The Use of Static Telecytology Applications for Accreditational Purposes

The Use of Static Telecytology Applications for Accreditational Purposes

Stavros Archondakis (General Military Hospital of Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJRQEH.2020070102

Abstract

This study aims to examine the feasibility of developing a proficiency testing scheme for cytology labs wishing to be accredited according to ISO 15189:2012, by using low cost telemedical applications. Two hundred forty-eight fine-needle aspiration specimens from patients preoperatively aspirated under ultrasonographic guidance and 208 pap smears with histological confirmation were retrospectively selected from the department's registry. Three diagnostic categories of cytological reports were used. Ten characteristic images from each case were transferred via file transfer protocol to password-protected accounts for remote review by three independent cytopathologists. Contributor's and reviewer's diagnoses were collected, recorded and statistically evaluated. No significant difference in diagnostic accuracy could be detected between the diagnoses proffered on the basis of digitized images and conventional slides.
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Background

Proficiency testing (PT) is a process for checking actual laboratory performance usually using interlaboratory data comparisons (Woodhouse et al., 1999; Cramer et al., 1991; Caron et al., 2018). Results from proficiency testing are an indication of a laboratory’s competence and consist an integral part of the assessment and accreditation process (Wood-house et al., 1999; Cramer et al., 1991; Brooker et al., 2019). According to ISO 15189: 2012, all accredited laboratories must conduct proficiency tests following their normal patient testing and reporting procedures (Caron et al., 2018; Pantanowitz et al., 2009). The practice of diagnostic cytology performed on digital images is a novel process that can be used for obtaining expert opinions on severe cases from remote laboratories (telecytology) (Archondakis et al., 2009; Brooker et al., 2019). Telecytological diagnosis can be achieved either with the use of cytological pictures viewed in real-time from the microscope (dynamic telecytological systems) or with the use of cytological pictures that are first captured in a digital format and then transmitted to distant observers (static telecytological systems) (Archondakis et al., 2009; Stamataki et al., 2008). As a result, many studies have focused on the possible role of telecytology as a tool of diagnosis and consultation in the everyday workflow (Archondakis et al., 2009; Brooker et al., 2019)

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