Can we improve breast pathology reporting practices? A community-based breast pathology quality improvement program in New Hampshire

Patricia A. Carney, M. Scottie Eliassen, Wendy A. Wells, William G. Swartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

We implemented a regional quality assurance program in New Hampshire (NH) to evaluate breast pathology practices and attempt to improve the completeness of information provided in breast surgical pathology reports. We also assessed the degree to which NH pathologists agree with National Guidelines. The program's objective was to promote a consistent standard of care for patients whose breast pathology is interpreted in NH. Using a sequential survey technique, we were able to obtain consensus on breast tissue report content that was similar to National Guidelines. We also found that 52% of the reporting elements improved in the post-intervention period, although only one reached statistical significance. In conclusion, pathology interpretation is the 'gold standard' for determining both screening effectiveness and subsequent treatment of breast cancer, yet variability in breast tissue reporting exists. It is critical that more research be done to improve breast pathology interpretation and reporting practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 18 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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