Public Health and Primary CareBRIEF REPORT

Fine-Needle Aspiration Utilization for Malignant Thyroid Neoplasms in the Community Hospital Setting: A Quality Improvement Study

Christopher R. Kieliszak, DO; Dustin J. Jones, DO; Richard T. Klapchar, DO; Ryan M. Collar, MD; and David L. Steward, MD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: May 11, 2018

Accepted: May 21, 2018

Published: October 15, 2018

J Osteopath Med; 118(11): 713-718

Background: Thyroid nodules are increasingly common. Although guidelines have been published, it is unclear whether recommendations for the use of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and ultrasonography are followed.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of a quality improvement initiative regarding utilization of FNA and ultrasonography before resection of malignant thyroid neoplasms at a community-based hospital.

Methods: A retrospective medical record review of patients who received thyroidectomy with histologically proven malignant thyroid neoplasms at a community-based teaching center in the Midwest in 2014 revealed inconsistent use of FNA and ultrasonography per national guidelines. Thus, a quality improvement initiative was conducted using the PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) method and included both an intradepartmental outreach effort and an interdisciplinary hospital cancer committee presentation. To determine the success of the initiative, medical records were reviewed from January 1, 2015, through July 1, 2016 (after the initiative) and compared with findings from 2014 (before the initiative).

Results: The medical records of 366 patients were reviewed over a 2.5-year period, and 23 records (12 in 2014 and 11 in 2015-2016) met the inclusion criteria. In 2014, FNA was performed on 58% of patients before operative management of thyroid malignancy. After the quality improvement initiative, FNA was performed on 100% of patients before operative management of thyroid malignancy (P=.0155). Before the quality improvement initiative, 75% of patients undergoing an operation for malignant thyroid neoplasms underwent preoperative ultrasonography, compared with 100% after the initiative (P=.0753).

Conclusions: A performance improvement initiative that used the PDSA framework effectively influenced physician adherence to national guidelines for thyroid neoplasms.

Read Full Article