Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10

Integration of digital gross pathology images for enterprise-wide access


1 Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2 Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
3 Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Information Services Division, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Liron Pantanowitz
Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.93892

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Background: Sharing digital pathology images for enterprise- wide use into a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is not yet widely adopted. We share our solution and 3-year experience of transmitting such images to an enterprise image server (EIS). Methods: Gross pathology images acquired by prosectors were integrated with clinical cases into the laboratory information system's image management module, and stored in JPEG2000 format on a networked image server. Automated daily searches for cases with gross images were used to compile an ASCII text file that was forwarded to a separate institutional Enterprise Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) Wrapper (EDW) server. Concurrently, an HL7-based image order for these cases was generated, containing the locations of images and patient data, and forwarded to the EDW, which combined data in these locations to generate images with patient data, as required by DICOM standards. The image and data were then "wrapped" according to DICOM standards, transferred to the PACS servers, and made accessible on an institution-wide basis. Results: In total, 26,966 gross images from 9,733 cases were transmitted over the 3-year period from the laboratory information system to the EIS. The average process time for cases with successful automatic uploads (n=9,688) to the EIS was 98 seconds. Only 45 cases (0.5%) failed requiring manual intervention. Uploaded images were immediately available to institution- wide PACS users. Since inception, user feedback has been positive. Conclusions: Enterprise- wide PACS- based sharing of pathology images is feasible, provides useful services to clinical staff, and utilizes existing information system and telecommunications infrastructure. PACS-shared pathology images, however, require a "DICOM wrapper" for multisystem compatibility.


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