4 Key Points When Choosing An Independent Pathology Provider


We asked Keith Hague, a CEO of many years standing in the UK Independent sector to tell us what was so important about Pathology services for the Private Hospital manager.

Keith Hague

The busy CEO of a Private Hospital has to rely upon excellence every day in the delivery of those key Clinical Support Services to the Private Hospital.

Pathology is one of those key services that must be delivered in a very timely fashion and be right every time. Being almost right is not good enough.

Within the disciplines of Pathology perhaps the most key specialisation is Histopathology, because this does not rely on high technology equipment and services but more so relies upon that human touch; that careful handling of specimens and more importantly the clinical interpretation of the specialist through the eyepiece of the microscope. Listed below are my top 4 areas to consider when choosing a private pathology service.

1. Turnaround time

In Pathology services management, the turnaround time is one very important key performance indicator. Having to wait long periods for histopathology reports is not acceptable especially when the physician suspects that the pathology is complex. In my time and as a general rule routine reporting that takes more than 48 to delivery is not acceptable. There will, of course, be exceptions but this should be the Gold standard.

2. Detailed and Accessible Reporting

Complex reporting delivered in long reports from the Pathologists without a meaningful conclusion is of no use. Consultants have complained many times to me about the fact that with the patient waiting outside of the consulting room and with the late Pathology report arriving just at that time is bad enough, but for the report to be lacking in conclusion and open-ended is just not acceptable.

3. Trust and Accountability

A lost specimen is just bad news. To me, it is incomprehensible for any Pathology lab to lose a sample. Clearly, some samples are very small and this can be a complicating factor, but this does happen even in today’s modern world. Thankfully these are infrequent events but they do happen and it really is not acceptable.

4. Relationships

The Pathologist must engender an excellent relationship with the admitting hospital consultant. A surgeon once said to me that he could never see himself moving away from his chosen Pathologist because he said who else will answer the phone on a Christmas morning to talk about my patient’s results. And this does happen. A personal relationship between the Pathologist and the consultant is paramount. There is nothing much better than a personalised telephone conversation between both parties at any time of day or night. A good pathology service will provide just this.

So these four key points are what I would look for when choosing a private pathology lab to supply services to an Independent Hospital. Get these right and you will have a service to be proud of.

Work with us

CPS work across London and UK wide with over 270 specialist consultants and several private healthcare providers. If you want to find out more about how we can partner with your Independent Clinic or Hospital, then contact Scott Hague on sales@cellpathservices.co.uk or call 01923 233 299.