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

RQRS Data Submission Requirements by Calendar Year

Implementation of the revised CoC Program Standard 5.2–Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) Participation will begin as of January 1, 2017. The main objectives of the revisions to this standard are to:

  1. Require all CoC-accredited Programs to submit data to and use RQRS alerts and reports available within the application
  2. Gradually begin to monitor the timeliness, completeness, quality and use of the data submitted to RQRS

The following information is to inform Programs and vendors about revised RQRS data submission requirements. Information regarding the phase-in of ratings for Program Standard 5.2 for the purposes of survey will be delineated in a separate communication.

Data Submission Specifications:

  • All programs must be enrolled in RQRS by January 1, 2017
  • At a minimum, for compliance on revised Program Standard 5.2, the first data submission must be made by March 31, 2017
  • Files of abstracts must be in NAACCR Record Type "I" (Incident) format, with a record length of 3339
  • The NCDB-specific versions of either NAACCR layout 15.0 or 16.0 will be accepted during 2017 for RQRS submissions
  • Edit metafiles for submission in 2017 in layout 16.0 will be posted to the NCDB website and include a large number of newly-implemented AJCC T, N, M, and stage group edits.

RQRS Data Submission Requirements by Calendar Year

Please note that detailed submission specifications are listed in the below table, and vary based on whether or not the Program is striving for compliance or commendation on Program Standard 5.2.

Programs are encouraged to submit cases as soon as a diagnosis of cancer has been made in order to increase the number of cases that are submitted to RQRS within 3 months of the Date of First Contact. Until additional quality measures are added to RQRS, measure-eligible sites are defined as Breast, Colon, and Rectum cases.

Programs striving for commendation will be submitting a greater number of cases in varying states of completeness. These Programs will observe an increase in the number of cases with a Suspense status in the Alerts listings, as well as the number of cases with an Incomplete status in the Case Lists. As additional information is abstracted and cases are resubmitted to RQRS, they will eventually include enough information to re-categorize the case status via the measure algorithms as Concordant, Concordant- not administered, Non-concordant, and Not eligible.

In addition, a greater number of cases may generate edit errors upon initial submissions. This is to be expected; there is no penalty for submitting cases with edit errors to RQRS. Any cases with edit errors just need to be re-submitted error-free when complete. Many edit errors will be generated due to the fact that they are enforcing data item requirements and the case is just not complete yet. However, Programs should review error listings for edit errors that represent data quality issues to ensure the accuracy of data used to calculate EPRs.

As of January 1, 2017, all primary sites will be accepted by RQRS, but are not required. An updated RQRS Terms and Conditions noting the change in primary sites submitted to RQRS has been post to the RQRS website. Submission of all primary sites to RQRS will eventually be required to facilitate rapid implementation of measures for new primary sites. In addition to avoiding distribution of software updates for RQRS data extraction, data will also be readily available for generation of EPRs for new measures. Although EPRs will not be generated for non-measure-eligible sites, these cases will be edited by the system and any errant cases will appear on edit reports. Programs are encouraged to utilize this feature to proactively identify and resolve edit errors on cases that will eventually be submitted to the NCDB Call for Data.

As always, please send any questions, comments, or concerns to, our User Support Specialist staff will respond promptly.