Atlanta, Ga. (March 28, 2013) - The radiation oncology departments at Piedmont Atlanta and Piedmont Fayette hospitals recently achieved accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR). This accreditation is achieved by only a small percentage of community hospitals and less than 10 percent of clinics receive accreditation during the first review like Piedmont.
“Nearly two-thirds of patients diagnosed with cancer are candidates for radiation therapy, which makes ACR accreditation even more important to patients and their families,” said Adam Nowlan, M.D., medical director of radiation oncology at Piedmont. “Knowing loved ones are in the care of professionals who hold themselves to a higher standard helps provide comfort during difficult times.”
Radiation oncology, also known as radiation therapy, is the careful use of high-energy radiation to target tumors or diseased areas of the body. In addition to curing cancer, radiation therapy may also be used to shrink tumors growing against bones, nerves or organs, reducing pain; before surgery to reduce a tumor to make it more operable; or post-surgery to stop the growth of remaining cancer cells.
At Piedmont, radiation oncology teams consist of a radiation oncologist who prescribes the type and amount of treatment that is right for the patient; a radiation physicist, who makes sure equipment is working properly and machines deliver the right dose of radiation; a dosimetrist, who calculates the amount of radiation to be delivered; a radiation therapist, who positions the patient for treatments and operates equipment that delivers the radiation; a radiation nurse, who coordinates patient care, helps educate the patient and family members about treatment, and explains how to manage side effects; and an oncology social worker.
“Our unique team approach to treatment allows us to treat more than 1,000 patients each year,” Laurie Conrad, senior director of radiation oncology services at Piedmont Healthcare. “Our team takes the commitment to providing the highest quality care seriously and this accreditation demonstrates that.”
The American College of Radiology is the nation’s oldest and most widely accepted radiation oncology accrediting body, with nearly 500 accredited sites, and 25 years of accreditation experience. 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.
For more information about cancer services, visit piedmontcancer.org.