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Am J Clin Pathol. 2001 Sep;116(3):331-5.

An analysis of factors that influence the ASCUS/SIL ratio of pathologists.

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1
Department of Pathology, Pitt County Memorial Hospital and Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA.

Abstract

In pursuit of physician-specific performance data in cytology, we have been calculating the ASCUS/SIL (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance/squamous intraepithelial lesion) ratio of cytopathologists (CPs) and providing confidential feedback every 6 months. At the same time, thin-layer technology was introduced as an alternative to conventional smears. Thus we analyzed factors that may influence the ASCUS/SIL ratio, particularly the effect of periodic feedback on outliers (defined by a professional benchmark). For 3 years, the mean ASCUS/SIL ratio for all CPs decreased significantly from 2.92 to 1.87. There was great variability in the mean ASCUS/SIL ratio among 12 CPs (range, 1.11-5.89). Of the 6 CPs who worked continuously during this time, 2 showed a statistically significant decrease in their ASCUS/SIL ratio, including the CP with the highest ratio; 1 showed a significant increase. The mean ASCUS/SIL ratio did not correlate well with years of CP experience or with individual annual case volume. The ASCUS/SIL ratio of some CPs can decrease significantly over time. Whether it was due to feedback or the introduction of thin-layer preparations could not be determined.

PMID:
11554159
DOI:
10.1309/0BL4-6H9V-DQVV-UGXR
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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