eCC and Cancer Protocols—
  New Release Scheduled for
  June 15, 2012


Posted May 8, 2012

The CAP Cancer Committee and the CAP eCC Team are working on edits to several cancer protocols. The updated cancer protocols will be available on June 15, 2012, on our website. The corresponding eCC files will be available to all licensed users and vendors on this date via an email link. This release will include updates, error corrections, as well as changes to 30-35 eCC checklists, representing about 70 user-submitted requests.

  1. Included in this list are the Invasive Breast and Stomach checklists, which have undergone major revisions.
  2. The asterisk sign * will no longer be used to denote optional items, since most web-based data entry forms use the + to mark required items. As of the May release, the plus sign + will be used to represent optional items.
  3. Conditionally Reported (CR) Items: Some items in the eCC and CAP Cancer Protocols are labeled with terms like “required only if applicable.” These items always need to be displayed in the eCC data-entry form (DEF), but may be omitted from the synoptic pathology report if not applicable to the case.

An example is the Lymph Node section in the Invasive Breast protocol. This section must always be displayed in the DEF, but its inclusion in the synoptic report is required only when lymph nodes are present in the specimen. In the current eCC, this question includes a “Not applicable” answer choice. Until now, if “Not applicable” was selected, the question-answer pair was displayed in the synoptic report. Many eCC users do not want these “Conditionally Reported” (CR) items displayed in the final report when “Not applicable” is selected.

In the coming release, the text of CR items will be preceded by a ? symbol. If “Not applicable” is selected, the “?” item (and all of its descendant items in the eCC) may be safely omitted in the synoptic pathology report.

Some CR items may not have a “Not applicable” or similar answer choice. Sometimes the pathologist may not be able to answer such a question, and will therefore need to leave the question blank. To prevent a validation error on these unanswered items, they are flagged as optional in the eCC. These “optional” CR elements must always be displayed in the DEF. However, if these “optional” CR items are answered, they must appear in the synoptic report.

On a related topic, some users have chosen not to include optional data elements in their data entry form interface. While CAP recommends including all of the optional data elements in the DEF, it is not currently mandatory to do so.