03/12/2015 03:32 EDT | Updated 05/12/2015 05:59 EDT

Newfoundland health authority releases review recommending ways of improving lab

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador's largest health authority has released the results of an external review that gives several recommendations to improve its pathology laboratory.

In its review, the Ontario-based University Health Network focused on concerns raised in an internal audit regarding workload, staffing, management structure and standards compliance.

Among other things, the review recommends hiring a medical director, establishing a training program for pathology assistants, setting up a new reporting procedure and conducting a workload analysis.

In December, Eastern Health said its internal audit found issues with operating procedures and increased turnaround times, as well as staff shortages and communication issues.

At the time, the health authority also said the report indicated a possible impact on compliance with recommendations stemming from a public inquiry into botched breast cancer tests between 1997 and 2005.

However, Eastern Health said the issues raised were considered low-risk to patient safety.