College of American Pathologists
Printable Version

  A webinar on regs, surveys, deficiencies


Cytopathology And More




May 2012
Cytopathology And More

Leonard Bloom, MPH, SCT(ASCP)

The webinar “Technical Supervisor and Medical Director: Facts, Fallacies, and Fixes,” sponsored by the American Society for Cytotechnology, provides a glimpse into the intricacies of complying with CLIA regulations for cytopathology. The trio of speakers—Thomas H. Roberts, MD, Beverly Haigler-Daly, BS, CT(ASCP), and Brenda Schultz, SCT(ASCP)—help demystify the process for pathologists and cytotechnologists who oversee laboratory operations. Each speaker has field experience in conducting surveys through their work with ASCT Services. Dr. Roberts is a consultant pathologist, Haigler-Daly is a project director, and Schultz is a technical director.

Although the speakers can’t give in-depth presentations because of the webinar’s duration, they succeed in providing a pathway to navigate the particulars of laboratory compliance and the respective roles of key laboratory personnel. Haigler-Daly shares survey demographics and lists top deficiencies. She selects a subset of the regulations to highlight examples from survey sites and how to remedy the sites’ deficiencies. Dr. Roberts helps differentiate the roles and responsibilities of the cytology technical supervisor, the cytology general supervisor, laboratory medical director, and staff cytotechnologist. Schultz talks about workload and productivity and makes the discussion applicable to laboratories with automated and manually screened liquid-based slides. Her scenarios are relevant to cytologists who perform primary gynecologic and nongynecologic evaluation. Other useful webinar components are a discussion of cytotechnologist-cytopathologist diagnostic correlation and quality control review, setting individual limits on screening performance, and how to calculate productivity for part-time employees. Dr. Roberts concludes the webinar with a few words on the characteristics of a quality program.

This webinar provides a nice overview of the cytopathology surveys, highlights areas of the regulations that need detailed review, and offers remedies for common deficiencies. Some portions of the webinar did contain audio complications. But the webinar is a useful tool for the junior pathologist or cytotechnologist ascending to an administrative role in the cytopathology laboratory. It can be purchased in an archived webinar format (about one-hour duration) from the ASCT (

Additional webinars would be helpful on areas related to laboratory inspections where the audience can navigate checklist items or key regulatory components by way of vivid scenarios such as found in this webinar.

Leonard Bloom, cytology manager at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, is a consultant to the CAP Cytopathology Committee.