Established in February 2015 with funding from the Partnership for Patient Care, PURC is a quality improvement initiative that brings urology practices together in a physician-led, data-sharing and improvement collaborative aimed at advancing the quality of diagnosis and care for men with prostate cancer. HCIF serves as the coordinating center, providing administrative, clinical, and database support for program members.

Collaborative Description: 

PURC offers a unique opportunity to conduct a regional prostate cancer care improvement collaborative, providing urology practices across the region with a mechanism for performance measurement and reporting.  Comparative, risk-adjusted data displayed in our portal allows participating practices to use real-time information to determine best practices and drive quality improvement.  PURC currently brings together 108 practicing urologists from eight major urology practices across Pennsylvania and one New Jersey practice in a multiyear data-sharing and QI collaborative aimed at advancing the quality of care for men with prostate cancer.  By the close of 2017, over 6,200 cases were entered into the PURC Registry. 


1. To reduce variation in care delivery and utilization of services for men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer.  

2. To measure, understand, and influence outcomes following treatment for clinically localized prostate cancer. 

3. To improve patient-centered decision-making among men faced with treatment choices for clinically localized prostate cancer. 

4. To provide a reliable, sustainable platform for prostate cancer data collection with real time feedback at the collaborative level at discrete time-points for comparative purposes as well as at the practice level for individual quality improvement initiatives.   

Value of PURC: 

As evidenced by experience and early results, there are a number of benefits to urology practices and individual providers in participating in the PURC collaborative and clinical data registry:    

  • The registry has proven to be an invaluable practice management tool by allowing access to reports that trend and benchmark individual practice sites and practitioners to their peers in order to identify and address variations in care and outcomes.  Specific care processes can be linked with higher quality and more efficient care, guiding important practice decisions and driving improvement efforts.  A few early PURC collaborative improvements are as follows: 

    – Increased c
    ompliance with antibiotic prophylaxis for TRUS  
    – Decreased bone scan utilization for low-risk patients

  • Practices and providers benefit from collaborative activities that promote innovation and the dissemination of best practices.  
  • Practices benefit from participating in a nationally-recognized program that leverages the data and experience of hundreds of clinicians. 
  • Practices are well positioned for future Medicare reporting requirements and pay-for-performance incentive plans. 
  • Robust PURC data provide participants opportunities to contribute to collaborative research and publications. 
  • Most importantly, participating practices will work together to advance prostate cancer care. 


Robert G. Uzzo, MD, FACS
PURC Executive Director
Chair, Department of Surgical Oncology
Fox Chase Cancer Center – Temple University Health System  

Marc Smaldone, MD, MSHP, FACS
PURC Regional Clinical Chairman
Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology
Fox Chase Cancer Center – Temple University Health System 

Coordinating Center: 

PURC is a division of the Health Care Improvement Foundation. 

Claudette Fonshell, RN, BSN
PURC Program Manager
Director, Clinical Improvement
Health Care Improvement Foundation 

Bret Marlowe
Project Coordinator
Health Care Improvement Foundation 

Participating Organizations and Physician Champions 

Fox Chase Cancer Center:  Marc Smaldone, MD, MSHP, FACS (Regional Clinical Champion)
Geisinger Health System:  John Danella, MD
Einstein Health Network:  Serge Ginzburg, MD, FACS
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania:  Thomas Guzzo, MD, MPH
Urology Health Specialists:  Thomas Lanchoney, MD, FACS 
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center:  Jay Raman, MD
Temple University Hospital:  Adam Reese, MD
MD Anderson at Cooper University Hospital:  Jeffrey Tomaszewski, MD
Jefferson Urology AssociatesEdouard Trabulsi, MD, FACS 

Physician champions are representatives from each participating practice site that are responsible for leading their practice in quality improvement efforts, engaging in working groups, and collaborating at executive meetings.   

Executive Collaborative Team Meetings 

Three times each year, in-person meetings are scheduled for individuals from practices that are participating in the collaborative.  During these meetings, physician champions, collaborative teams, clinical abstractors, and patient advocates come together to assess their progress, understand variability, share learning experiences, and assist one another in overcoming barriers and challenges.  The committee provides expert input into the following: 

  • Continual analysis and evaluation of regional patterns of care and treatment outcomes; 
  • Identification of unwarranted variations in care and outcomes through working groups; 
  • Identification of specific care processes associated with better patient outcomes;
  • Development and dissemination of improvement strategies and best practices; 
  • Periodic review of program activities and deliverables to ensure optimal support of participants. 

Working Groups

Participating practices have the opportunity to connect to one another to discuss and compare results and innovations through networking calls.   The collaborative has four active working groups.  The working groups are as follows: 

  • Active Surveillance 

Chaired by Adam Reese, MD, Temple University Hospital 

  • Biopsy 

Chaired by Thomas Lanchoney, MD, FACS, Urology Health Specialists 

  • Genomic 

Chaired by Jeff Tomaszewski, MD, MD Anderson at Cooper University Hospital 

  • Imaging 

Chaired by Serge Ginzburg, MD, FACS, Einstein Health Network 

2017 Pennsylvania Prostate Cancer Task Force’s press release and report to the Pennsylvania General Assembly with recommendations for addressing prostate health and prostate cancer care. 

PURC Tools and Resources 

PURC Survey Reports 

Additional Resources 

Collaborative Participants Only (Restricted)


Claudette Fonshell, Director, Clinical Improvement