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News from the American College of Surgeons

For Immediate Release

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National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer Is Now Accepting Applications from Hospitals

NAPRC is based on successful international models that have resulted in better outcomes and emphasize a multidisciplinary team approach to treat rectal cancer.

CHICAGO (June 21, 2017): Rectal cancer programs interested in earning accreditation from the new National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC) may now apply for participation in the program. The goal of the NAPRC is to ensure rectal cancer patients receive appropriate care using a multidisciplinary approach.

The NAPRC was developed through a collaboration between the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (ACS CoC) and the Optimizing the Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer (OSTRiCh) Consortium, with input from the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and the American College of Radiology (ACR). The OSTRiCh Consortium was founded in 2011 to improve the quality of rectal cancer care in the U.S. For many years, hospitals in European countries, led by the United Kingdom, have been improving their outcomes for rectal cancer patients by working in multidisciplinary teams, while there remains tremendous variability in rectal cancer care in U.S. hospitals, according to Steven D. Wexner, MD, FACS. Dr. Wexner is a member of the ACS Board of Regents, Past President of the ASCRS, and chair of the department of colorectal surgery at Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, Fla. He is also a member of the NAPRC steering committee.

In Europe, Dr. Wexner said, “it became known that improving care for these patients wasn’t just up to the surgeon who was fundamental to the outcome. It was the collective collaborative responsibility of the team making treatment decisions about what was best for patients in terms of neoadjuvant therapy, adjuvant therapy, and surgical approach, as well as the timing of an operation.”

Representatives from OSTRiCh presented data highlighting these differences to the CoC Accreditation Committee, which eventually led to the development of a standards manual and six pilot surveys to form what is now the NAPRC, Dr. Wexner explained. The standards evaluate program management, clinical services, and quality improvement efforts. Educational modules created and maintained by the respective content experts from ASCRS, CAP, and ACR are also components of the NAPRC.

Programs wishing to apply for accreditation with the NAPRC must assess and demonstrate compliance with the requirements for all standards outlined in the standards manual, The National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer Standards Manual: 2017 Edition.

The initial NAPRC survey, which includes an on-site visit to the applying facility, occurs after the facility has achieved CoC accreditation and attests that the NAPRC standards have been in place at the site and complied with for at least 12 months. The initial NAPRC survey cannot take place at the same time as the initial CoC survey.

Once a representative from the applying facility fills out the application, signs the Business Associate and Data Use Agreements and the NAPRC Participation Agreement, and pays the application fee, the facility will receive access to the NAPRC Survey Application Record (SAR). The SAR will indicate what information must be provided to show compliance with the NAPRC standards.

Dr. Wexner said that more than 300 hospitals have already expressed interest in what he called an exciting and innovative program. “The dream of having a national accreditation program, as is the case in Europe, is becoming a reality,” he added.

For more information, please visit the NAPRC website, or contact NAPRC@facs.org.

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About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit www.facs.org.