Re: Quality-right first time?

From:Louri Caldwell <>

I agree with you.  Although ideal, it just would take way too much time to 
microscopically check all of the slides sent from the lab. However, all of 
the techs take the initiative to microscopically check their own slides on 
difficult/unusual blocks.  Also, the pathologists here are great 
(thankfully) about discussing/showing slides to us when they find an 
interesting case or problem. It makes for a better relationship all the way 

Louri Caldwell
Chief Histotechnologist
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia

>Subject: Re: Quality-right first time?
>Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2001 09:55:10 -0400 (EDT)
>Louri Caldwell, Chief Histotechnologist, College of Veterinary Medicine,
>University of Georgia at Athens, writes:
> >>In this lab, all techs are to qc their own slides. They know what the
>tissue looked like in the block - if the slide isn't of quality - they are 
>redo it before it leaves the lab. If a recut comes back - it is first 
>to my attention - then given back to the tech that originally cut it, who 
>to redo it STAT. That way - not only is the tech able to learn from their
>mistakes - they are to redo it as a STAT so as not to further
>inconvenience or delay the pathologist. This also serves to add an 
>burden on the tech of having to add this stat to their own workload. This 
>substantially decreased the amount of recuts requested.<<
>You probably wouldn't get there ahead of me - if I get an unsatisfactory
>slide, first thing I want to do is look at the paraffin block - since 
>I find that I'm the one responsible for the crappy result anyway. (Hey, 
>a break, I've only been in this business for 38 years, still learning.)
>The small pathology services in which I do most of my locum tenens work are
>usually desperately in need of quality assurance programs. It always
>infuriates the many conscientious histotechnogists on Histonet when I say
>this, but I'm going to say it again - most of the histotechs I work with
>pride themselves on never looking at a slide. I've often wondered what I
>would do to get around this problem. I think it requires a double-headed
>microscope, with review of some slides by pathologist and histotechnologist
>nearly every day. The focus should be on finding problems before they get
>serious - the Edwards Deming approach to it, I fancy.
>One thing we surgical pathologists need to understand is that our usual
>response of "this slide's terrible, but what the hell, it's good enough to
>sign the case out with" is part of the problem and not part of the 
>Bob Richmond
>Samurai Pathologist
>Knoxville TN


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