June 4, 2008

Pathology Review Update

The ongoing review of the work of a specific pathologist is nearing completion.

A comprehensive analysis of twenty-eight cases previously identified as requiring further review is underway. Once flagged as having possible discrepancies in pathology, cases are forwarded to a panel of expert physicians, referred to as a tumour board, comprised of specialists with expertise specific to the type of cancer involved in each flagged case. Tumour boards are being assembled now and are expected to complete their work within two weeks.

The tumour boards will provide a final expert assessment on any potential clinical impact of the discrepancies in pathology. A number of the flagged cases involve multiple slides and a long medical history that will be considered in the assessment of any potential clinical impact.

To date, the review has uncovered no case in which a patient required additional treatment as a result of an incorrect or incomplete report.

To date, the review process indicates that:

  • The external reviewer has reviewed a total of 661 cases.

  • The external reviewer has completed the review of 314 cases from the month of February 2008. 313 cases have been determined to have no significant difference in pathology. One case requires further review.

  • Of the previously reported 170 complex cases reviewed by the senior internal pathologist, nine cases have been reviewed by the external pathologist. Four have been determined to have no significant differences in pathology. Five cases remain under review. The external reviewer will now complete the review of the remainder of these 170 complex cases.

  • The external reviewer has completed the review of 338 of the complex cases handled over the past year. Of these 338 complex cases, 316 have showed no significant differences in pathology. The remaining 22 cases require further review.

As of noon on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 the WRHA Inquiry Line had received a total of 332 calls. Of those calls:

  • Initial follow-up calls were completed to all callers, except for those who did not answer their phone after repeated calls and who do not have voicemail.

  • For 219 of these callers, the pathologist in question was not involved in their case. 207 callers have been contacted and provided with this information. Efforts to contact the remaining 12 callers will continue.

  • The pathologist in question was involved in 59 of the 332 cases. For 37 of those cases the pathology was determined to have been reviewed and read correctly. All of these patients are being notified. The remaining 22 cases are still under review.

  • Eleven callers withdrew their request for a review after speaking with their physician.

  • Files on all remaining cases are being pulled for review.

For more information contact:

Krista Sinaisky
Diagnostic Services of Manitoba
Phone: (204) 926-7194

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