Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Errors in surgical pathology diagnosis can have serious consequences for the patient. Since the final product of a surgical pathology lab is the report, errors can be picked by reviewing reports of cases.AIM: To determine the frequency and types of error in surgical pathology reports of cases signed out in 2014 in a laboratory in Karachi, Pakistan.
Material and Methods:
All surgical pathology reports in which changes were made in the original report after sign out and an amended report was issued were included. Errors included: (1) misinterpretations; (2) missing critical information; (3) erroneous critical information; (4) misidentification; and (5) typographic errors.
Errors were identified in 210 cases (0.37%). These comprised 199 formalin fixed specimens and 11 frozen sections. The latter represented 3.8% of a total of 2,170 frozen sections. Of the 11 frozen section errors, 10 were misinterpretations. Of the 199 permanent specimens, 99 (49.7%) were misinterpretations, 65 (32.7%) belonged to missing critical information category, 8 (4%) belonged to erroneous critical information category, 8(4%) were misidentifications, 16(8%) were typographic errors while 3 cases (1.5%) were other errors. Most misinterpretations occurred in the gastro intestinal, liver and pancreato biliary tract (23.2%) and breast (13.1%). Another 87 cases were reviewed on the clinicians' request. However diagnosis after review remained the same as the original diagnosis. In 49 out of these (56.3%), additional workup was performed at the time of the review.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings were similar to other published studies. We need to develop documented procedures for timely review of cases to detect errors.
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
(2016). Errors in surgical pathology reports: a study from a major center in Pakistan. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 17(4), 1869-1874.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_pathol_microbiol/836