Center of Excellence in Colorectal Surgery

In partnership with key opinion leaders and industry professionals, SRC developed the Center of Excellence in Colorectal Surgery (COECS) program. The COECS program identifies surgeons and facilities that provide excellent colorectal surgical care and are dedicated to continuously improving healthcare quality and patient safety.

The COECS program addresses issues facing the specialty, including:

  • Difficulty in identifying excellence for patients and referring physicians
  • The need to control care provider costs and outcomes (including reimbursement and malpractice rates)
  • Use of outdated procedures
  • The need to establish universal standards to measure program performance
  • Lack of a central outcomes database

If you’re interested in accreditation, please complete the Accreditation Program Information Form or contact


Program Requirements

1: Institutional Commitment to Excellence

The applicant facility demonstrates a commitment to excellence in colorectal surgery from the highest levels of its medical staff and administration.

This commitment includes having specialty-specific credentialing and privileging guidelines in colorectal surgery separate from general surgery.

2: Surgical Experience

The applicant facility performs at least 100 colorectal surgery procedures annually.

Each applicant surgeon performs at least 75 procedures annually and served as the primary surgeon for at least 125 colorectal surgery procedures in their lifetime.

For surgeons, procedures performed at any facility may be used toward volume. Surgeons must have served as the primary surgeon for a procedure to qualify. If the surgeon’s role as primary surgeon has been properly documented, procedures performed during fellowship may qualify. Cases in which the surgeon served as co-surgeon or assisting surgeon do not qualify.

Each procedure used for volume must be thoroughly documented to enable a medical chart review.

Volume waivers may be approved in some circumstances.

Qualifying Procedures
The following procedures are the only primary procedures that qualify:

  • Anal Fistula Repair (including Anal Fistula Plug and Endorectal Advancement Flap
  • Enterostomal Therapy
  • Ileal-anal (Pelvic) Pouch Surgery, J-Pouch, and K-Pouch
  • Laparoscopic Proctosigmoidectomy
  • Laparoscopic Ileocolectomy
  • Laparoscopic Fecal Diversion
  • Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery
  • Single-Port Laparoscopic Colectomy
  • Stricturoplasty
  • Surgical treatment of fecal incontinence
  • Transanal endoscopic microsurgery
  • Turnbull-Cutait Procedure
  • Stomal and /or pouch revision
  • Complex ischiorectal abscess
  • Small bowel and/or colon procedure related to Crohn’s Disease

Procedures that do not qualify include:

  • Antegrade Colonic Enema for chronic constipation
  • Colonoscopy
  • Doppler-Guided Hemorrhoid Ligation

3: Physician Program Director

The applicant facility must appoint a Physician Program Director (or Co-Directors) for the Center of Excellence in Colorectal Surgery (COECS) program. The Physician Program Director(s) must:

  • Participate in the relevant decision-making administrative meetings of the facility.
  • Be accredited, or in the process of becoming accredited as a Center of Excellence in Colorectal Surgery (COECS) surgeon.
  • Be primarily responsible for coordinating the multidisciplinary services and systems for colorectal surgery.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary team meetings.

Multidisciplinary team meetings should be held at least quarterly to ensure that decisions related to colorectal surgery are addressed in a comprehensive manner.

4: Consultative Services

The applicant facility must have a full complement of consultative services required for the routine and intensive care of colorectal surgery patients and their potential complications.

  • During surgery and until discharge from the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU):
    • Anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) who supervises anesthesia delivery on all colorectal surgery patients and is physically present until the patient is discharged from the PACU. Following PACU discharge, the anesthesiologist or CRNA must be available onsite within 30 minutes if needed.
  • Available on site 24/7 (or at all times when patients are present):
    • Physician certified in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) or equivalent, or an acute response team, at least one of which is ACLS-certified, trained with an established protocol to follow in the event of a sudden respiratory or cardiac event.
  • Available on site within 30 minutes:
    • Interventional radiologist or other physician capable of performing inferior vena cava filter placement and percutaneous drainage of intra-abdominal abscess
    • Physician capable of performing endoscopies to diagnose complications
    • Physician with critical care credentials to manage complications, specifically a critical care physician/intensivist, hospitalist, cardiologist or pulmonologist
  • The facility is also able to identify the following consultative staff:
    • Cardiologist
    • Infectious disease specialist
    • Nursing Program Manager
    • Pulmonologist
    • Stomal Therapist
    • Urologist

5: Equipment and Instruments

The applicant facility must maintain a full line of equipment and surgical instruments to provide appropriate perioperative care for colorectal surgery patients. Facilities must have documented training for appropriate staff in the safe operation of this equipment.

