[Histonet] Re: Embedding process improvement...

Johnson, Teri TJJ <@t> stowers.org
Thu Aug 25 13:42:40 CDT 2011

Back to the question at hand,

You will need to engage the pathologists to provide information as to the correct way to embed the skin specimens. If you have a dermatopathologist in your practice, that person will need to provide the information about how he/she dissects it, what he/she wants, and why. I have attended a continuing education lecture locally by a dermatopathologist and he showed H&E slides of incomplete and improperly embedded skin samples. He could not render a proper diagnosis due to this histologist's inability to give him the correct view of the samples. How would you feel if that was your biopsy and someone embedded it with complete disregard?

I would like to think that mistakes happen due to a misunderstanding and nothing more sinister. There was a time back in the day that we each had a grossing room rotation and watched how the pathologists did their grossing. I suspect in these busy labs and busy times, that happens less and less.

Having the paper trail of the process and/or quality improvement can hopefully demonstrate competency. But the expectation alone can not provide that. The key is education. Teach us how it needs to be done correctly. Show us the results of our work. Have it evaluated and give constructive feedback. Everybody wins in this scenario.

Teri Johnson, HT(ASCP)QIHC
Head, Histology and Electron Microscopy
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Kansas City, MO

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