The Value of the Medical Autopsy as a Quality Improvement Tool in Modern Diagnostic Medicine

  • Patrick Seitzinger
  • Zoher Rafid-Hamed
  • Jawahar (Jay) KalraEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1205)


The quality of healthcare is an emerging concern worldwide. In any health care process, adverse events resulting from errors are inevitable. The role of the medical autopsy is evolving yet it remains a cornerstone in the progress of healthcare quality and diagnostic medicine. Although the autopsy has been instrumental in understanding disease processes for the past 3000 years, there has been a concerning decrease in autopsy rates. This trend is influenced by barriers pertaining to resources, consent, and medicolegal hesitations. Reversing the trend in falling autopsy rates will require recognition of the role of the medical autopsy as an essential feedback mechanism in healthcare quality improvement. The autopsy has shaped the current state of medicine and with appropriate implementation, support, and collaboration will continue to guide the path forward.


Autopsy Quality improvement Diagnostic accuracy Post-mortem imaging Medical education Pathology 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Seitzinger
    • 1
  • Zoher Rafid-Hamed
    • 2
  • Jawahar (Jay) Kalra
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Northern Medical Program, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon Health RegionSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, College of MedicineUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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