American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

CoC Launches Study for Expansion of Provencare® Methodologies

Groundbreaking multi-center study promotes evidence-based treatment standards


CHICAGO (July 1, 2010): A national pilot study that will promote evidence-based evaluation and treatment standards for patients with resectable non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was launched today by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. The Commission on Cancer National Pilot Study for the ProvenCare ® Lung Cancer Collaborative is based on the success of the Geisinger Health System’s ProvenCare model, which has significantly increased adherence to evidence-based standards, improved clinical outcomes, and engaged patients as participants in their own care when applied to acute care episodes associated with other disease sites.

This groundbreaking study marks the first time that Geisinger’s ProvenCare model has been applied to a population of patients undergoing lung resection for NSCLC. It promotes a specific care pathway of 38 standard elements that will be followed from patients’ preoperative to postoperative care by treatment teams at six CoC-accredited institutions:

  • Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA
  • University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
  • Northshore University Health System, Evanston, IL
  • Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Kern Medical Center, Bakersfield, CA
  • Duke Raleigh (NC) Hospital

Treatment team members at each participating institution commit to providing all 38 of the established care pathway steps to ensure that patients receive the highest standard of care. Institutions also must provide resources for a collaborative Web-based data entry process and data abstraction capabilities.

“The 87-year old Commission on Cancer is well qualified to launch this collaborative study due to its long standing commitment to providing quality cancer care,” said David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, Medical Director, American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs. The CoC has accredited close to 1,500 cancer treatment centers throughout the United States, which in turn treat 70 to 80 percent of all cancer patients diagnosed each year. “Furthermore, we are inspired to have Geisinger’s ProvenCare model applied in this study because it positions health care providers to use ‘best practices’ in treating patients. And working with health care providers to deliver quality care has long been the cornerstone of Commission on Cancer activities,” Dr. Winchester explained.

Importantly, patients in the study lend their participation to the process by making a commitment to communicate with the members of their surgical team (that is, when they don’t understand something, or when asked about current medications); getting their family or loved ones involved in their treatment plan; and completing important care steps outlined to them by their health care providers. Patient engagement is an important element of Geisinger’s ProvenCare as research studies have shown that patients have better results when they participate in their own medical care.

The Commission on Cancer National Pilot Study for Expanding Geisinger’s ProvenCare Methodologies to the Lung Cancer Collaborative plans to accrue a population of 1,000 patients and run for a minimum of 12 months.

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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 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

In the field of cancer care, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) is a pioneer in measuring performance. All hospitals and freestanding cancer treatment facilities accredited by the CoC report clinical data to the National Cancer Data Base and receive evidence-based benchmark comparison reports based on accepted standards of care for breast and colorectal cancers. These measures are endorsed by the National Quality Forum.


Sally Garneski 

Cory Suzan Petty