Design and Implementation of a Model Digital Pathology Network for Teleconsultation and Workload Distribution within the Air Force Medical Service
Anil V Parwani, Leslie Anthony, Orly Aridor, David Glinski, Ricky Bond, Nicholas Lancia, Joseph P Pelletier, Dale M Selby, Emily Green, Kyle Rickard, Chris Saylor, Jonhan Ho. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA; 81st Medical Group Hospital, Biloxi, MS; Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, San Antonio, TX; David Grant Medical Center, Fairfield, CA; Wright-Patterson Medical Center, Fairborn, OH
Background: Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) is exploring ways to introduce digital pathology (DP), utilizing whole slide imaging (WSI), into its pathology labs. As part of a research project, UPMC is supporting the design and implementation of a model DP network within AFMS.
Design: The model DP network would support remote sharing of digital slides between 4 AFMS regional and 2 smaller pathology labs distributed across the US. To design the DP network, unique needs and requirements of AFMS pathologists and pathology organization were identified using the contextual inquiry method by Holtzblatt et al. Findings were utilized to recommend most appropriate clinical applications. The network would be comprised of US commercially available and serviced WSI scanners. Following installation of scanners and successful connection to the AFMS intranet, implementation of DP across the recommended clinical application/s will be established. DP adoption and utilization will be tracked and evaluated.
Results: Contextual inquiry findings were reported previously (Ho J et al. USCAP 2012). The recommended clinical applications were consultations, quality assurance, and global workload distribution. A comprehensive review and comparison of WSI scanners/systems was performed and included scanner/system technical features, image quality, and usability. A single preferred WSI system was selected and installed at all participating sites. The clinical application currently being implemented is a virtual conference of AFMS subspecialists located at various pathology centers (i.e., dermatopathology, oral pathology). Other applications to be established are informal/ formal subspecialty consultations and potentially centralization of immunohistochemical stains.
Conclusions: Introduction of DP into a large healthcare organization such as AFMS requires careful design and implementation to ensure successful adoption and utilization. Implementation of the model network and lessons learned will provide a valuable framework to help guide AFMS pathologists prepare for an innovative and streamlined DP practice.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 1:00 PM
Poster Session VI # 271, Wednesday Afternoon