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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 27-33

Pattern of pathology report retrieval

1 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Cross River, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A T Atanda
Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, PMB 3452, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Inefficient laboratory utilization occurs when requests are made and reports are not retrieved. This study aims to determine the pattern of report retrieval in pathology laboratories in Nigeria and ways to improve current practice. Materials and Method: All un-retrieved histopathology and cytopathology reports in histopathology laboratories of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt between January, 2009 and December, 2009 were retrieved from archives. From these, final diagnosis and turn around times were determined. Questionnaires were also distributed to determine reasons for failure to retrieve pathology reports. Results: A total of 1,096 (22%) histology reports and 319 (12%) cytology reports were not retrieved in AKTH while 4% of histology and 20% of cytology reports were not collected in UPTH. The uncollected reports exhibited malignancy or positive resection margins in 14% and 18% of histology reports in AKTH and UPTH respectively and 16% and 18% of cytology reports in AKTH and UPTH respectively. The turnaround time (TAT) for the histology and cytology cases in AKTH were approximately 4 days and 36 hours respectively, and in UPTH 5 days and 3 days respectively in about 80% of cases. Questionnaire respondents (57%), felt histology was associated with long TATs while 51% disagreed that cytology had long TATs. Reasons for failure to collect reports were long TAT (46%); poor awareness by patients (36%) and patient death (28%). Respondents felt the best methods of report dissemination were by laboratory dispatcher (57%) and intranet (31%). Conclusion: This study concludes that optimal pathology laboratory utilization requires constant communication between clinicians and pathologists and shows the need for specific hospital-tailored framework for pathology report retrieval and dissemination.

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