Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute is First Cancer Center in the World to Achieve Four-year Accreditation for Radiation Oncology Services from ASTRO’s Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx®)

FALLS CHURCH, VA – December 21, 2015—Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute has demonstrated compliance with the standards of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx®), effective September 1, 2015, for a four-year accreditation of their radiation oncology services. They are the first Cancer Center in the world to achieve this accreditation. APEx is an independent radiation oncology practice accreditation program developed by ASTRO based on a comprehensive set of sixteen evidence-based standards of radiation oncology practice. The sixteen standards are focused on five pillars of patient care: 1) the process of care; 2) the radiation oncology team; 3) safety; 4) quality management; and 5) patient-centered care.

“The Inova Schar Cancer Institute is thrilled to be the first Cancer Center ever to receive APEx accreditation from ASTRO, the premier radiation oncology society in the world.” said Donald “Skip” Trump, MD, FACP, and CEO, Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute. “Inova believes in treating the whole patient, and ASTRO’s accreditation validates this approach and recognizes the efforts of Dr. Gopal Bajaj, Chairman of Radiation Oncology and our entire radiation oncology team to deliver safe, high quality, patient-centered radiation therapy services .”

“ASTRO is proud to recognize the Inova Schar Cancer Institute for achieving APEx accreditation,” said ASTRO chair Bruce D. Minsky, MD, ASTRO. “They have demonstrated a commitment to providing their patients, with safe, high-quality radiation therapy services.”

Accreditation through APEx is a rigorous, voluntary, multi-step process that can take up to one year to complete. Each center seeking APEx accreditation must have its policies and procedures evaluated using objective, verifiable expectations for performance in radiation oncology. It must demonstrate its commitment to high standards of safety and quality in the practice of radiation oncology and that it practices patient-centered care by promoting effective communication, coordinating treatment, and engaging patients and their families as partners in care. “Inova Radiation Oncology integrates the highest level of expert clinical care, innovative technologies and the most robust quality assurance program in the region. Achieving APEx accreditation underscores this commitment to patient care and safety,” said Bajaj.
APEx has a distinctive program structure that includes both a self-assessment process and a facility visit conducted by a medical physicist and a radiation oncologist, radiation therapist, nurse, dosimetrist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or practice administrator. APEx integrates Maintenance of Certification (MOC) templates that promote value and efficiency for physicians and final evaluation reports that link standards and performance to quality improvement resources. APEx applicants also have access to a library of quality improvement practice management tools to facilitate a culture of safety. APEx reflects competencies and practices identified and endorsed in the 2012 ASTRO publication Safety is No Accident: A Framework for Quality Radiation Oncology and Care.

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ASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (, Practical Radiation Oncology ( and Advances in Radiation Oncology (; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers (; and created the Radiation Oncology Institute (, a nonprofit foundation to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. To learn more about ASTRO, visit


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