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    Quality Process Before Testing

    Quality Care, Quality Testing, Quality Process

    Physicians use laboratory test results to determine the course of treatment or follow up for their patients.

    This requires two things:

    1. That the results are accurate
    2. That they are reported on the correct patient

    To assure the accuracy of pathology and cytology reports, the pathology laboratory at PAMF incorporates the following "quality process" throughout the testing.

    • Specimens are properly identified

    • Specimens are properly submitted
    Before tissue or cell specimens can be microscopically evaluated, they must be properly identified and submitted by the clinician that collected the specimen. The laboratory assistants verify that the specimen has been properly identified and submitted before accepting the specimen for testing.

    Lab assistant, Valerie Markushevic
    Lab Assistant Valerie Markushevic checks a specimen to see if it is properly labeled.
    • Proper labeling of specimens by laboratory personnel
    • Accurate data entry
    Each specimen receives a unique accession number after it has been accepted for testing by the laboratory.

    Lab assistant, Valerie Markushevic

    Lab Assistant Valerie Markushevich gives the specimen a unique accession number.

    Lab assistant, Maira Larios label a slide with patient information

    Lab Assistant Maira Larios labels a slide with the patient name and specimen accession number.

    This number follows the specimen throughout the testing process. To ensure that this number is accurate, the patient name and accession number are checked at various steps during the testing process to ensure the identity of the patient.

    Lab assistant, Maira Larios check to see that the specimen containers are labeled properly

    Lab Assistant Valerie Markushevich checks to see that the specimen containers and the tissue cassettes have been properly labeled.

    Lab assistant, Philip Thomas verifies the name and number of the specimen

    Lab Assistant Philip Thomas verifies the name and accession number of the specimen before labeling the slide for specimen processing.

    The information on the test requisition is important to the testing process and must be accurately entered into the computer. The accuracy of the information entered into the computer is checked at the time of data entry by the support staff, and again, before microscopic evaluation by the cytotechnologists and pathologists.

    Support Staff, Kim Strickland

    Support Staff Kim Strickland enters the data on the test requisition into the pathology computer system.

    The equipment used to process pathology and cytology specimens is maintained regularly to ensure specimen integrity and quality of the preparation.
    • Regular stain maintenance

    • Daily stain checks

    Histology Technician Bea Pollert

    Histology Technician Bea Pollert performs routine maintenance on one of the many pieces of equipment in the pathology laboratory.

    All tissue and cell samples require special stains for microscopic evaluation. Good staining is critical for accurate evaluation and interpretation. To ensure the quality of the stain, the staining solutions are maintained on a regular basis and control slides are stained and checked by the technical staff before the test slides are stained. If there are problems with the stain, the problems are corrected before the test slides are stained.
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