Technical Standards for Cancer Surgery: Improving Patient Care through Synoptic Operative Reporting

the Cancer Surgery Standards Program of the American College of Surgeons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Operative Standards for Cancer Surgery manuals define critical elements of optimal cancer surgery based on data and expert opinion. These key aspects of commonly performed cancer operations define technical standards that can be used as a quality assurance tool for practicing surgical oncologists and as an educational tool for trainees. This article provides background on these operative standards and their subsequent integration into synoptic operative report templates. With the goal of codifying the most important aspects of surgical oncology care to elevate and harmonize cancer care, the American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs has developed comprehensive synoptic operative reports. Synoptic operative reports are structured so that key data elements are recorded in a standardized format with prespecified terminology. In contrast to the narrative or structured operative reports frequently used by surgeons, these synoptic operative reports improve semantic clarity, provide uniform fields for abstraction, and facilitate passive data collection and real-time analytics while delivering key information for downstream multidisciplinary patient care. In this way, the synoptic operative report is a key component of a comprehensive effort to elevate the quality of cancer care nationally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Electronic medical record
  • Oncology
  • Quality improvement
  • Standards
  • Surgery
  • Synoptic operative report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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