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Recent Trends in Quality, Patient Safety, and Error Reduction in Nongyn Cytology

Silverman, Jan F. MD

doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e3181f89561
Review Articles

This article reviews recent trends in nongyn cytology with an emphasis on error reduction, second opinion, and critical diagnosis. Compared with the surgical pathology literature, there is only a limited number of reports addressing these topics in nongyn cytology. Discussion of the error literature in nongyn cytology is presented with the intent to better identify error-prone cytology cases that could prompt intradepartmental consultation or an outside cytology expert's second opinion. The cytology second-opinion literature is also reviewed with the recommendation that interinstitutional second opinions add value to patient care. Last, the recent concept of critical value (critical diagnosis) in cytopathology is presented. All these initiatives promote patient safety, improve quality, decrease errors, and benefit patients.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA

All figures can be viewed online in color at

Reprints: Jan F. Silverman, MD, Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, Allegheny General Hospital, 320 E. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.