Effectiveness of Reporting Significant Diagnosis in Anatomic Pathology: Pathologists' Roles and Challenges
Katherine L Kenerson, Negar Rassaei, Vania Nose. University of Miami, Miami, FL
Background: Communication of an anatomic pathology significant diagnosis has been controversial since the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology (ADASP) first implemented it in 2006. Since then, there has been an increasing demand for hospital administration to impose this responsibility onto the pathologist, as reporting a significant diagnosis is an essential component in patient care. Yet, the pathologist may spend time trying to communicate a significant diagnosis to a clinician, at times with no success. Thus, the current challenge is defining the pathologist's role in reporting a significant diagnosis and understanding the most effective means of communicating these results to the clinician.
Design: An eleven-item survey was distributed to all medical specialties in our institution. The survey consisted of closed-ended questions relating to the role of the pathologist and effectiveness of significant diagnosis notification. In addition, our department developed a centralized system for communicating a significant diagnosis and this survey was used to analyze the effectiveness of this system.
Results: A total of one hundred and twenty seven clinicians and eleven pathologists responded to the survey. Most pathologists (73%) consider our mechanism of reporting a significant diagnosis to be effective. 41% of clinicians reported that our mechanism of reporting a significant diagnosis is not well defined. The most effective method of reporting a significant diagnosis was reported as email (63% of clinicians and 73% of pathologists,) however both clinicians and pathologists agree that a flag is needed to attract the clinician's attention if the report is sent via email.
Conclusions: In the continuously growing field of pathology, the pathologist has had increasing responsibilities in patient care. The perception of this clinical survey reveals that it is the pathologist's responsibility to monitor the clinician's response to a significant diagnosis notification. Subsequently, it is crucial for our clinicians to be well introduced to a centralized system of reporting a significant diagnosis in order to receive this information in a timely manner. Accordingly, although multiple modalities exist to report a significant diagnosis, standardization of reporting is crucial to most effectively improve the pathologist's communication with the clinician. As a result, this will optimize patient care. Ultimately, increasing responsibilities and demands from hospitals may continue to change future practice.
Category: Quality Assurance
Monday, March 19, 2012 1:00 PM
Poster Session II # 239, Monday Afternoon