Mark Priebe has presented numerous poster and podium presentations on Quality Assurance in Anatomic Pathology and he is a part of the speaker group for the Society for Improvement in Diagnostic Medicine. He is a Medical Technologist certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathology in both Medical Technology and Blood Banking. He is the Co-Inventor of the QualityStar external quality assurance program for anatomic pathology.
Every year, 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer. Getting the diagnosis right the first time is critical to designing the appropriate treatment plan and therapy. Pathology and radiology play significant roles in the diagnostic process. When things go wrong, 46% of the errors in diagnosis come from Pathology and Radiology, while 97% of the cancer diagnosis is based on the pathology specimen. Over the past 20 years, multiple studies have shown that the rate of major discrepancies identified for cancer patients referred to another institution range from 4.2-13.1% yet published data indicates the current intralab Quality Assurance (QA) ability to detect these discrepancies is only 0.8-1.7%. This clearly identifies a gap in our current quality practice and an opportunity to improve quality assurance initiatives. This abstract reviews the formal Quality Assurance programs and how they can be utilized to provide continuous quality improvement resulting in positive patient and institution outcomes.