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Does accreditation impact centers of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT)?

Photo courtesy Flickr user lighthouse50

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a complex treatment for several hematological disease groups, including many types of cancer. These cells can be derived from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood. Donors for these treatments has become increasingly more common and has resulted in the creation of many HCT centers.

In order to distinguish excellence between these centers, two voluntary center-accrediting organizations, the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and core Clinical Trial Network certification (CTN), assess patient care in each facility and give appropriate accreditations, should they apply.

In a recent study conducted by Schelomo Marmor, PhD, M.P.H., from University of Minnesota Department of Surgery, Marmor assessed if these accreditations improved clinical care and survival for HCT, a complex treatment viable for several hematological disease groups.

By using the 2008-2010 Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research data, Dr. Marmor and colleagues stratified centers into three different categories: non-FACT centers, FACT-only centers and FACT and CTN centers. They then analyzed the risk of each patient and correlated patient survival characteristics with center accreditation.

Marmor concluded that when an accredited center treats a more complex patient, they perform better. However, when non-complex patients are treated FACT and non-FACT centers perform similarly.

“Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) accreditation alone is not sensitive enough as an indicator to differentiate transplant centers. We believe that FACT care processes have been standardized, routinized and disseminated to the point that the learning and improvement that derives from higher volume and FACT accreditation alone is no longer a major factor. FACT/CTN certified centers are now the new superior for the more complex patient,” said Marmor.

Marmor says there is an explanation as to why FACT/CTN is now the new superior.

“We attribute FACT/CTN superiority to the higher levels of collaboration between researchers and doctors,”Marmor said.

Based off these results, we now see a general obligation for collaboration, which in turn leads to higher performance. As a FACT-certified center, the AHC can use this data to continue supporting cross center collaboration in regards to all types of treatment, including HCT.

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