Study of Cross-Contamination of Biopsy Specimens in 69 Anatomic Pathology Laboratories Raises Concerns about Test Quality and Patient Safety

Extraneous tissue cross-contamination found in all participating pathology laboratories Cross-tissue contamination, regardless of specimen volume or how frequently reagents were changed Pathologists and histotechnologists have long known that traditional methods of processing tissue for diagnosis have the potential to cross-contaminate human biopsy specimens. This risk to patient safety and diagnostic accuracy was accepted over the decades because of the limitations of technology and inability...

In Bristol, England, Errors in Anatomic Pathology Is an Issue That Refuses to Die

Critics of an inquiry into histopathology errors at the Royal Bristol Infirmary argue that as many as 6,800 cases over eight year may have errors in diagnosis In Bristol, England, the issue of serious errors in the anatomic pathology service of the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) during the years 2000 to 2008 refuses to go away. Earlier this year, critics of an inquiry commissioned by the parent health trust became vocal once again after public notice was given of plans to consolidate...

Sonic’s Diagnostic Medlab Signs New Contract with Auckland Health Boards

Dark Daily Commentary: Treat lab testing as a commodity and risk disrupting the entire healthcare system Once again, the pathology profession is seeing the consequences of the “penny wise-pound foolish” philosophy relentlessly pursued by government health bureaucrats. This time it involves the Auckland District Health Boards in New Zealand. Having signed a cut-rate, back room deal back in 2006 to save about NZ$15 million per year on lab testing (against an annual healthcare budget in the...

Study Indicates Errors in Breast Cancer Testing in Canadian Province of Quebec

Health minister characterizes reports of 20% to 30% error rates as highly exaggerated Questions about a possible high rate of errors in breast cancer testing done in the Canadian province of Quebec surfaced last week. Government health officials were forced to publicly acknowledge that they had received a report in April of a limited study that indicated an error rate of between 15% and 20% in hormone receptor testing, and an error rate as high as 30% in HER2/neu testing. Following the first...