City of Hope’s Hematopoietic Cell Transplant (HCT) Program received a full three-year accreditation from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) on Sept. 2. The accreditation marks the second consecutive time City of Hope has earned the coveted designation.
The accreditation applies to all services and facilities inspected by FACT, including adult and pediatric autologous (self-donated) and allogeneic (donor-derived) hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation, bone marrow and peripheral blood cellular therapy product collection and cellular therapy product processing.
“Accreditation by FACT is recognized as the gold standard for quality in HCT programs across the United States,” explained Kathie Viers, R.N., M.S., quality and compliance specialist for the HCT Program, who helped oversee the accreditation effort.
“We wish to acknowledge our debt of gratitude to the extraordinary teamwork of all the members of the multidisciplinary HCT Program at City of Hope who made this achievement possible through their daily dedication to quality care and services for HCT patients and excellence in clinical research,” said Eileen Smith, M.D., associate director of clinical research for the HCT Program.
The groundwork for the FACT accreditation began in August 2003, when Smith, Auayporn Nademanee, M.D., director of the Unrelated Donor Program and David Snyder, M.D., associate director of the HCT Program, created the HCT Quality Management Council, which is chaired by Snyder. The council brings together representation from all key personnel and services on campus involved in the care of HCT patients and blood and marrow stem cell donors.
The initial mission of the council was to meet or exceed FACT Standards in all aspects of the HCT Program, from blood and marrow collection and processing through patient care before and after transplantation. The council now oversees the processes for continuously improving quality in the HCT Program.
The core groups credited with the success of the FACT Accreditation efforts include the HCT Quality Management Council, the Division of Transfusion Medicine, the Department of Information Sciences, and the HCT physicians, mid-level providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, nurses and pharmacists. Smith also credited Deborah Millstine, administrative assistant to the HCT Quality Management Council, who coordinated all meetings related to FACT preparations and managed correspondence with FACT.
Compliance with FACT Standards is an ongoing process that involves many departments and staff who care for HCT patients and donors. In addition to the On-site Accreditation Inspection by the FACT surveyors every three years, City of Hope must also submit annual reports of HCT activities to FACT.
Stephen Forman, M.D., Francis and Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, directs the HCT Program at City of Hope.
Founded in 1996, FACT establishes standards for quality medical and laboratory practice in cellular therapies. FACT is a nonprofit corporation co-founded by the International Society for Cellular Therapy and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation for the purposes of voluntary inspection and accreditation in the field of cellular therapy.