OpenApp developed QA programme hailed as major breakthrough

Our Work - NQAIS 2In a major breakthrough for patient care, Ireland has become the first country in the world to publicly report national metrics on the quality of its pathology system. Health experts are hailing a new system for monitoring the quality of testing (pathology reporting) at hospital laboratories as a major breakthrough in managing the care of patients with breast, bowel and other cancers and diseases. (


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“Ireland is the first country to adopt such a national system which is being hailed as a major breakthrough in patient diagnosis and care”. The programme is being observed by the Canadian health service which hopes to adopt a similar system. The Pathology system is one of a suite of national quality systems including Endoscopy, Radiology, Elective Surgery, GP Prescribing, Emergency Surgery and there are a number of other developments in process.


The programme is is essentially a national framework, where all Irish laboratories enter their data on the performance and quality of their reporting into a national database. This information is then used to measure metrics at a national level and monitor Ireland against the international standards. The system will see technicians sift through 350,000 samples every year.Professor Conor O’Keane of the Mater Hospital was on the working group behind the scheme; “The vast amount of data is what makes the system so groundbreaking”.

As is key to many OpenApp systems; by monitoring individual trends against the national and international norm, laboratories will be able to use the information to monitor their own performance and identify areas for improvement. All 25 public pathology and eight private labs are voluntarily taking part in the programme, a strong sign of confidence in the new system.

Technology underpinning NQAIS of crucial importance

“An essential component of this QA Programme is the development of web-enabled health intelligence systems to store, analyse and report on key quality data.” Professor Conor O’Keane, a member of the RCPI working group that developed the QA programme said the technology underpinning the system was of crucial importance.

(Extracts taken from, Feb 14th 2014)

Media Links:

Royal College of Physicians Ireland: New early-warning system adopted for diagnosis errors

Irish Times: Ireland introduces first quality assurance programme for patient tissue samples

Irish Independent: Doctors hail new plan to make cancer testing more accurate

Irish Medical Times: New early warning system for diagnosis

Newstalk 106 – 108FM: Ireland adopts early warning system for cancer diagnosis Medical experts hail big step in fighting cancer

Highland Radio: New Early warning system in diagnosing cancer hailed as breakthrough

Waterford News: Medical exerts hails big step in fighting cancer


Read about the system:

National Histopathology QA Programme Data Report

National Histopathology QA Programme Implementation Report 2014


This article was published by Fiona Aherne, for more information contact 
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