About the Quality Initiative in Interpretive Pathology
Thu, 11 Feb 2016

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s Quality Initiative in Interpretive Pathology (QIIP) aims to develop a national recommendation framework to embed interpretive pathology quality in existing pathology quality programs across Canada. The implementation of these guideline recommendations will help to better align and standardize both new and existing programs. This initiative, which was launched in 2013, is led by a pan-Canadian group of pathology thought leaders, and is supported by various external stakeholders and networks.

A national approach to quality

Since the bulk of responsibility for health care in Canada sits at the provincial level, engaging provinces up front in the development of a collaborative framework for pathology quality assurance is a crucial step to ensuring consistent and accurate quality of care for all patients.

Thanks to well-developed laboratory accreditation programs and institutional standards in Canada, there is already considerable standardization of many of the technical aspects of pathology. However, there is a great deal of variation across the country in the level of integration of interpretive pathology quality assurance programs. In addition, there is no national or international consistency around recommendations, guidelines, or standards for interpretive pathology quality assurance activities for pathologists. This makes it difficult to compare quality practices across provinces.

As a result, the development of this framework—which involves pathologists from across Canada will not only help standardize interpretive pathology quality across the country, but it will also help guide provinces through the process of developing such a program.

A path forward

So far, work has centred around the creation of recommendations. A national survey of interpretive pathology quality assurance programs across the country identified a lack of standardization to aspects of interpretive pathology quality assurance. As a result, the group developed a set of minimum standard recommendations and corresponding supporting statements.

We are actively seeking feedback on the pan-Canadian recommendations framework. If you would like to participate, please email quality@partnershipagainstcancer.ca by February 26, 2016.