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Diagn Cytopathol. 1998 Jan;18(1):67-70.

Another quality assurance issue--amended reports: what do we really know about them?

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298, USA.


The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) of 1988 requires that if a cytology/histology discrepancy is discovered which is significant and affects patient care, an amended report should be issued (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, Fed Reg 1992;57:7169). Since little is known about such amended reports, a survey was developed to assess how individuals handle discrepancies. The Quality Assurance Task Force from the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology created a survey to assess these methods and sent it to all of their members. Fifty-one individuals responded to the survey. Methods vary widely among institutions. On average, 107 cytologic/histologic correlations are performed each month with the discovery of approximately 2 major and 11 minor discrepancies. Thirty-nine responders utilize written amended reports and telephone clinicians when a major discrepancy is found. Thirty-eight individuals indicated that their place of employment has a written policy concerning discrepancies. Time spent in quality assurance issues averaged 8 hr per wk for cytotechnologists and 3 hr per wk for pathologists. Although amended reports are required when significant discrepancies are revealed, a standard practice does not exist.

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