RE: Quality Assurance measures

From:Vinnie Della Speranza

As Tim suggested, we routinely have the patient's name and accession #
on our slide labels. I've wondered whether the HIPPA regulations will
discourage the use of patient names on the slide labels and certainly
would oppose any suggestion at my facility to eliminate the names from
the slides.

I will also add that we utilize bar codes on our slides which is used
for our imaging system, so in fact each slide is read by a bar code
reader at the sign out scope which then has the patient case on a
computer monitor as another check for the pathologist. I realize that
many labs are not yet equipped to utilize bar code technology on slides
but I do think it would go along way to avoid the scenario in

Vinnie Della Speranza
Manager for Anatomic Pathology Services
Medical University of South Carolina
165 Ashley Avenue  Suite 309
Charleston, SC 29425
Ph: 843-792-6353
fax: 843-792-8974

>>> "Morken, Tim"  01/29/03 10:05AM >>>
Michael wrote: <>

I think the practice of having two identifiers on each piece in the
can help - for example, the name and number on blocks, slides,
paperwork. It
is too easy to mix up one identifier, especially if hand-written
(though I
have seen some pretty poor text on machine-scribed slides too). Then,
course, it has to be mandatory for each person handling the case to
each part against the other parts at each step (Paperwork to
containers to cassette, block to slide, slides to paperwork etc). This
one area where I think computer-generated lists can help keep mistakes
by eliminating transcription errors. In the end we will always depend
humans and so will always end up with a mistake somewhere (But
hopefully not
in my lab!). I think it was Lee Luna who wrote an article on QA at one
which basically said "Be careful!" This is one area where procedures
be detailed and adhered to rigorously, no excuses accepted.

Tim Morken

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Fredrickson [] 
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 9:06 AM
Subject: Quality Assurance measures

In regard to case mix-ups, what is currently being done in situations
practices do subspecialty sign out (for example practices that do ONLY
breast  or prostate?)  In these labs, the only option is to have
of the same type back to back.  I think this situation is even more
dangerous when slides are pre-labeled?   Any insights would be

Michael Fredrickson
Lab Manager
Cohen Dermatopathology
Newton MA 02464

<< Previous Message | Next Message >>