AIMS--To investigate the use of rapid re-screening as a quality control method for previously screened cervical slides; to compare this method with 10% random re-screening and clinically indicated double screening. METHODS--Between June 1990 and December 1994, 117,890 negative smears were subjected to rapid re-screening. RESULTS--This study shows that rapid re-screening detects far greater numbers of false negative cases when compared with both 10% random re-screening and clinically indicated double screening, with no additional demand on human resources. The technique also identifies variation in the performance of screening personnel as an additional benefit. CONCLUSION--Rapid re-screening is an effective method of quality control. Although less sensitive, rapid re-screening should replace 10% random re-screening and selected re-screening as greater numbers of false negative results are detected while consuming less resources.
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