A three-tier certification structure in Germany is intended to help ensure that patients with oncological diseases are cared for according to uniform high quality standards, from diagnosis through therapy to aftercare.
Honoring & Certification
Within the three-stage model, the Organ Cancer Centers certified by the German Cancer Society (DKG) form the broad basis. Organ cancer centers offer the most comprehensive high-quality care possible, especially for common tumor diseases. The second level is followed by the Oncology Centers, also certified by the DKG, which bundle expertise for several diseases, including rare ones. The Organ Cancer Centers specialise in one organ. The Oncology Centers care for several tumor types under one roof.
The top of the pyramid is formed by the Top Oncological Centers, which are assessed by the German Cancer Aid (DKH). They combine research and patient care to a high degree and are involved in the development of new therapies and the establishment of new standards. Due to their excellence, these centers are also attractive as training and workplaces for young doctors and scientists.
NCT/UCC Dresden - Highest quality at all stages
The National Center for Tumor Diseases Dresden (NCT/UCC) is one of the Top Oncological Centers in Germany honored by the German Cancer Aid. As the only center of this kind in the new federal states and one of only three centers nationwide, the Cancer Center at the University Hospital Dresden has been allowed to carry this distinction continuously since the start of the funding program in 2007. The requirements for the Top Oncological Centers are high: on the one hand, the focus is on increased institutionalised cooperation between different medical disciplines and, on the other hand, the linking of clinical care and patient-oriented research. In addition to diagnostics and therapy, prevention also plays a role, such as research into the development of cancer. The award is given for four years at a time.
Since 2014, the NCT/UCC has also been certified as an "Oncology Center" by the German Cancer Society. Eleven organ cancer centers are established at the NCT/UCC Oncology Center (link: page Organ Cancer Centers). Centers certified according to the requirements of the German Cancer Society are networks of inpatient and outpatient facilities in which all disciplines involved in the treatment of a cancer patient work closely together. In addition to surgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine specialists, pathologists and experts in drug-based tumor therapy, these also include specialised oncological nursing staff, psychooncologists, social workers and nutritionists, among others.
Certified quality management
An essential characteristic of interdisciplinary medical centers such as the NCT/UCC is the large number of interfaces with internal and external partners. In order to optimally design and coordinate transitions and workflows between the various professional groups and disciplines, a quality management system in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 9001 standard has been introduced.
This quality management system is regarded as a management tool to achieve the clearly defined long-term and short-term goals. All work processes and responsibilities are systematically and transparently described in an organisation manual. It is the binding base for all staff members and regulates the cooperation with the participating institutions. The quality management system was certified for the first time in 2004 and has been successfully continued in the following recertifications.
Within the framework of the certified quality management system, compliance with the requirements of the German Cancer Society for the Oncology Center and the Organ Cancer Centers supervised by the NCT/UCC is also checked. Organ Cancer Centers as well as Oncology Centers must establish interdisciplinary care structures and document quality on the basis of qualified guidelines. This is assessed externally on an annual basis.