Clinical laboratories and the training of pathology residents are tightly regulated environments. Compliance with regulatory requirements must be addressed when developing entrustable professional activities (EPAs) for pathology residents.
To describe the development of EPAs for peripheral blood and body fluid review in compliance with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and College of American Pathologists personnel and testing requirements. To examine the impact of EPA implementation on the workflow in a busy hematology laboratory.
A training program was designed to prepare pathology residents to function as independent testing personnel in compliance with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments. After a series of lectures, hands-on microscopy sessions, self-assessment quizzes, and achievement of a passing score on a training assessment exam, residents were deemed competent to release certain results independently. The volume and the turnaround time of hematology tests were compared before and after residents were integrated into the laboratory workflow. Faculty and residents were surveyed to assess satisfaction with the training.
Empowering residents to independently release noncritical results from peripheral blood and body fluid reviews had no adverse impact on test turnaround time. The resident contribution to workflow resulted in a corresponding decrease in the number of cases that required attending pathologist review. Faculty and residents viewed the EPAs as beneficial to service and education.
The implementation of the EPAs had a beneficial effect on the laboratory, the trainees, and faculty. Our experience may be helpful to other training programs as EPAs become more widely implemented in residency training.
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The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.