Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3

Implementation of a software application for presurgical case history review of frozen section pathology cases

1 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
2 Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Correspondence Address:
Andrew P Norgan
200 First Street SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55905
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.201112

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Background: The frozen section pathology practice at Mayo Clinic in Rochester performs ~20,000 intraoperative consultations a year (~70–80/weekday). To prepare for intraoperative consultations, surgical pathology fellows and residents review the case history, previous pathology, and relevant imaging the day before surgery. Before the work described herein, review of pending surgical pathology cases was a paper-based process requiring handwritten transcription from the electronic health record, a laborious and potentially error prone process. Methods: To facilitate more efficient case review, a modular extension of an existing surgical listing software application (Surgical and Procedure Scheduling [SPS]) was developed. The module (SPS-pathology-specific module [PM]) added pathology-specific functionality including recording case notes, prefetching of radiology, pathology, and operative reports from the medical record, flagging infectious cases, and real-time tracking of cases in the operating room. After implementation, users were surveyed about its impact on the surgical pathology practice. Results: There were 16 survey respondents (five staff pathologists and eleven residents or fellows). All trainees (11/11) responded that the application improved an aspect of surgical list review including abstraction from medical records (10/11), identification of possibly infectious cases (7/11), and speed of list preparation (10/11). The average reported time savings in list preparation was 1.4 h/day. Respondents indicated the application improved the speed (11/16), clarity (13/16), and accuracy (10/16) of morning report. During the workday, respondents reported the application improved real-time case review (14/16) and situational awareness of ongoing cases (13/16). Conclusions: A majority of respondents found the SPS-PM improved all preparatory and logistical aspects of the Mayo Clinic frozen section surgical pathology practice. In addition, use of the SPS-PM saved an average of 1.4 h/day for residents and fellows engaged in preparatory case review.

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