Improving The Autopsy Service

1. Adickes ED, Sims KL. Enhancing autopsy performance and reporting. A system for a 5-day completion time. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1996;120:249-253. (A method to improve turnaround time.)

2. McManus BM, Wood SM. The autopsy. Simple thoughts about the public needs and how to address them. Am J Clin Pathol 1996;106:S11-S14. (Emphasizes need to better integrate autopsy and other services, improve follow-up with families, make better use of research opportunities, and enhance public awareness of the role of autopsies.)

3. Start RD, Sherwood SJ, Kent G, Angel CA. Audit study of next of kin satisfaction with special necropsy service. BMJ 1996; 312:1516. (Communication improves satisfaction.)

4. McPhee SJ. Maximizing the benefits of autopsy for clinicians and families. What needs to be done. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1996;120:743-748. (Advocates shorter turnaround times and improved communication with clinicians and families.)

5. Setlow VP. The need for a national autopsy policy. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1996;120:773-777. (Describes efforts of the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, to evaluate the need for a national autopsy policy.)

6. Haque AK, Patterson RC, Grafe MR. High autopsy rates at a university medical center. What has gone right? Arch Pathol Lab Med 1996;120:727-732. (Describesthe 'Decedent Affairs Office,' quality control, improved communication with clinicians, and support by the hospital administration.)

7. Diamond I. New approach needed to revive autopsy. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1996;120:713. (Avoid "routine," increase use of ancillary methods, improve communication, improve art of narrative description.)

8. Hutchins GM. Whither the autopsy?...To regional autopsy centers. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1996;120:718. (Advocates regional autopsy centers. See also ref. [11].)

9. Hill RB. College of American Pathologists Conference XXIX on restructuring autopsy practice for health care reform: summary. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1996;120:778-781. (Review of use of autopsy in medical care, research, and education; reimbursement issues; need for a national autopsy policy.)

10. Kleiner DE, Emmert-Buck MR, Liotta LA. Necropsy as a research method in the age of molecular pathology. Lancet 1995;346:945-948. (Describes possible applications of molecular biology techniques in the autopsy setting.)

11. Mitchell EK, Prior JT. Where have all the autopsies gone? A proposal for a centralized autopsy service. J Commun Health 1995;20:441-446. (Proposes central off-hospital site facilities that perform hospital autopsies. See also ref. [8].)

12. Emson HE. Notes on necropsy. J Clin Pathol 1992;45:85-86. (The dead body must be treated with dignity but it is not the person who used the body during life. If this is understood by the next of kin, autopsy permissions might be given more readily.)

13. Hill RB, Anderson RE. The autopsy and health statistics. Legal Med 1990:57-69. (More and better autopsies and proper completion of death certificates are needed to improve health statistics.)

14. AMA Council on Scientific Affairs. Autopsy. A comprehensive review of current issues. JAMA 1987;258:364-369. (Urges integration of new technologies and reimbursement for autopsies as instruments of quality assurance.)

15. Bellwald M. Autopsien mit unbefriedigenden Resultaten. Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1982;112:75-82. (In 3.7% of 3,076 cases, the autopsy did not provide the needed answers. Use of more sophisticated diagnostic techniques and better communication with clinicians might improve these negative results.)

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