As patient safety becomes an even greater priority for healthcare systems, Dark Daily notes that public reporting of pathology errors in Canada has no comparable track record in the United States.

Errors in anatomic pathology testing in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan rated media headlines this summer. In each case, it was just a limited number of cases where errors at pathology labs resulted in inaccurate diagnoses and, in at least one case, a needless mastectomy for a patient.

At a time when health systems in Canada, the United States, and other developed nations are placing a great emphasis on patient safety, disclosure of life-changing diagnostic errors to patients is appropriate. Consumers are holding physicians—including surgical pathologists—to a higher standard of care.

The article contrasts the public disclosure of separate episodes of anatomic pathology testing errors in Canada to what typically does not happen in the United States, and looks beneath the surface to discover what underlies the differences.

One case now unfolding makes the point about the lack of timely public reporting of lab errors in the United States. It shows how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in vitro diagnostics (IVD) manufacturers handle diagnostic errors that occur when lab test kits do not perform to specifications and generate inaccurate test results that can cause a physician to make the wrong diagnosis and negatively affect the patient’s care.

Click here to read the entire article.

On October 1 to 2, the seventh annual Lab Quality Confab in New Orleans will tackle these subjects. Speakers on this topic include James W. Westgard, PhD, Westgard QC; Luci Berte, Laboratories Made Better!; and Richard Zarbo, MD, PhD, Henry Ford Health. 

In Canada, lab professionals will have their own opportunity to get information about the identification of systemic errors and how to fix them properly. On October 7 to 8, at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel, Toronto, speakers at the sixth annual Executive Edge will discuss these issues, including Stephen Raab, MD, PhD, Eastern Health; and Rita D’Angelo, Henry Ford Health.


[Source: Dark Daily]