Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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BOOK REVIEW
J Pathol Inform 2012,  3:38

Review of "Pathology informatics: Theory and practice" by L Pantanowitz, JM Tuthill, and UGJ Balis (Editors)


Department of Laboratory Medicine, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, M.C. 34-60, 1000 East Mountain Blvd., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711, USA

Date of Submission29-May-2011
Date of Acceptance11-Jun-2012
Date of Web Publication31-Oct-2012

Correspondence Address:
Myra L Wilkerson
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, M.C. 34-60, 1000 East Mountain Blvd., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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How to cite this article:
Wilkerson ML. Review of "Pathology informatics: Theory and practice" by L Pantanowitz, JM Tuthill, and UGJ Balis (Editors). J Pathol Inform 2012;3:38

How to cite this URL:
Wilkerson ML. Review of "Pathology informatics: Theory and practice" by L Pantanowitz, JM Tuthill, and UGJ Balis (Editors). J Pathol Inform [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Nov 14];3:38. Available from: http://www.jpathinformatics.org/text.asp?2012/3/1/38/103008

The authors and editors of this book wanted to compile core knowledge of informatics essentials for pathologists, residents, and laboratory staff in a reference text that would cover the basics of information technology necessary for the practice of clinical and anatomic pathology, as well as medical research. This text addresses informatics related to imaging, clinical practice, public health, hardware, software, databases, patient safety, error reduction, management, and regulatory issues in the context of everyday laboratory practice and pertinent history and developments in the field of pathology informatics. The book presents basic informatics concepts starting with a historic perspective and building knowledge in a logical progression as one reads through the chapters. The text is easy to read, has little repetition except when necessary to expand on a concept in a particular context, contains abundant color photographs and illustrations, and is well referenced.

Laboratories or pathology groups who are considering purchasing a laboratory information system (LIS) should first read the chapters on Databases, Laboratory Information Systems Overview, LIS Selection and Implementation, Laboratory Information System Operations, and Information Systems for Specialized Laboratories. You will be well equipped with information, understand the process to select an LIS, and be prepared to make an informed, logical choice.

The chapter on Digital Imaging is outstanding. It is thorough but concise, containing a wealth of information and illustrations to assist the reader in grasping the basic concepts and terminology related to a variety of imaging needs and tools utilized throughout the laboratory. A related chapter, Advanced Imaging Techniques, presents an overview of specialized microscopy and imaging techniques with which many pathologists will be unfamiliar.

Correct patient identification is a critical issue for laboratories. The chapter on Specimen Tracking and Identification Systems addresses this issue and current technological solutions, including an extensive review of barcode and RFID technologies with their respective strengths, limitations, and availability.

To summarize, I think this book could serve several practical purposes. It would make an excellent foundation text for a continuing education series for pathologists and technical staff, or a unit of a pathology residency training curriculum. The book could serve as a core foundational text for a pathology informatics fellowship program. Many chapters would be pertinent to include in laboratory technology training program curricula, including medical technology, cytotechnology, histotechnology, and phlebotomy programs. Each of these categories of technology trainees would benefit from gaining basic informatics knowledge related to the jobs they will perform and the laboratory information systems and related technology they will be required to use. This text would also serve as an excellent reference for members of the LIS database support team who are often recruited from bench level technology positions and generally have an inadequate background in informatics.

In my opinion, Pathology Informatics: Theory and Practice should be on the office shelves of laboratory medical directors, operations managers, and technical specialists to serve as a handy reference for common laboratory informatics problems, knowledge, and solutions. There are enough details in the text with numerous references to help the reader explore topics in more depth if desired. I enthusiastically, recommend this book. If it is kept up-to-date with future editions, it will become a foundational text in laboratory medicine.




 

 
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