World Journal of Urology

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 665–672 | Cite as

Quality assessment in prostate cancer centers certified by the German Cancer Society

  • Christoph Kowalski
  • Julia Ferencz
  • Peter Albers
  • Jan Fichtner
  • Thomas Wiegel
  • Günter Feick
  • Simone Wesselmann
Original Article



In 2008, the German Cancer Society certification program for prostate cancer centers (PCCs) was introduced, fostering multidisciplinary and interprofessional cooperation. Since then, 97 PCCs have been certified. This paper describes the PCC certification program, quality indicators (QI) that are reported during certification, as well as changes over time and correlates of QI fulfillment.


Observational data from 70,683 primary prostate cancer (PCa) cases treated between 2010 and 2013 in certified PCC sites are analyzed using descriptive and correlation analyses.


Fulfillment of the requirements is high with over 80 % of the sites fulfilling the requirements for most of the presented QIs with defined target values. Fulfillment increased slightly over time, with significant improvements in conducting multidisciplinary tumor conferences (increasing proportion of cases presented pre- and post-treatment, increasing participation of specialists), psycho-oncologic care, social service counseling and research participation. Bivariate associations between hospital characteristics and QIs observed were most distinct for time since first certification.


Results suggest that the PCC certification program presented contributes to establishing multidisciplinary teams over time and assures the provision of high-quality PCa care. However, differences in fulfillment of the requirements exist with regard to hospital characteristics beyond the scope of the certification system.


Multidisciplinarity Quality indicators Prostate cancer Certification 



We would like to thank the members of the certification commission as well as the PCCs’ staff who work on delivering and improving care every day. No funds were received from any sources for this work.

Authors’ contribution

Kowalski involved in data analysis and wrote and edited the manuscript. Ferencz involved in data collection and management, data analysis and wrote and edited the manuscript. Albers involved in protocol/project development and wrote and edited the manuscript. Fichtner involved in protocol/project development and wrote and edited the manuscript. Wiegel involved in protocol/project development and wrote and edited the manuscript. Feick involved in protocol/project development and wrote and edited the manuscript. Wesselmann involved in protocol/project development and wrote and edited the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

C.K., S.W., and J.F. are employees of the two institutions in charge of the certification system. P.A., J.F., T.W., and G.F. are chairs/members of the German Cancer Society certification commission on PCCs.

Ethical standard

Research presented here is based on routinely collected data, and as such not subject to the declaration of Helsinki. For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Cancer SocietyBerlinGermany
  2. 2.OnkoZert GmbHCertification Institute of the German Cancer SocietyNeu-UlmGermany
  3. 3.University Hospital DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  4. 4.Johanniter Hospital OberhausenOberhausenGermany
  5. 5.University Hospital UlmUlmGermany
  6. 6.Federal Association of German Prostate Cancer Patient Support GroupsBonnGermany

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