[1649] The Impact of Digital Pathology on Pathologists' Time

Curtis Stratman, Laura Drogowski, Jonhan Ho. Omnyx, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Background: One of the factors that organizations must consider when evaluating the implementation of digital pathology is the impact to their pathologists' time. Stratman, Drogowski, and Ho presented results of time and motion studies performed in 2010 that quantified the time spent by pathologists on tasks related to routine case work. These tasks fell into three categories: workflow (case management), slide review (case analysis), and reporting (case documentation). Of the pathologists studied, it was found that a digital pathology solution has the potential to save an average of more than 13.4% of total case work time by eliminating case management activities. A follow-on question is understanding the difference in time spent by pathologists on slide review tasks when using glass slides versus digital images.
Design: This study utilizes two sets of cases. Each pathologist participant reads one set using glass slides and one set using digital images. After a washout period, each pathologist reads both sets again using the alternate method. The time spent reviewing the slide are compared within each pathology within each set between the two reading modes. This eliminates the bias of interpathologist timing differences and differences in difficulty between sets. Also, memory bias from repeated reads of the same case can be identified.
Results: The table below summarizes the results of slide review timings captured:

Summary of Time per Slide by Reading Mode
PathologistSlide Set1st Read: Mode1st Read:: # of Slides1st Read: Mean Time per Slide (sec)2nd Read: Mode2nd Read: # of Slides2nd Read: Mean Time per Slide (sec)

Pathologist 1 had moderate prior experience with the digital pathology application utilized in the study. Pathologist 2 had no prior experience with the digital pathology application utilized in the study. T-tests did not display a significant difference in mean time per slide between glass and digital reads.
Conclusions: Digital pathology has to the potential to be as efficient for reviewing slides as the microscope after a minimal training timeperiod. Provided that reporting methods and related tasks remain the same, the results of this study on slide review time, combined with those previously presented on savings in case management time, display a significant value-add opportunity for digital pathology implementation.
Category: Informatics

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 1:00 PM

Poster Session IV # 225, Tuesday Afternoon


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