National Histopathology
Quality Assurance Programme, with Software Developed by OpenApp, Hailed as Major Breakthrough


Web-enabled health intelligence software system to store, analyse and report on key quality data

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 the new programme with software developed by OpenApp as a major breakthrough in managing the care of patients with breast, bowel and other cancers and diseases.  The software system monitors the quality of testing (pathology reporting) at hospital laboratories throughout Ireland.

Ireland adopts early-warning system for cancer diagnosis

Ireland is the first country to adopt such a national system. The Canadian health service is watching closely and 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 with a number of other developments in process.

The programme 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 international standards. The system sees technicians sift through 350,000 samples every year.  Professor Conor O'Keane of the Mater Hospital was on the working group of the Royal College Surgeons Faculty of Pathology. The programme was known as the "National Quality Assurance Programme in Histopathology" until February 2015 and is now know as the National Histopathology Quality Improvement Programme.

"The vast amount of data is what makes the system so groundbreaking".

Professor Conor O'Keane, Consultant Histopathologist, Mater Hospital

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 health data analytics software.

Technology underpinning National Quality Assurance Information System (NQAIS) of crucial importance

“An essential component of this QA [quality assurance] 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 National Histopathology Quality Improvement Programme working group that developed the programme said the technology underpinning the system was of crucial importance. The world-first Histopathology National Quality Improvement Programme was an award winner at the Irish Healthcare Awards in 2016.

Media Links:

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

Learn more about this evidence for healthcare technology-enabled systems:

 Explore Reports from the National Histopathology Quality Improvement Programme


Learn more about OpenApp's Health Data Analytics Capabilities


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