Integrating Image Analysis into the Pathology Workflow: Reduced Opportunities for Errors and Improved Efficiency
MR Verardo, RL Ryan, S DeVore, J Schmid. Dako North America, Carpinteria, CA
Background: The modern pathology laboratory has the challenge of performing more work with fewer resources, while still producing quality results. Integrating efficient workflow solutions into the pathology laboratory is one example of a solution to this challenge. The steps used to produce a slide for viewing by a pathologist have been considered to be part of the pathology lab workflow. However, integrating imaging and image analysis into this workflow has traditionally been overlooked. Here we describe the design of an integrated image analysis workflow into the pathology laboratory.
Design: Slides were processed by AutostainerLink instruments using the DakoLink middleware manager software. A Dako Automated Cellular Imaging System (ACIS) III was also connected to the DakoLink middleware system. Image analysis applications were used for analysis. Following this analysis by a pathologist of the digital slides, reports were generated. This workflow was compared to the traditional model of evaluating slides on a manual microscope and writing a pathologist report. The number of data entries and number of characters in both the automated workflow and manual imaging workflow was recorded.
Results: The number of times the information for a slide was re-entered or re-written was reduced. Also, the number of points where errors could be introduced into the pathology workflow was reduced following the integration of imaging and image analysis into the workflow. Also, by incorporating slide scanning into off times and incorporating image analysis into working hours, efficiency was increased overall for digital imaging.
Conclusions: By integrating workflow concepts into imaging and image analysis the opportunity for errors can be reduced while increasing efficiency by using instruments in traditionally off times and through parallel processing. Thus, a solution to new constraints in the pathology laboratory, that also increases overall performance (as measured by reduced opportunity for errors), is the integration of imaging and image analysis into automated pathology workflows.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 1:00 PM
Poster Session VI # 249, Wednesday Afternoon