Consensus statement on effective communication of urgent diagnoses and significant, unexpected diagnoses in surgical pathology and cytopathology from the college of American pathologists and association of directors of anatomic and surgical pathology

Raouf E. Nakhleh, Jeffrey L. Myers, Timothy C. Allen, Barry R. DeYoung, Patrick L. Fitzgibbons, William K. Funkhouser, Dina R. Mody, Amy Lynn, Lisa A. Fatheree, Anthony T. Smith, Avtar Lal, Jan F. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context.-Recognizing the difficulty in applying the concept of critical values to anatomic pathology diagnoses, the College of American Pathologists and the Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology have chosen to reevaluate the concept of critical diagnoses. Objective.-To promote effective communication of urgent and significant, unexpected diagnoses in surgical pathology and cytology. Design.-A comprehensive literature search was conducted and reviewed by an expert panel. Results.-A policy of effective communication of important results in surgical pathology and cytology is desirable to enhance patient safety and to address multiple regulatory requirements. Conclusions.-Each institution should create its own policy regarding urgent diagnoses and significant, unexpected diagnoses in anatomic pathology. This policy should be separate from critical results or panic-value policies in clinical pathology, with the expectation of a different time frame for communication. Urgent diagnosis is defined as a medical condition that, in most cases, should be addressed as soon as possible. Significant, unexpected diagnosis is defined as a medical condition that is clinically unusual or unforeseen and should be addressed at some point in the patient's course. Further details of this statement are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume136
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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