Florida Cancer Data System at Sylvester is Again Recognized as One of the Best in the U.S.

The Florida Cancer Data System, the State of Florida’s legislatively mandated population-based registry located at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has received three important distinctions for the quality of its cancer registry data.

For the 15th consecutive year, the Florida Cancer Data System (FCDS) has received Gold Certification from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Gold certification is awarded to central registries that meet the highest levels of completeness, data quality and timeliness in cancer registry surveillance.

The Florida registry was also recognized as a 2016 Registry of Excellence and a 2017 U.S. Cancer Statistics Registry for Surveillance. The two awards signify that the FCDS has met or exceeded all of the standards set forth in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) Program Standards 2012-2017. The Registry of Excellence award, presented to FCDS for the second consecutive year, places the system in the highest category, which includes only 19 other state registries, and indicates that the FCDS cumulative state data will be used in the “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.”

The NPCR’s Data Quality Evaluations also had great news for the Florida registry: Results from the audit showed a 99.1 percent accuracy rate for the Florida Cancer Data System. Every data item in the audit – including date of diagnosis, primary cancer site, histology, grade, stage at diagnosis and other facts – demonstrated “significantly higher” accuracy rates for Florida than was seen in peer registries across the country.

“These data are a crucial part of cancer surveillance systems because they are used for research, planning, operating, funding and evaluating cancer control programs,” said Gary Levin, deputy project director for the FCDS. “Complete and accurate data are essential when assessing variations in and changes among population subgroups over time.”

“None of the recent recognition, awards and the exceptional NPCR audit outcomes would be possible without the combined efforts of the FCDS staff, the Florida Department of Health, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the CDC NPCR program and, perhaps most importantly, the talented and dedicated people working across the state of Florida to bring high quality data into the Florida Cancer Data System.”

Established in 1978 as a joint endeavor between the Florida Department of Health and Sylvester, the Florida Cancer Data System began operation in 1979 with a pilot project for cancer registration, and began statewide collection of cancer incidence data from all Florida hospitals in 1981. The registry is now an industry leader in the automated collection, analysis and curation of cancer data reported from hospitals, freestanding ambulatory surgical centers, radiation therapy facilities, pathology laboratories and private physician offices.

“The extraordinary work of the Florida Cancer Data System is critically important to the cancer center prevention, outcomes, and community outreach research being conducted at Sylvester and across our state,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “These distinctions recognize the high quality, unsurpassed accuracy and timeliness of the Florida Cancer Data System’s information, and we extend our deepest gratitude and congratulations. Their work helps us define the most effective ways to pursue cancer research, prevention and treatment.”

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