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An essential foundation of high quality and safe patient care is the right information. Timely and accurate pathology and laboratory medicine reports allow health-care teams to make informed decisions about the best course of treatment for patients and result in better care.

At The Ottawa Hospital, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is fully accredited by the Ontario Laboratory Accreditation. The department has a structured quality management program. All areas of its activities are in line with recommendations from major Canadian and North American medical and scientific associations, including Cancer Care Ontario . All areas participate in external quality assessment programs.

The Anatomical Pathology Division has a detailed continuing quality improvement (CQI) system with monthly reviews of all aspects of pathology practice, not only for cancer specimens but for all types of specimens received by the division.

For cancer specimens, correlations are made between studies during operation (frozen sections) and final reports, between cytological specimens and surgically obtained specimens. Approximately 15% of cases are seen by a second pathologist, including those specimens reviewed at clinical rounds and tumour boards. Pathology slides from cancer patients first operated outside the hospital are reviewed by our pathologists. Also, for cases reviewed by outside departments, correlations are made with our internal reports. This CQI system, which has been in place for over 20 years, has proven very efficient in maintaining and improving quality.

Last updated on: November 30th, 2016