Quality Assurance and Regulations for Anatomic Pathology

  • Maxwell L. Smith
  • Stephen S. Raab


Quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement activities are important components of any anatomic pathology laboratory. Each of these activities acts synergistically to help minimize error and improve quality. Medical error has a significant impact on morbidity, mortality, and health care costs. Many methods exist for error detection and classification. Most of the basic components of a quality assurance plan are regulated by various agencies including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the College of American Pathologists among others. Laboratory accreditation through the College of American Pathologists involves detailed inspections of the laboratory to ensure laboratory safety and quality.


Anatomic pathology Error detection Laboratory accreditation Laboratory inspection Quality control 


  1. .
    College American Pathology Laboratory Accreditation Anatomic Pathology Checklists, accessed June 2009.
  2. .
    College of American Pathologists, Valenstein PN, Raab SS, et al. Identification errors involving clinical laboratories: a College of American Pathologists Q-Probes study of patient and specimen identification errors at 120 institutions. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2006;130:1106–1113.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. .
    Kohn LT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson MD, eds. To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1999.Google Scholar
  4. .
    Liker JK. The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004.Google Scholar
  5. .
    Meier FA et al. Amended reports: development and validation of a taxonomy of defects. Am J Clin Pathol 2008;130:238–246.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. .
    Nakhleh RE, Fitzgibbons PL. Quality Management in Anatomic Pathology. Northfield, IL: CAP Press; 2003.Google Scholar
  7. .
    Raab SS, Grzybicki DM. Measuring quality in anatomic pathology. Clin Lab Med 2008;28:245–259.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. .
    Raab SS, Grzybicki DM, Condel JL, et al. Effect of Lean method implementation in the histopathology section of an anatomical pathology laboratory. J Clin Pathol 2008;61:1193–1199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Tennant G. Six Sigma: SPC and TQM in Manufacturing and Services. Burlington, VT: Gower Publishing, Ltd; 2001.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxwell L. Smith
    • 1
  • Stephen S. Raab
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Pathology and MedicineUniversity of Colorado DenverAuroraUSA
  2. 2.University of Colorado DenverAuroraUSA

Personalised recommendations