Dermatopathologists' concerns and challenges with clinical information in the skin biopsy requisition form: A mixed-methods study

Nneka I. Comfere, Margot S. Peters, Sarah Jenkins, Kandace Lackore, Kathleen Yost, Jon Tilburt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background Communication failures between clinicians and dermatopathologists are prevalent. Our primary objective was to characterize the concerns and challenges of dermatopathologists posed by incomplete or inaccurate clinical information in the skin biopsy requisition form. Methods An explanatory sequential, mixed-methods study design comprised of a survey sent to 1103 members of the American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP), followed by two focus group sessions. Results A total of 54% (598/1103) of dermatopathologists completed the questionnaire. Most dermatopathologists (80%; 436/548) viewed their roles to be providers of histopathological diagnosis and a report that is clinically meaningful. Paper or electronic requisition forms were the most common communication method (85%; 458/541) and were associated with the highest rates of dissatisfaction in 36% (193/537) of respondents. Inadequacy of specimens emerged as an important factor influencing judgment of the quality of provided clinical information. 44.7% (261/584) of dermatopathologists spent 30 minutes or more on average every day searching for relevant clinical information to assist with their histopathologic interpretation. Conclusion ASDP dermatopathologists expressed significant dissatisfaction with the quality of clinical information in the requisition form and the time spent gathering information necessary for accurate, timely and clinically meaningful diagnosis. These findings have implications for the quality, safety and efficiency of dermatologic care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-345
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • dermatologist
  • dermatology
  • dermatopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Dermatopathologists' concerns and challenges with clinical information in the skin biopsy requisition form: A mixed-methods study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this