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Characterising the use of surgical pathology rush requests: a descriptive analysis and survey


This study aimed to characterise priority or ‘rush’ surgical pathology requests and identify potentially targetable factors. We performed a retrospective descriptive analysis of rush requests at our institution from 2016 to 2019 and conducted a survey asking pathologists about their perspectives on rush cases. There were 3677 rush cases, with case characteristics generally stable over the study period. Two categories of requests were identified based on hospital status; outpatient requests more frequently provided a specific date for diagnosis, while inpatient rush requests generally required a diagnosis as soon as possible. Most pathologists found rush cases to be somewhat more stressful compared with routine cases (65.2%) and found it very or extremely useful to know when a result is needed (86.9%). The use of hospitalisation status, and identifying if results are required by a certain date, may help in more effective triaging of rush surgical pathology cases.

  • pathology, surgical
  • pathology department, hospital
  • quality control

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