PathCare cautions against misdiagnosis



PathCare Laboratories, Nigeria’s only ISO accredited pathology laboratory, has described medical misdiagnosis as an injustice to patients capable of destroying lives.Every year, many patients are misdiagnosed of one ailment or the other, thereby delaying and escalating the cost of treatments for such patients.But Pathcare said such injustice should be henceforth stopped.

Pathcare Executive Director, Operations, Dr. Tolulope Adewole, who made the assertion in Lagos during a week-long seminar organised by PathCare for pathologists and medical laboratory scientists from across the company recently, said misdiagnosis was capable of claiming the lives of patients.

“Any issue of misdiagnosis is an issue of quality and any life lost to misdiagnosis is an avoidable loss and a loss too many. It is actually an injustice to the patient and a big blow to his or her family and friends. To avoid the human or material costs that come with errors in diagnosis, we have set our goal towards achieving a zero per cent level of error, the same as the airlines,” Adewole said.

He stated that PathCare Laboratories is focused on delivering quality service to her clients at all times, adding that is what only differentiate her from other players in the field of medical investigations.

According to a statement released by PathCare Communication Manager, Mr. Ezedi Udom, Adewole said paying attention to quality would help avoid misdiagnosis in medicine. The medical expert, who explained quality as using the right equipment to process the right sample collected in the right container at the right time for the right patient at the right cost to make the right diagnosis, regretted that many Nigerians have lost their lives to misdiagnoses.

“Evidence-based medicine is hinged on obtaining an empirical evidence of a diagnosis before administering the appropriate treatment. All over the world, the bedrock of laboratory medicine is quality and its processes. For this, it is important that the entire value chain is covered,” he continued.

In her presentation, tagged Quality as the Differentiator, the lead facilitator and former Head of Quality Management of PathCare South Africa, Janette Wassung, said that quality is a big global medical issue affecting the overall health status of people in the world.

Wassung informed that quality process is an end-to-end affair, beginning with pre-analytical stage and runs through analytical and post-analytical stages. “These stages cover the collection, transportation and reception of samples, reagents and instruments used and personnel who conduct the test; as well as the result format, international unit of measurement used and the pathologists that interpret the results,” Wassung said.

She noted that the cost of deploying a good quality management system (QMS) may look huge initially, but this cost will amount to almost nothing when compared to the cost that laboratories would have to bear in case of a misdiagnosis. She called on laboratories and practitioners to institute a good QMS as a way of avoiding the costs that could come from a lack of good quality management system.

For Wassung, “misdiagnosis, the major fallout of a lack of QMS leads to a number of unpalatable circumstances including death, unnecessary and elongated treatment and the attendant high cost. It could also result in lengthy and costly litigation for the laboratory.”

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