Histopathology Services in a Rural African Hospital: How Audit Can Improve Service

H. Kettle, D. Wilkinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Audit is about doing things right. We undertook a detailed audit of the histopathological service at a rural district hospital in Africa because delays in obtaining biopsy results had been noted by clinicians. A wide range of serious pathology was found in the 100 consecutive biopsies reviewed. It took 26 days on average from the time a biopsy was taken to the time the result was returned to the clinician, and most of this delay was administrative in nature, occurring after the pathologist had reviewed the specimen at the regional laboratory. Because of these delays, only 22% of patients biopsied were ever informed of their results. By performing this audit, reporting the results, and acting against the problems discovered, the service rapidly improved. This study illustrates the importance of simple, routine audit in district hospitals in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-132
Number of pages2
JournalTropical Doctor
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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