Introduction to the EQA Scheme: The Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University is glad to announce the launching of an External Quality Assurance (EQA) scheme in Anatomic Pathology & Cytopathology dedicated to pathologists and pathology/cytopathology laboratories practicing in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA). The scheme is offered through Internet utilizing high quality scanned pathology and cytology slides housed on an online cloud image repository platform. The scheme will be run on voluntary/optional basis to individuals and laboratories via a password protected, email based online EQA platform. The scheme is endorsed by the Arab Division of the International Academy of Pathology (IAP-AD). The scheme is officially registered for CME certification with the Center for Continuing Education and Professional Development (CEPD) office of Kuwait Institute for Medical Specializations (KIMS) under the registration number: 004913 / HPC2 / Sep23.

Objectives of the EQA scheme:

  • 1. Promote the practice of continuous EQA in pathology/cytopathology across the MENA region.
  • 2. Encourage collaboration and discussion between pathologists across the region.
  • 3. Train junior residents on the practice and value of EQA in modern anatomic pathology practice.
  • 4. Provide pathologists and laboratories with evidence of participation in an official EQA Scheme which could contribute towards the certification of pathologists and accreditation of laboratories.

Who can participate in the scheme:

  • 1. Pathologists practicing in MENA region countries.
  • 2. Anatomic pathology/Cytopathology laboratories operationg in MENA region countries.
  • 3. Individuals and laboratories from outside the region are eligible to participate.

Registration Fees:

The scheme is maintained on a Free-Of-Charge basis to encourage as many individuals as possible to register and participate. The scheme is being supported by a non-binding generous sponsorship by commercial companies to the online EQA platform and slide cloud site.

How to register in the EQA scheme:

A. Individual Registration:
  • Individual pathologists of any rank can join the program by completing the online Individual Registration Form (link and QR provided below). Upon receipt of the application form, a private, password-protected online account is created to enable them to access the slide material and submit their feedback.

B. Laboratory Registration:
  • A laboratory can register by dedicating an EQA Leader in the department to manage the EQA account. The EQA Leader can register by completing the online Laboratory Registration Form (link provided below). Upon receipt of registration form, a unique 4-digit number for each laboratory will be created and provided to the EQA Leader for use. This will be crucial to manage the EQA account for each laboratory. This code is known only to the departmental secretary and is not known to any staff running the EQA program.

The dedicated laboratory EQA Leader will be responsible for:
  • Registering the laboratory in the EQA Scheme.
  • Receiving the unique registration 4-digit code for the laboratory.
  • Managing the laboratory online EQA account.
  • Collecting the consensus opinion on slide circulation.
  • Submitting the laboratory feedback on slides circulated before the deadline.
  • Receiving the Participation in EQA Scheme Certificate on behalf of his/her laboratory.
  • Communicating with the EQA manager.

Slide Circulation Method:

Slide circulation will consist of high quality, high resolution scanned pathology and cytology glass slides. Slides can be viewed via Internet using a professional Whole Slide Image Repository Platform.
Viewing of the slides on the link will only be available from within the individual or laboratory accounts. The program welcomes contributions by any individual pathologist or laboratory of useful EQA slide material. Contributions will be fully acknowledged.

Slide Circulations:

A. Individual Registration:
  • This scheme will contain a total of 12 circulations of slides per year.
  • One slide circulation per month starting 1st January 2024.
  • Each single circulation will consist of 10-12 pathology/cytopathology H&E slide scans with some containing in addition ancillary stains.
  • Each circulation will be available for viewing for one month.
  • Slides will become unavailable for viewing immediately before the slide discussion meeting is conducted.
B. Laboratory Registration:
  • This scheme will contain a total of 4 circulations of slides per year (January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December).
  • One slide circulation every 3 months starting 1st January 2024.
  • Each single circulation will consist of 10-12 pathology/cytopathology H&E slide scans with some containing in addition ancillary stains.
  • Each circulation will be available for viewing for 3 months.
  • Slides will become unavailable for viewing immediately before the slide discussion meeting is conducted.

Feedback on Slide Circulations:


A. Individual Registration:
  • A meeting at the end of each month will be conducted by the EQA manager via Zoom to discuss the analysis of responses received for each slide circulation (1-12) with discussion of each case.
  • Note: individual pathologist feedback will not be presented.

B. Laboratory Registration
  • A meeting at the end of March, June, September, and December will be conducted by the EQA manager via Zoom to discuss the analysis of responses received for each slide circulation (A-D) with discussion of each case.
  • Note: individual laboratory feedback will not be presented.

EQA Certification:


A. Individual Registration:
  • Each participant will receive a certificate of 1 category 1 CME for each submitted feedback on a slide circulation via email. Total possible CMEs per year is 12.

B. Laboratory Registration:
  • Each participant laboratory will receive a Certificate of Participation in an EQA Scheme for each feedback on a slide circulation received. Total possible certificates per year is 4.

EQA REGISTRATION

CLICK TO REGISTER

Individual Registration Form Laboratory Registration Form