Turnaround Time for Large or Complex Specimens in Surgical Pathology: A Q-Probes Study of 56 Institutions
Keith E Volmar, Michael O Idowu, Donald S Karcher, Raouf E Nakhleh. Rex Pathology Associates, Raleigh, NC; Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA; George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC; Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL
Background: Turnaround time (TAT) for large or complex surgical pathology specimens is an indicator of efficiency in anatomic pathology and may affect coordination of patient care. This study aimed to develop benchmarks for TAT of these cases and to identify practice characteristics that may influence TAT.
Design: Participants in a 2012 Q-Probes quality improvement program of the College of American Pathologists were asked to retrospectively review all surgical pathology cases over the prior six months to identify up to 50 cases coded as CPT code 88307 (excluding biopsies) and/or 88309. Participants reported the times and dates of accessioning and final report sign out.
Results: 56 institutions reported on 2,763 large or complex cases. The case mix was 70% CPT code 88307 and 30% CPT code 88309. Cases requiring special handling comprised 51.5%, while 48.5% were characterized as routine. Actual TAT (not working days) was calculated from reported dates and times of accessioning and final sign out. For all cases the median turnaround time was 3.02 days. TATs by institutions and by case type are included in the table below.
|10th percentile||50th percentile||90th percentile|
|Routine handling cases||5.99||1.94||0.98|
|Special handling cases||9.11||4.13||1.33|