Quality standards supporting the improvement of colposcopy practice: Pirkanmaa hospital district as an example
Background Colposcopy, magnifying endoscopy of the cervix, vagina and vulva, is a subjective and dynamic examination. The national Current Care Guidelines and the Colposcopy Performance Standards by the European Federation for Colposcopy (EFC) give instructions for high-quality colposcopy practice.
Methods Using medical records, we carried out a retrospective study on how the national and European quality standards were followed in Pirkanmaa Hospital District in 2019.
Results The recommended Swede Score and TZ classifications were rarely used in 2019, but colposcopic findings were often described. The use of acetic acid and iodine staining was reported in only half of the examinations. Biopsies were taken in adequate numbers, but the proportion of directed biopsies was lower than the proportion of random biopsies. Loop electrosurgical excision procedures conducted were justified.
Conclusions Where colposcopy practice and documentation are concerned, definite improvements are needed in Pirkanmaa Hospital District. On the other hand, treatment practice already meets the quality standards. Obviously, realization of high-quality colposcopy practice is not a given, but with the aid of the quality standards possible development needs can be defined and colposcopy training addressed accordingly.
Tampere University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology