FACT committees have advocated for cellular therapy organizations on several fronts this past quarter, and we are seeing results.
The Technology Committee, with the hard work of FACT’s IT Business Analyst, Alisa Forsythe, launched the new FACT Accreditation Portal on October 1st. Organizations and inspectors were candid with their feedback on the online accreditation process, and the committee and Alisa listened and were responsive to those needs. We are pleased to deliver a faster, more streamlined portal that better serves our stakeholders.
Rapid development and recent commercialization of novel cellular therapies have brought new protocols and processes to accredited organizations. The FACT Immune Effector Cell Task Force is advocating for clear, manageable, and sustainable expectations of programs that have begun providing immune effector cell therapies. The FACT Regenerative Medicine Task Force has been sharing related lessons learned with organizations working to advance regenerative medicine in order to address challenges upfront. We also continue to facilitate open communication via the Professional Relations Committee, comprised of several related organizations.
Our work with the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and one of our parent organizations, the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), continues on important issues, especially data management and clinical outcomes. The FACT-CIBMTR Data Audit Committee and the Clinical Outcomes Improvement Committee have been focusing on clear articulation of expectations of accredited programs, while also working to promote quality data and outcomes improvement in a manner that is least burdensome and most effective for those programs.
The Global Affairs Committee has been traveling the globe and continues to do so in an effort to bring quality hematopoietic progenitor cell transplants to more patients. In addition to accreditation workshops in conjunction with several international meetings, FACT recently formalized a joint accreditation program in Brazil.
The Standards, Education, and Quality Committees have been busy updating Standards and continuing educational programming to assist accredited organizations with staying current in developments in the field. These efforts are integral to the practical implementation of FACT requirements.
Finally, we are immensely appreciative of the Cellular Therapy and Cord Blood Accreditation Committees, chaired by Phyllis Warkentin, MD, FACT Chief Medical Officer. As all of the committees above continue their good work, growth in the accreditation program follows. The number of cellular therapy programs seeking voluntary accreditation continues to grow, giving the Accreditation Committee more reports to review, discuss, and assess. These reports are also growing in complexity as programs provide more diverse services to their patients, and the committee has been prudent with considering these complexities and maintaining consistency in its reviews. Members of the Cellular Therapy Accreditation Committee have committed to additional time to accommodate the increasing number of reports, demonstrating their commitment to FACT’s mission of quality cellular therapy.
We welcome your participation in FACT’s peer review and accreditation, as an inspector and as a committee member.
Dennis A. Gastineau, MD