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Posted September 17, 2009

©College of American Pathologists (CAP). All rights reserved.

The College does not permit reproduction of any substantial portion of these protocols without its written authorization. The College hereby authorizes use of these protocols by physicians and other health care providers in reporting on surgical specimens, in teaching, and in carrying out medical research for nonprofit purposes. This authorization does not extend to reproduction or other use of any substantial portion of these protocols for commercial purposes without the written consent of the College.

The CAP also authorizes physicians and other health care practitioners to make modified versions of the Protocols solely for their individual use in reporting on surgical specimens for individual patients, teaching, and carrying out medical research for non-profit purposes.

The CAP further authorizes the following uses by physicians and other health care practitioners, in reporting on surgical specimens for individual patients, in teaching, and in carrying out medical research for non-profit purposes: (1) Dictation from the original or modified protocols for the purposes of creating a text-based patient record on paper, or in a word processing document; (2) Copying from the original or modified protocols into a text-based patient record on paper, or in a word processing document; (3) The use of a computerized system for items (1) and (2), provided that the Protocol data is stored intact as a single text-based document, and is not stored as multiple discrete data fields.

Other than uses (1), (2), and (3) above, the CAP does not authorize any use of the Protocols in electronic medical records systems, pathology informatics systems, cancer registry computer systems, computerized databases, mappings between coding works, or any computerized system without a written license from CAP. Applications for such a license should be addressed to the SNOMED Terminology Solutions division of the CAP.

Any public dissemination of the original or modified Protocols is prohibited without a written license from the CAP.

The College of American Pathologists offers these protocols to assist pathologists in providing clinically useful and relevant information when reporting results of surgical specimen examinations of surgical specimens. The College regards the reporting elements in the “Surgical Pathology Cancer Case Summary (Checklist)” portion of the protocols as essential elements of the pathology report. However, the manner in which these elements are reported is at the discretion of each specific pathologist, taking into account clinician preferences, institutional policies, and individual practice.

The College developed these protocols as an educational tool to assist pathologists in the useful reporting of relevant information. It did not issue the protocols for use in litigation, reimbursement, or other contexts. Nevertheless, the College recognizes that the protocols might be used by hospitals, attorneys, payers, and others. Indeed, effective January 1, 2004, the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons mandated the use of the checklist elements of the protocols as part of its Cancer Program Standards for Approved Cancer Programs. Therefore, it becomes even more important for pathologists to familiarize themselves with these documents. At the same time, the College cautions that use of the protocols other than for their intended educational purpose may involve additional considerations that are beyond the scope of this document.

The inclusion of a product name or service in a CAP publication should not be construed as an endorsement of such product or service, nor is failure to include the name of a product of service to be construed as disapproval.