Technology Innovation such as standardisation of pathology reporting through the use of the National Laboratory Medicine Catalogue, digital techniques in histopathology and genetics will be essential to achieve quality improvement.” The words of Dr Ian Barnes PhD FRCPath, Chair, Pathology Quality Assurance Review Board NHS England, in the National PathologyProgramme10, ‘Digital First’, would seem to be stating the obvious but sometimes even professional and qualified people get comfortable with the way things have always been done and need an informed nudge to progress.

Improving the Way Things are Done to Improve the Results that are Achieved

While the National Pathology Programme addresses the modernisation of clinical laboratory practices and processes at a high level, Dr Barnes was also asked, “… to strengthen and refine the quality assurance process for pathology services in England.” The subsequent Independent review11 proposed “an upgrade of pathology safety checks to improve patient outcomes.” One area of modernisation in the clinical laboratory, informatics, is the subject of a paper in The Clinical Biochemist Reviews which summarises the challenge and points to a solution12, “The nature of pathology services is changing under the combined pressures of increasing workloads, cost constraints and technological advancement. In the face of this, laboratory systems need to meet new demands for data exchange with clinical electronic record systems for test requesting and results reporting.” The paper continues, “Laboratory computing has been at the leading edge of health information systems application development for the past five decades… However, the health informatics landscape is changing with the development of ever more sophisticated electronic patient record systems and pathology computing is in danger of falling behind.” Laboratory News13 asks in ‘A clinical look at the future of pathology’, “Rapid change has become a defining feature of pathology – but can this change power a new generation of laboratory software to shape the role of the clinical laboratory of the future?”

The above is an excerpt of an article in Global Business Media publication, Special Report: Improving Laboratory Operations and Efficiencies written by Camilla Slade, Correspondent Global Business Media. To read the article in full click here.