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

February 2017 CoC Source

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2017 Annual Cancer Programs Conference—Call for Abstracts Now Open

If you work at a CoC- and/or NAPBC-accredited program, we invite you to share your knowledge, experience, and best practices with your peers and colleagues by submitting an abstract for the 2017 Annual Cancer Programs Conference: Creating a Culture of Quality. The conference is developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), the American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program (CRP), the Commission on Cancer (CoC), the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), and the National Cancer Database (NCDB) and will be held September 8-9, 2017 in Rosemont (Chicago).

Please submit a proposal for either an oral or poster presentation at the conference online.

To get on the list for more information regarding the conference as it becomes available, please sign up online.

CoC News

You're Already Part of Our Quality Team. Now, Join the Organization.

As an American College of Surgeons (ACS) Quality Program participant, you contribute to the College’s mission of Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes. Your organization’s work, combined with the work of the ACS Cancer Programs and more than 80,000 ACS members, contributes to the continual improvement in care of patients with cancer and diseases of the breast.

Whether you are a physician, researcher, nurse, or allied health professional, you help shape the care of patients in a wide variety of health care, educational, and office environments. That professional status makes you eligible for ACS Affiliate membership.

Affiliate Members receive additional “members-only” benefits, including:

  • Registration discounts for select ACS meetings and conferences, including the ACS annual Clinical Congress, and discounts on patient education resources
  • Access to ACS publications, like the Journal of the American College of Surgeons and the Bulletin
  • Access to the members-only side of the ACS website
  • The option to participate in banking and car rental discount programs
  • Eligibility for enrollment in the College-sponsored insurance program

Join more than 400 Affiliate Members. Submit your affiliate application today and include the $50 application fee. You will need to log into the ACS website to complete the application. (Please note: You may already have a record in our membership database. To find out whether you have a record with us, or if you have a record and need your login information, please call 1-800-293-4029 or e-mail us at

Accreditation Corner


CoC Announces Outstanding Achievement Award Recipients

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons is excited to announce the Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) winners for the second half of 2016. The OAA was presented to 22 exceptional CoC-accredited cancer programs that were surveyed July 1–December 31, 2016.

The OAA designation is presented to CoC-accredited cancer programs that received a commendation rating in each of the standards as well as compliance ratings with all of the remaining standards.

“These 22 cancer programs currently represent the highest quality of cancer care,” added Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, FACP, CoC Chair. “Each of these facilities has committed itself to continuous quality assessment and improvement and has proved that this approach yields the high-quality cancer care that all of our patients should expect.”

The CoC is pleased to announce and acknowledge these programs for their efforts to provide high-quality cancer care, demonstrated accountability, and strong commitment to CoC accreditation. More information about the OAA winners is available on the CoC website.

2017 Program Activity Record Release

The updated 2017 Program Activity Record (PAR) is now available to all CoC-accredited cancer programs not scheduled for survey in 2017. All previous years are now closed, and previous PAR versions cannot be reopened. All cancer programs should enter activity in the 2017 version of the Survey Application Record (SAR) or PAR only.

The PAR will allow you to add, delete, or edit any information or uploaded documentation for 2014, 2015, or 2016 cancer program activity. Please make any entries or changes through the 2017 PAR.

Data from 2014, 2015, and 2016 have also been automatically transferred over to the 2017 PAR. However, some data fields or tables have changed or are new, which may impact data being transferred over completely from the 2016 SAR or PAR. Please be sure to review the 2017 PAR for completeness and update accordingly. If documents from 2012 or 2013 are still showing, you may delete them.

PLEASE REMEMBER to remove all protected health information (PHI) from documents before the documents are uploaded in the SAR/PAR. Please check all quality studies, cancer conference grids, or any other documents that may include PHI. For questions regarding PHI or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, please communicate with your facility’s privacy officer.

For CoC or accreditation questions, please use the Contact CoC form.

Please submit questions about the CoC Standards to the CAnswer Forum.

We appreciate your cancer program’s commitment to high-quality cancer care and participation in the CoC Accreditation Program!

National Cancer Database News

NCDB PUF Application Period Open through February 24

The National Cancer Database (NCDB) Participant Use File (PUF) opened for new applications on January 23. The NCDB is accepting applications for site-specific files, which include cases diagnosed between 2004 and 2014. The application period will remain open through February 24.

The NCDB PUF is a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant data file containing cases submitted to the NCDB. It complies with the terms of the Business Associate Agreement between the American College of Surgeons and cancer programs accredited by the CoC (no patients or facilities can be identified). The PUF is designed to provide investigators at CoC-accredited cancer programs with a data resource they can use to review and advance the quality of care delivered to cancer patients through analyses of cases reported to the NCDB. Use of the PUF is not required to meet any CoC standards, but it is an opportunity provided as a benefit of accreditation.

Prospective applicants can find more information about the application process and data items on the PUF web page.

Additional questions regarding the NCDB PUFs may be directed to the NCDB at

Cancer Quality Improvement Program 2016 Released

The NCDB is pleased to announce, CQIP 2016 has been released! CoC-accredited programs are able to access these reports through CoC Datalinks.

We thank our programs for their patience as we extended the deadline to release CQIP this year. This annual report is unique in providing not only short-term quality and outcome data but also long-term outcome data including five-year survival rates for commonly treated malignancies stratified by stage. CQIP allows programs to assess their quality and outcomes based on the data submitted to the NCDB.

