Wednesday, December 6, 2023

CAP Today November 2023: Bonanza of Interesting Articles

 Given that headline, I should probably add that all the articles in CAP TODAY are likely interesting to somebody, somewhere.  But this issue has a bonanza that are related to technology trends.

Find the home page for CAP TODAY here:

Here are the titles I found of interest:


A pathology department found that more and more lung biopsies were scanty.  Root cause?  More and more were being split in half for outside molecular testing, leaving only half of the tiny biopsy for in-house microcoscopy.  Read the story here.


Antibiotic resistance is a critical national need but too often still depends on grampa's lab methods.  Read about new approaches and guidance here.


The balance of central and point of care testing is always an issue; update here.  


A panel discusses med labs and generative AI, here.


Well-known lab leader Ken Bloom MD discusses spatial biology here.

(Separately, spatial biology lawsuit here).


How fast will digital pathology / whole slide imaging come?  Debate here.


Pathology navigators help ensure genomics gets done, done quickly, and to the doctor and patient.  Here.

(Separately, from J Clin Oncol, see work on rapid integrated molecular diagnostics at MGH from Dagogo-Jack, here.)


Messy or confusing molecular reports are an evergreen topic, update here on best practices and EHR integration.


I asked Chat GPT 3.5 for a quick summary of the 5000 word panel interview on integrated genomic reports, article #8 above.  


In an online discussion, informatics experts gathered to discuss the evolving landscape of laboratory information systems (LIS) and electronic health records (EHR) reports. They highlighted several key themes:

  1. Device and Report Integration: Experts emphasized the growing need for device integration in laboratory information systems and the integration of reports in both LIS and EHR systems.
  2. Ease of Access: As healthcare becomes more complex, there is a greater emphasis on providing easy access to laboratory results for clinicians. The discussion highlighted the importance of user-friendly interfaces and the challenges of ensuring that clinicians view complete reports.
  3. Challenges with EHR Systems: Some participants noted challenges with EHR systems, particularly in displaying data effectively. There were discussions about the need to improve data integrity and consolidate data from various local LISs.
  4. Emerging Technologies: The experts discussed the integration of digital pathology and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms into laboratory systems. Digital pathology is becoming increasingly important, and AI algorithms are being used for diagnosing cases and providing valuable insights.
  5. PDF Reports: The importance of including PDF renditions of reports within HL7 messages was highlighted, as this format is considered ideal for diagnostic data representation.
  6. Impact of Epic EHR: The dominance of Epic EHR in the healthcare industry was acknowledged, with experts mentioning the challenges of accommodating Epic's platform and the need for additional solutions to drive innovation.
  7. Cloud Solutions: Cloud-based solutions were discussed as a way to streamline data integration and connectivity, especially as the healthcare industry faces changing regulatory patterns related to data hosting.
  8. Staffing Challenges: The discussion touched on the staffing shortages in healthcare IT departments, which impact the ability to implement and support LIS and EHR systems effectively.
  9. Process Engineering: Informatics experts find themselves increasingly involved in process engineering and troubleshooting, expanding their roles beyond traditional laboratory and pathology responsibilities.
  10. Digital Pathology: The conversation highlighted the rapid growth of interest in integrated digital pathology solutions, AI applications, and the challenges of integrating digital pathology images into laboratory workflows.

In summary, the panel discussion underscored the ongoing need for simplicity, interoperability, and user-friendly interfaces in laboratory information systems and EHRs. It also recognized the growing importance of digital pathology and AI in transforming the field of pathology and laboratory medicine.