The American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer (CoC) is in charge of validation and accreditation for cancer programs across the nation. The CoC institutes the standard protocols for capturing cancer data in health settings - establishing the requirements that facilities have to meet in order to qualify as an accredited cancer program. These requirements and standards are often done in conjunction with other groups (like CAP - the College of American Pathologists) and are done to ensure that quality information is being reported and can be efficiently used for treatment and research purposes.
The CoC recently posted the following video to help people better understand the standards for Pathology Reporting (based on the CAP's protocols). It's important labs understand what they need to report on and how they need to report it (i.e., synoptically):
It's important that lab managers and pathologists understand the requirements:
The video is brief but an excellent, informative overview that simply puts forth the expected requirements of any cancer program that utilizes pathology reports (i.e., any cancer program). By capturing this information in a uniform manner, cancer registrars are able to submit the data directly into necessary repository's - like local Cancer Registries - while other oncologists are able to better use the data for their own medical purposes.
These standards represent the building blocks of a lingua franca for cancer - only by having a universal language that ensures physicians are using same language to discuss same issues can true comparisons, contrasts, and studying begin. Ameriecan College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer recognizes this and helps encourage such adoption by rewarding those facilities that recognize it as well. So please be aware of the requirements of pathology reporting - it may not have a direct impact on your lab, but not using these standards could lead to consequences for the cancer program, while using them could make a huge impact in cancer research and treatment. And help others by sharing this post and this video via social media and emailing for, as we all know in the medical field, awareness leads to understanding which leads to better behavior which leads to improved outcomes.
We've blogged about these standards before, but this video is a clear concise way of explaining exactly what is required from pathologists' reporting. We have successfully implemented our pathology reporting solution, xPert for Pathology, in many labs in the US, Canada, Europe and beyond. For the US customers we've been able to help raise their compliance rates and ensure that they are capturing these elements in at least 90% of their reports (usually more). We've even reviewed labs that previously used dictation & transcription for reporting to demonstrate how often they missed these required elements - and how that could have negatively impacted their practice and their cancer program. For more information about these audits or to discuss how to ensure your lab is capturing all of the standard CAP protocols as required by Commission on Cancer, please contact us today!