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October 1, 2014
National Cancer Data Base News
Early Preparation for the Next NCDB Call for Data: A Timeline

What should registries be doing in October, November, and December to prepare for the Call for Data? This article recommends a preparation timeline.

Suggested timeline for preparing for the Call for Data


  • 2013 diagnoses: Ensure that any straggler 2013 diagnoses are fully abstracted. Bring all delayed treatment coding up-to-date.
  • Diagnoses from program’s reference date through 2012: Ascertain that all follow-up information has been abstracted, and keep current or ahead on follow-up for the rest of the year. Pay particular attention to changes in cancer status and first recurrences, in addition to survival status.
  • All years from reference date forward: Use the registry software’s most recent version of standard edits for hospitals to pre-edit and maintain data quality. Correct problems now.


  • Continue as above.
  • Do not generate submission files for NCDB until December. This will protect you and the NCDB from missing cases you add or update prior to December.


  • Generate the file(s) for submission to NCDB at any time on or after December 1. To minimize your effort, data should already pass the edits in the registry software.
  • Download the metafile for use with 2015 submissions from the NCDB edits website. Instructions will be posted December 1.
  • Correct any additional edit problems discovered using GenEDITS Plus (or EditMonster, if it is provided by your software vendor) with the applicable metafile. Make corrections in your registry database, recreate the submission file, then check for more edit errors.

January 2015

  • Submit your data to NCDB between January 1 and 31, as early in the month as possible. The earlier you submit, the faster your feedback will arrive.
  • Submit all analytic cases diagnosed in 2013, plus all cases diagnosed from your reference date through 2012 that were added to your registry database or updated on December 1, 2013, or later.
  • Be careful: Submit NCDB Call for Data files to NCDB, not RQRS!
  • Check the notifications you receive with the edit results. Do the numbers of cases for each diagnosis year make sense? Do they match the numbers of cases you expected to submit? Are they at least as high as the numbers of cases you successfully followed during the past year, including information inserted by linkage with other data sources such as your state registry?
  • Correct any edit errors or rejected records from your submission as soon your results are received. Do not risk forgetting by waiting until the April 1 correction deadline.

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