The 2016 CQIP report includes slides on:

  • Cancer Program Volume
  • Cancer Program In/Out Migration
  • CoC Quality Measure Reports
  • Volume of Selected Complex Cancer Operations
  • 30- and 90-Day Mortality after selected cancer operations
  • Unadjusted Survival Reports by stage for breast, colon and non-small cell lung cancer (NCSCLC)
  • Risk-Adjusted Survival hazards ratios by stage for breast, colon, and NSCLC
  • Site-specific reports for breast, colon, NSCLC, prostate and melanoma of the skin cancers

A complete CQIP Slide Directory is found in the ‘About CQIP’ tab of the reporting application.

If you have any questions please contact

Resources for Cancer Liaison Physicians

2017 Commission on Cancer Research Paper Competition

Mission: The Commission on Cancer is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.

Annually, the Commission on Cancer (CoC) hosts a paper competition for physicians-in-training to foster the importance of oncologic research in support of its mission. Abstracts are accepted from physicians-in-training on topics specific to oncology and related to the mission of the CoC. Papers must be e-mailed to by June 30, 2017. Details on eligibility and submission requirements are available on the CoC website.

News from Cancer Programs

ACS Clinical Research Program News

Special Study to Target Prostate Cancer Surveillance

Improving the current approach to surveillance after active treatment for cancer has been identified as a priority area by a number of organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness (DEcIDE) Cancer Consortium. The current guidelines do not account for individual risk and are based on limited evidence. To help address this gap, a special study will be launched in the coming months to investigate follow-up and recurrence after prostate cancer treatment in hopes of tailoring follow-up based on individual risk. This study will involve analyzing data from the NCDB to determine surveillance patterns for prostate cancer. It will be funded by a grant from the PCORI.

The goal of this work is to better understand how patients are currently being followed with surveillance testing and whether or not this follow-up is influencing outcomes. In addition, the study will look at the accuracy of recurrence data within the NCDB and begin to develop strategies and create opportunities to improve the collection of this important outcome measure. Many tumor registrars are directly engaged to help achieve these goals, and we are looking forward to your participation.

The CoC has deemed this special study a priority area and an important initiative for improving patient-centered care. During this period, Alliance/American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program staff will be available as a resource for registrars and Cancer Liaison Physicians (CLPs). We anticipate a Spring 2017 start date for this study. An official announcement will be sent via e-mail.

NAPBC Update

Register to Attend the NAPBC Workshop: Pursuing Excellence through NAPBC Accreditation 

Registration is now open for the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) Accreditation Workshop: Pursuing Excellence through NAPBC Accreditation in Chicago on May 5. For more detailed information, visit the workshop website.

Visit NAPBC Staff at NCBC and ASBrS

If you are attending wither the National Consortium of Breast Centers Annual Conference in Las Vegas, March 11-15, and/or the American Society of Breast Surgeons Conference in Las Vegas, April 16-20, make sure to visit the NCPBC booth that will be in the exhibit hall.

News from the Oncology Community

Advocate Illinois Masonic Receives NCCRT National Achievement Award

NCCRT Awards 2017 National Achievement Award Grand Prize to CoC-Accredited Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for Their Colorectal Cancer Prevention Effort with 80% by 2018

The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), an organization co-founded by the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has recognized Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, IL, as the 2017 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award grand prize winner, a prestigious national honor recognizing leadership in the ongoing effort to increase colorectal cancer screening rates across the U.S.

The medical center will receive $3,000 to support their continued efforts in the fight against colorectal cancer. Honorees also have the option to designate a not-for-profit of their choice as the recipient of the award funds.

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center is one of Illinois's largest not-for-profit medical centers. The center increased colorectal cancer screening from approximately 25 percent in 2014 to 70 percent in 2016, which amounts to more than 50,000 patients screened. The medical center mobilized partners from surgery, gastroenterology, oncology, and colleagues across its service area to implement a fully navigated Direct Access Screening Colonoscopy program. This program allows primary care and specialty providers to refer patients directly for colonoscopy to the hospital (even on Saturdays), creating seamless access to screenings. As a result, colonoscopy wait time shrunk from more than two months to two weeks. Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center also conducts community outreach, speaking at community events and distributing fecal immunochemical tests to local Federally Qualified Health Centers.

The 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award recognizes individuals and organizations who are dedicating their time, talent, and expertise to advancing needed initiatives that support the shared goal to regularly screen 80 percent of adults 50 and older by 2018. More than 1,300 organizations, including medical professional societies, academic centers, survivor groups, government agencies, cancer coalitions, cancer centers, payers, and many others, have signed a pledge to make this goal a priority. The National Achievement Award program seeks to highlight the work of 80% by 2018 partners and other leaders and organizations who are advancing this important goal.

Submit an Abstract for the Int'l Cancer Education Conference

The International Cancer Education Conference is the only meeting in North America totally dedicated to cancer education – ranging from medical professionals to patients and community education.

We invite you to submit an abstract and attend this meeting of national and international specialists in cancer education, survivorship, and palliative care focused on advocacy, scientific investigation, program and curriculum development, skill training, and evaluation. National leaders will be presenting special programs on grant writing (National Cancer Institute), cancer and the elderly (Cancer and Aging Research Group), surgical oncology (American College of Surgeons), plus dedicated mentoring opportunities will be available to present to content experts.

The deadline for abstracts is March 6, 2017 for workshops and April 3, 2017 for oral and poster presentations.