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Practice Management

APEx - Accreditation Program for Excellence

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APEx is ASTRO’s new practice accreditation program. Its mission is to recognize facilities by objectively assessing the radiation oncology care team, policies and procedures, and the facility. APEx was created to ensure accountability in radiation therapy practices. The program establishes standards of performance derived from evidence-based guidelines and consensus practice for radiation oncology. The program provides an objective peer review of essential functions and processes of radiation oncology practices. Facilities that obtain practice accreditation will have the systems, personnel and policies and procedures needed to provide high quality, safe patient care. The length of the accreditation cycle is four years.

A Unique Program Structure

There are many aspects of APEx that make it a unique practice accreditation program:

  • Transparent processes, standards, evidence indicators and criteria for objective scoring.
  • A self-assessment process that evaluates a practice’s readiness for accreditation.
  • Four-year accreditation cycles instead of the more common three-year cycle to allow practices time to implement and measure quality improvement strategies.
  • Robust orientation of surveyors to increase reliability and reproducible results.
  • All sites will be evaluated by a medical physicist and 'main campus' sites will also have a radiation oncologist, radiation therapist, nurse, dosimetrist or practice administrator evaluate the practice.
  • Pre-site visit teleconferences will be held to review on-site survey preparation expectations.

Accreditation Process Timeline

Process  Timeline 
Phase I (Complete Application)  approximately 2 weeks 
Phase II (Assess for Readiness)  approxinately 6-12 weeks 
Phase III (Survey Preparation)  approximately 8 weeks 
Phase IV (On-site Visit)  1 day 
Phase V (Disposition)  approximately 8 weeks after on-site review 

 

APEx is organized around five pillars:

  1. The process of care 
  2. The radiation oncology team
  3. Safety
  4. Quality management
  5. Patient-centered care

For additional information about APEx, including background about the development of standards, accreditation governance and accreditation process details, refer to the APEx Guidance document.

Content last updated 4/9/2014
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