APEx - Accreditation Program for Excellence
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The ASTRO Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx® ) was created to support quality improvement in radiation therapy practices. The mission of the ASTRO Accreditation Program for Excellence is to recognize facilities by objectively assessing the radiation oncology care team, policies and procedures, and the facility. The program establishes standards of performance derived from white papers and consensus practice guidance for radiation oncology. The program provides an objective review by practicing radiation oncology professionals of essential functions and processes of radiation oncology practices. It offers transparent, measurable, evidence-and consensus-based standards that emphasize a professional commitment to safety and quality. Facilities that obtain practice accreditation will have the systems, personnel, and policies and procedures that are needed to meet the APEx standards for high-quality 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.
- Robustorientation of surveyors to increase reliability and reproducible results.
- All facilities will be evaluated by a medical physicist, and multi-facility practices (e.g., a 'main facility' with satellites) will also have a radiation oncologist, radiation therapist, nurse, dosimetrist or practice administrator evaluate the practice.
- Pre-facility visit teleconferences will be held to review facility survey preparation expectations.
Accreditation Process Timeline
|Phase I (Complete Application)
||approximately 2 weeks
|Phase II (Assess for Readiness)
||approximately 6-12 weeks
|Phase III (Survey Preparation)
||approximately 8 weeks
|Phase IV (Facility Visit)
|Phase V (Disposition)
||approximately 8 weeks after facility visit
APEx is organized around five pillars:
- The process of care
- The radiation oncology team
- Quality management
- 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.