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Core Components of a Comprehensive Quality Assurance Program in Anatomic Pathology

Nakhleh, Raouf E. MD

Advances in Anatomic Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e3181bb6bf7
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Abstract

In this article the core components of a comprehensive quality assurance and improvement plan are outlined. Quality anatomic pathology work comes with focus on accurate, timely, and complete reports. A commitment to continuous quality improvement and a systems approach with a persistent effort helps to achieve this end. Departments should have a quality assurance and improvement plan that includes a risk assessment of real and potential problems facing the laboratory. The plan should also list the individuals responsible for carrying out the program with adequate resources, a defined timetable, and annual assessment for progress and future directions. Quality assurance monitors should address regulatory requirements and be organized by laboratory division (surgical pathology, cytology, etc) as well as 5 segments (preanalytic, analytic, postanalytic phases of the test cycle, turn-around-time, and customer satisfaction). Quality assurance data can also be used to evaluate individual pathologists using multiple parameters with peer group comparison.

Author Information

Department of Pathology, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, FL

Reprints: Raouf E. Nakhleh, MD, Department of Pathology, Mayo Clinic Florida, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (e-mail: Nakhleh.raouf@mayo.edu).

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.