If the facility does not have an emergency department or intensive care unit, it must have equipment, such as ventilators and hemodynamic monitoring equipment, necessary to resuscitate and stabilize critically ill patients until they can be transferred to another facility.

6: Surgeon Dedication and Qualified Call Coverage

Each applicant surgeon spends a significant portion of their efforts in the field of colorectal surgery and has active, full privileges in colorectal surgery at the applicant facility.

Each applicant surgeon is board-certified or an active candidate for board certification in their surgical specialty by the highest certifying authority available.

Each applicant surgeon must complete at least 12 hours of continuing medical education (CME) focused on colorectal surgery every three years. Only American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award Category 1 Credits or similar credits from a CME accrediting body outside the United States or three national or international meetings qualify.

The applicant facility has policies in place that require all colorectal surgeons to have qualified call coverage, and each applicant surgeon certifies that each covering surgeon is capable of identifying and treating colorectal surgery complications. Each covering surgeon is board-certified or an active candidate for board certification in colorectal surgery and/or general surgery by the highest certifying authority available and has admitting privileges at the co-applicant facility.

7: Clinical Pathways and Standardized Operating Procedures

The applicant formally develops and implements clinical pathways that facilitate the standardization of perioperative care for colorectal surgery procedures. The following pathways are required:

  1. Anesthesia, including monitoring and airway management
  2. Perioperative care, including monitoring, pain management and airway management
  3. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prevention and management
  4. Instructions for identification, evaluation and management of early warning signs of complications.
  5. Preoperative patient preparation, evaluation, patient education, bowel preparation, consent and plan of action for discharge
  6. Evaluation and plan of action for patients at high risk for malignancy, including when a malignancy is detected
  7. Post-operative patient education (includes stoma care and management, wound care management, plan of action for discharge that includes follow-up and any necessary patient education

The first three pathways will be deemed satisfied if the facility has accreditation from The Joint Commission (formerly known as JCAHO), DNV-GL or an equivalent healthcare organization approved by SRC.

Each applicant surgeon performs each surgical procedure in a standardized manner as allowed by variations in operative circumstances.

Each applicant surgeon uses a template for operative note dictation that ensures proper collection of data for surgical procedures.

8: Surgical Team and Support Staff

The applicant facility employs nurses and/or physician extenders who provide education and care to patients as well as an operative team trained to care for colorectal surgery patients. The applicant facility also appoints a program coordinator who supervises program development, patient and staff education, multidisciplinary team meetings, and ongoing colorectal surgery program compliance.

The applicant facility provides ongoing, regularly scheduled staff education in-services to ensure applicable staff have a basic understanding of colorectal surgery and the appropriate management of the colorectal surgery patient. In-service topics must include:

  • Signs and symptoms of common postoperative complications
  • Equipment and surgical instruments
  • Clinical pathways

9: Patient Education

The facility and each applicant surgeon must provide all colorectal surgery patients with comprehensive preoperative patient education.

The facility and each applicant surgeon must also have a process for obtaining informed surgical consent and selecting procedures that are most appropriate for each patient’s condition.

The applicant provides information and education about support groups to all patients who may undergo or have undergone colorectal surgery and require ongoing support (stoma, ostomy and oncology patients).

10: Continuous Quality Assessment

Each applicant surgeon must collect prospective outcomes data on all patients who undergo colorectal surgery procedures in SRC’s Outcomes Database (or a similar qualifying database) in a manner consistent with applicable patient privacy and confidentiality regulations. This de-identified data must be available to SRC for initial and renewal inspections or upon request.

Program Fees

Initial Fees

Facility Application Fee: $3,975 USD
Surgeon Application Fee: $650 USD

  • Discounts may be available for surgeons that participate in multiple accreditation programs. Contact SRC for details.
  • Upon payment of application fees, applicants achieve Provisional Status and gain access to SRC’s Outcomes Database at no additional charge.

Site Inspection Fees

Domestic Site Inspection Fee (US, Canada, Mexico): $1,850 USD
International Site Inspection Fee: $5,450 USD

  • The site inspection fee covers a one-day inspection with one site inspector and includes one COE program with up to four co-applicant surgeons. A day will be added to the site inspection for every four additional co-applicant surgeons or each additional COE program. Each additional day is $925.
  • Applicant facilities are responsible for arranging and paying for the site inspector’s hotel, ground transportation and, if needed, an interpreter/translator. These items are not included in the standard site inspection fee.
  • Renewal inspections are required every three years to ensure ongoing program compliance.

Annual Fees

Facility Annual Fee: $3,975 USD
Surgeon Annual Fee: $650 USD

  • Annual participation fees will be billed one year after applicants achieve Provisional Status and each year thereafter.

Fees are subject to change without notice and are not refundable. Payment of required fees does not guarantee accreditation.