Polaris’s Oncology Distress Management System Addresses Key New Accreditation Standards from the Commission on Cancer

Screening cancer patients for psychosocial distress is among the latest accreditation standards released by ACS. Polaris's Oncology Distress Management System can help cancer treatment centers meet this new requirement.

Langhorne, PA, September 14, 2011 --(PR.com)-- Screening cancer patients for psychosocial distress is a key component of the new accreditation standards released on August 31 by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Polaris Health Directions is pleased to announce that its Polaris Oncology Distress Management System will help cancer centers meet this vital standard of comprehensive, patient-centered cancer care.

The Commission on Cancer, in collaboration with the Cancer Support Community, established the distress screening requirement to address the physical, psychological, spiritual, social and financial needs of an individual faced with a diagnosis of cancer. When overlooked, these issues can adversely impact treatment planning and engagement, increase suffering and negatively impact quality of life.

Also included in the Commission on Cancer’s definition of high quality psychosocial cancer care are the ability to systematically monitor and re-evaluate a patient’s progress, and provide resources and referrals for psychosocial needs.

The goals of Polaris Oncology align with those of the new standards: To improve outcomes and quality of life, and to ensure that patients are active participants in their health care and have all of the support they need to manage their illness and its effects.

Polaris Oncology, developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health and in collaboration with MD Anderson, Cooper Cancer Institute and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, is an online psychosocial assessment and referral system that has been normed for a cancer patient population. It supports health care professionals by screening and monitoring for depression, anxiety and other mental health symptomology; risky drinking and smoking; cancer-related physical symptoms and side effects; and adherence to the medical regimen and lifestyle change recommendations.

With its clinical reports, all members of a patient’s interdisciplinary team have real-time data on a patient’s concerns and psychosocial needs. The system’s tailored patient-feedback report is a catalyst for treatment engagement and motivation, and can be used to facilitate discussions between providers and patients. Polaris Oncology automated referral capabilities can match patients to support groups, informational resources and behavioral health providers.

For more information on Polaris Oncology, contact Polaris at moreinfo@polarishealth.com or visit: http://www.polarishealth.com/oncology or follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/polarishealthdirections.

About Polaris Health Directions

At Polaris, we recognize that organizations cannot manage what they do not measure. Many behavioral health care providers and payers may not be collecting and analyzing enough of the right data to answer basic questions about the cost-effectiveness of the care they offer. Polaris's advanced technology and science driven assessment systems are designed to capture the clinical data essential to quality improvement and enhanced organizational management. Polaris solutions provide advanced analytics to help you improve and demonstrate to your customers the value of your care. With a focus on prediction, Polaris solutions do more than describe clinical change. Our systems also indicate if treatment is likely to have a positive result. Helping you make better decisions in the present by anticipating the future will be the difference in reducing your costs while improving patient care.

Polaris Health Directions
Dr. Grant Grissom