The APEx accreditation process is initiated by a radiation oncology practice (ROP) that submits itself for review. As such the burden of proof of compliance with APEx Standards rests with the applicant. An application must be prepared with the degree of thoroughness that will satisfy an in-depth and detailed review.
APEx provides flexibility to fit the needs of all radiation oncology practices. An ROP has the ability to choose:
- The RIGHT timeframe - a three or four year accreditation cycle
- The RIGHT dates - ROP staff choose facility visit dates based on their schedule
- The RIGHT engagement - ROPs choose how quickly they go through the APEx process
- The RIGHT payment option - ROPs can choose to pay the fee all at one time or in a partial payment format
Within APEx, an ROP is defined as a medical practice offering radiation therapy services, utilizing the services of interdisciplinary professionals under the direction of a board-certified radiation oncologist. Currently, only US-based practices are eligible to apply for accreditation. An ROP may be either a single facility or a multi-facility practice. A multi-facility practice is comprised of a main location and one or more satellites. To qualify as a multi-facility practice, where facilities are covered by the same accreditation application, all facilities must meet the following criteria:
- Common policies and procedures for key evidence indicators
- An individual or committee from within radiation oncology practice leadership who is responsible for overseeing the operations of the multi-facility practice, including the culture of safety
- A medical director, who is a radiation oncologist, responsible for each facility
- All satellite facilities located within a 50-mile radius of the main facility*
*ASTRO will allow a multi-facility practice application to include a qualifying satellite facility located between 50 to 150 miles from the main location if the facility meets all other requirements for being a satellite. If approved, such satellite facilities would be subject to an additional fee of $3,000. Satellites outside of the 150-mile radius of the main facility may not be included in the same application but may apply as a single facility.
The application process takes place entirely in a web-based portal (APEx Portal) and consists of an application, legal documents and the payment of all required fees. During the application process, an ROP will be asked to create a name for its main and satellite facilities. If applying as part of a corporate or affiliated group, the ROP should include the corporate or affiliate name within the title of the practice. Each facility must have a unique name, including facilities within the same practice.
"The APEx program enabled us to review our policies and procedures by conducting a self-assessment to reflect on our radiation oncology practice that focuses on patient-centered care. Not only did APEx accreditation highlight our strengths as a department, it brought together all the disciplines of our team to work together to bring our mission to life."
― Prabhakar Tripuraneni, MD