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Diagn Cytopathol. 2006 Apr;34(4):303-6.

The other side of the needle: a patient's perspective.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, USA.


Cytopathology laboratories monitor the analytical processes that have an impact on patient care through sound, quality assurance programs. What often frustrates pathologists is their relative inability to influence pre-analytical variables, those processes that are health-care-provider driven. The performance of fine-needle aspirates (FNAs) is a unique opportunity for the pathologist to become directly involved in the pre-analytical phase of patient care. We formulated a patient satisfaction survey, to assess the care provided by the FNA team, as it is related to patient safety, satisfaction and complications related to the FNA procedure. The application of patient surveys is a valuable tool to identify, track and monitor complications related to the performance of FNAs and as an ongoing monitor of direct involvement of the pathologist in the pre-analytical process.

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