical oncology consultation/treatment and surgical care to research, a survivorship program and much more—that collectively provide the most coordinated, comprehensive care for patients diagnosed with diseases of the breast. The NAPBC application and on-site survey process is rigorous, and NAPBC-accredited centers like The Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health at Virginia Hospital Center must be recertified every three years.
Benefits of the Nationally-Accredited Breast Center
Virginia Hospital Center’s NAPBC-accredited Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health provides patients with the following benefits:
- Comprehensive care, including a complete range of state-of-the-art services and equipment
- A multidisciplinary approach to patient care, ensuring coordination of the best available treatment options for each patient. Components of care include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Information about—and access to—ongoing cancer clinical trials and new treatment options
- Access to cancer prevention and early detection programs, cancer education, and a wealth of support services
- Our commitment to uphold excellence by monitoring developments in treating cancer and other breast diseases, and incorporating improvements into the care we provide
NAPBC Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers?
The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers represents a consortium of national, professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with breast cancer and other breast diseases.
The NAPBC is administered by the American College of Surgeons, the professional organization that sets standards of care for surgical patients, and its board includes 17 representatives from specialty societies and professional organizations involved in the care of breast cancer and breast disease, including radiation oncology, medical oncology, genetics, social work, and nursing.
2. Why was the NAPBC created?
As breast cancer care continues to advance and become more specialized, it became clear that there is a need for a national program to identify and recognize breast centers in the United States. The NAPBC sets criteria for breast centers and monitors compliance with these standards. This is the first and only national accreditation program for breast cancer care.
3. Why should I seek care from an NAPBC recognized breast center, like the Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health at Virginia Hospital Center?
When seeking care at an NAPBC recognized breast center, patients can be assured that their care meets the highest standards for quality. NAPBC recognized centers are among the leading organizations in their field and have demonstrated a commitment to quality care. They also understand the importance of providing a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of breast disease, giving patients comprehensive care in a single setting.
4. How does a breast center become accredited?
Each NAPBC accredited breast center undergoes a rigorous process of screening, site visits, and ongoing review. They have each been reviewed to ensure that they meet high standards for the following 17 key components of quality care for breast disease:
- Interdisciplinary conference
- Data management
- Patient navigator
- Survivorship program
- Needle biopsy (core preferred)
- Surgical care
- Radiation oncology consultation/treatment
- Medical oncology consultation/treatment
- Genetic evaluation and management
- Education, support, and rehabilitation
- Plastic Surgery consultation/treatment
- Outreach and education
- Quality improvement
These centers voluntarily enter into an agreement to maintain their high level of clinical care with re-certification required every three years.
5. What kind of care can I expect at an NAPBC accredited breast center?
At an NAPBC accredited breast center, patients can expect:
- Comprehensive care including a complete range of state-of-the-art services and equipment
- A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best available treatment options
- Information about ongoing cancer clinical trials and new treatment options
- Access to prevention and early detection programs, cancer education, and support services
- Ongoing monitoring and improvements in cancer care
“These centers have passed a rigorous test,” says David Winchester, MD, Medical Director, Cancer Programs, American College of Surgeons and Chair, NAPBC. “Any patient should be comfortable and confident about seeking breast cancer care from them.”