Implementing an online reporting system in the anatomical pathology department of a tertiary care teaching hospital in India: a case study

Kedar Radhakrishna, MB, BS, MPhil, is a senior resident in clinical decision support in the Division of Medical Informatics at St. John's Research Institute in Bangalore, India.
Perspectives in health information management / AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association 07/2013; 10:1c.
Source: PubMed


This article presents a case study in designing, developing, and implementing a web-enabled reporting application for the anatomical pathology (histopathology) department of a tertiary care teaching hospital in India. The article describes workflows, requirements assessment, and implementation methods that the investigators adopted for deploying the solution. The primary focus of the study was to demonstrate the requirements assessment performed, the strategies adopted, and the challenges encountered during the development and implementation. The study demonstrates a successful deployment as well as successful adoption of healthcare information technology by the end users. Factors that played a crucial role in adoption included the combination of people, processes, and technology. The lessons learned from this study would help application developers design efficient systems that suit the requirements of the end users while keeping in mind the ever-changing need for workflows and scalability in a developing country.

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    ABSTRACT: The modern anatomic pathology laboratory depends on a reliable information infrastructure to register specimens, record gross and microscopic findings, regulate laboratory workflow, formulate and sign out report(s), disseminate them to the intended recipients across the whole health system, and support quality assurance measures. This infrastructure is provided by the Anatomical Pathology Laboratory Information Systems (APLIS), which have evolved over decades and now are beginning to support evolving technologies like asset tracking and digital imaging. As digital pathology transitions from "the way of the future" to "the way of the present," the APLIS continues to be one of the key effective enablers of the scope and practice of pathology. In this review, we discuss the evolution, necessary components, architecture and functionality of the APLIS that are crucial to today's practicing pathologist and address the demands of emerging trends on the future APLIS.
    Advances in anatomic pathology 03/2012; 19(2):81-96. DOI:10.1097/PAP.0b013e318248b787 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For making medical decisions, healthcare professionals require that all necessary information is both correct and easily available. Collaborative Digital Anatomic Pathology refers to the use of information technology that supports the creation and sharing or exchange of information, including data and images, during the complex workflow performed in an Anatomic Pathology department from specimen reception to report transmission and exploitation. Collaborative Digital Anatomic Pathology is supported by standardization efforts toward knowledge representation for sharable and computable clinical information. The goal of the international integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) initiative is precisely specifying how medical informatics standards should be implemented to meet specific health care needs and making systems integration more efficient and less expensive. The IHE Anatomic Pathology initiative was launched to implement the best use of medical informatics standards in order to produce, share and exchange machine-readable structured reports and their evidences (including whole slide images) within hospitals and across healthcare facilities. DICOM supplements 122 and 145 provide flexible object information definitions dedicated respectively to specimen description and WSI acquisition, storage and display. The profiles "Anatomic Pathology Reporting for Public Health" (ARPH) and "Anatomic Pathology Structured Report" (APSR) provide standard templates and transactions for sharing or exchanging structured reports in which textual observations - encoded using PathLex, an international controlled vocabulary currently being mapped to SNOMED CT concepts - may be bound to digital images or regions of interest in images. Current implementations of IHE Anatomic Pathology profiles in North America, France and Spain demonstrate the applicability of recent advances in standards for Collaborative Digital Anatomic Pathology. The use of machine-readable format of Anatomic Pathology information supports the development of computer-based decision support as well as secondary use of Anatomic Pathology information for research or public health.
    Studies in health technology and informatics 08/2012; 179:105-22.
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    ABSTRACT: Integrating anatomic pathology information- text and images-into electronic health care records is a key challenge for enhancing clinical information exchange between anatomic pathologists and clinicians. The aim of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) international initiative is precisely to ensure interoperability of clinical information systems by using existing widespread industry standards such as Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) and Health Level Seven (HL7). To define standard-based informatics transactions to integrate anatomic pathology information to the Healthcare Enterprise. We used the methodology of the IHE initiative. Working groups from IHE, HL7, and DICOM, with special interest in anatomic pathology, defined consensual technical solutions to provide end-users with improved access to consistent information across multiple information systems. The IHE anatomic pathology technical framework describes a first integration profile, "Anatomic Pathology Workflow," dedicated to the diagnostic process including basic image acquisition and reporting solutions. This integration profile relies on 10 transactions based on HL7 or DICOM standards. A common specimen model was defined to consistently identify and describe specimens in both HL7 and DICOM transactions. The IHE anatomic pathology working group has defined standard-based informatics transactions to support the basic diagnostic workflow in anatomic pathology laboratories. In further stages, the technical framework will be completed to manage whole-slide images and semantically rich structured reports in the diagnostic workflow and to integrate systems used for patient care and those used for research activities (such as tissue bank databases or tissue microarrayers).
    Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine 11/2009; 133(11):1841-9. DOI:10.1043/1543-2165-133.11.1841 · 2.84 Impact Factor