Cancer Pathology Turnaround Time at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, the Largest Referral Center in Malawi for Oncology Patients
Masamba, Leo P.L.
Mtonga, Petani E.
Kalilani Phiri, Linda
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CitationMasamba, Leo P.L., Petani E. Mtonga, Linda Kalilani Phiri, and Brittany L. Bychkovsky. 2017. “Cancer Pathology Turnaround Time at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, the Largest Referral Center in Malawi for Oncology Patients.” Journal of Global Oncology 3 (6): 734-739. doi:10.1200/JGO.2015.000257. http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JGO.2015.000257.
AbstractPurpose In all settings, a need exists for expedited pathology processing for patients with a suspected cancer diagnosis. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with limited resources, processing pathology samples is particularly challenging, so the measurement of turnaround times (TATs) for pathology results is an important quality metric. We explored the pathology TAT for suspected cancer patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Malawi to determine whether a difference exists when patients paid an out-of-pocket fee (paid for [PF] v nonpaid for [NPF]) to facilitate sample processing. Methods and Population This retrospective descriptive study included all patients with suspected cancer (N = 544) who underwent incisional and excisional biopsy in 2010 at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, a teaching hospital in Malawi. Data were abstracted from patient charts and administrative forms to build a database and determine the TAT for PF and NPF samples. Results: The median TAT for the 544 patients was 71 days (interquartile range [IQR], 31 to 118 days). The median pathology processing time was 31 days (IQR, 15 to 52 days) and was shorter for PF versus NPF samples. The median TAT was 43 days for PF samples (IQR, 27 to 69 days) versus 101 days for NPF samples (IQR, 31 to 118 days), which was significantly different by the Wilcoxon rank sum test (P < .01). Conclusion: The TAT for pathology samples among patients with suspected cancer was longer than reported for other African countries during the study period, was longer than considered acceptable in high-income countries, and differed between PF and NPF samples.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:34868889
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