UCI Health earns accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer

First healthcare system to hold this designation in Orange County

March 10, 2022

UCI Health has earned accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC), becoming one of only 45 rectal cancer programs in the nation and the first in Orange County to hold this designation.

To achieve this voluntary three-year accreditation from NAPRC, a quality assurance program established by the American College of Surgeons, UCI Health was able to demonstrate compliance with standards addressing program management, clinical services and quality improvement for patients, as well as create a multidisciplinary rectal cancer team that includes clinical representatives from surgery, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology and medical oncology.

“This accreditation is a rigorous process that only a handful of health systems in California have achieved,” said Dr. Joseph Carmichael, UCI Health chief medical officer and board-certified colorectal surgeon. “I’m extremely proud of all the hard work the rectal cancer team has done to ensure we are providing the best care to our patients.”

Additionally, the UCI Health program meets standards addressing the clinical services that the rectal cancer program provides, including carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA testing), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) imaging for cancer staging, which allows patients to start treatment within a defined timeframe. Rectal cancer programs accredited by the NAPRC undergo a site visit every three years and are also accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

The NAPRC provides the structure and resources to develop and operate a high-quality rectal center. Accredited programs follow NAPRC's model for organizing and managing a rectal center to ensure multidisciplinary, integrated and comprehensive rectal cancer services.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths, claims more than 50,000 lives annually. The American Cancer Society estimates that 106,180 new cases of colon cancer and 44,850 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed this year. It is also one of the most preventable cancers with early detection. 

UCI Health supports colorectal cancer awareness not only during the month of March but throughout the year, and urges people who are age 45 and older to begin regular screenings. (Screenings may need to start earlier for people with a family history of the disease.)

About the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer

The NAPRC was developed through a collaboration between the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, and the Optimizing the Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer (OSTRiCh) Consortium, as well as the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), and the College of American Pathologists (CAP). The NAPRC is based on successful international models that emphasize program structure, patient care processes, performance improvement, and performance measures. Its goal is to ensure that rectal cancer patients receive appropriate care using a multidisciplinary approach. For more information visit https://www.facs.org/naprc.

About the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer

Established in 1922 by the ACS, the CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care. For more information on the CoC, visit: https://www.facs.org/quality-programs/cancer/coc.

UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 459-bed acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 21 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centerhigh-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.