J Pathol Transl Med.  2020 May;54(3):246-252. 10.4132/jptm.2020.02.22.

Continuous quality improvement program and its results of Korean Society for Cytopathology

  • 1The Committee of Quality Improvement of Korean Society for Cytopathology, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Pathology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea
  • 3Department of Pathology, Daegu Catholic University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 4Department of Pathology, Seegene Medical Foundation, Busan, Korea
  • 5Department of Pathology, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
  • 6Department of Pathology and Translational Genomics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Department of Pathology, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 8Department of Pathology, Fatima Hospital, Daegu, Korea
  • 9Department of Pathology, National Health Insurance Service, Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea
  • 10Department of Pathology, Seoul Clinical Laboratories, Seoul, Korea
  • 11Department of Pathology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 12Department of Pathology, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hwaseong, Korea
  • 13Department of Hospital Pathology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
  • 14Department of Pathology, Sure Quest Lab, Yongin, Korea
  • 15Department of Pathology, Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Guri, Korea
  • 16Department of pathology, Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Korea
  • 17Department of Pathology, Ewha Laboratory of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 18Department of Pathology, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea
  • 19Department of Pathology, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University, Busan, Korea


Since 1995, the Korean Society for Cytopathology has overseen the Continuous Quality Improvement program for cytopathology laboratories. The Committee of Quality Improvement has carried out an annual survey of cytology data for each laboratory and set standards for proficiency tests. Methods: Evaluations were conducted four times per year from 2008 to 2018 and comprised statistics regarding cytology diagnoses of previous years, proficiency tests using cytology slides provided by the committee, assessment of adequacy of gynecology (GYN) cytology slides, and submission of cytology slides for proficiency tests. Results: A total of 206 institutes participated in 2017, and the results were as follows. The number of cytology tests increased from year to year. The ratio of liquid-based cytology in GYN gradually decreased, as most of the GYN cytology had been performed at commercial laboratories. The distribution of GYN diagnoses demonstrated nearly 3.0% as atypical squamous cells. The rate for squamous cell carcinoma was less than 0.02%. The atypical squamous cell/squamous intraepithelial lesion ratio was about 3:1 and showed an upward trend. The major discordant rate of cytology-histology in GYN cytology was less than 1%. The proficiency test maintained a major discordant rate less than 2%. The rate of inappropriate specimens for GYN cytology slides gradually decreased. Conclusions: The Continuous Quality Improvement program should be included in quality assurance programs. Moreover, these data can contribute to development of national cancer examination guidelines and facilitate cancer prevention and treatment.


Cytology; Quality; Statistics; Profici
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