Improving the creation and reporting of structured findings during digital pathology review
Review article, 2016
Background: Today, pathology reporting consists of many separate tasks, carried out by multiple people. Common tasks include dictation during case review, transcription, verification of the transcription, report distribution, and report the key findings to follow-up registries. Introduction of digital workstations makes it possible to remove some of these tasks and simplify others. This study describes the work presented at the Nordic Symposium on Digital Pathology 2015, in Linköping, Sweden. Methods: We explored the possibility to have a digital tool that simplifies image review by assisting note-taking, and with minimal extra effort, populates a structured report. Thus, our prototype sees reporting as an activity interleaved with image review rather than a separate final step. We created an interface to collect, sort, and display findings for the most common reporting needs, such as tumor size, grading, and scoring. Results: The interface was designed to reduce the need to retain partial findings in the head or on paper, while at the same time be structured enough to support automatic extraction of key findings for follow-up registry reporting. The final prototype was evaluated with two pathologists, diagnosing complicated partial mastectomy cases. The pathologists experienced that the prototype aided them during the review and that it created a better overall workflow. Conclusions: These results show that it is feasible to simplify the reporting tasks in a way that is not distracting, while at the same time being able to automatically extract the key findings. This simplification is possible due to the realization that the structured format needed for automatic extraction of data can be used to offload the pathologists' working memory during the diagnostic review.