Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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TECHNICAL NOTE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39

A novel web application for rapidly searching the diagnostic case archive


Department of Anatomic Pathology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Scott Robertson
Department of Anatomic Pathology, L25, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_43_20

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Academic pathologists must have the ability to search their institution's archive of diagnostic case data. This ability is foundational for research, education, and other academic activities. However, the built-in search functions of commercial laboratory information systems are not always optimized for this activity, leading to delays between an initial search request, and eventual results delivery. To solve this problem, a novel web-based search platform was developed, named Pathtools, which allows our staff and trainees to directly and rapidly search our diagnostic case archive. Pathtools was built with open-source components and features a web-based user-interface. Pathtools uses an SQL database which was populated with anatomic pathology case data going back to 1980, and contains 4.2 million cases (as of July 31, 2020). Pathtools has two major modes of operation, “Preview Mode” and “Research Mode.” Since deployment in February of 2019, Pathtools carried out 33,817 searches in Preview Mode, averaging 0.72 s (standard deviation = 1.7) between search submission, and on-screen display of search results. In Research Mode, Pathtools has also been used to produce data sets for research activity, providing the data used in many abstracts and manuscripts our investigators submitted recently. Interestingly, 75% of search activity is from trainees during their preview time. In a survey of residents and fellows, 83% used Pathtools during the majority of their preview sessions, demonstrating an important role for this resource in trainee education. In conclusion, a web-based search tool can rapidly and securely provide search capability directly to end-users, which has augmented trainee education and research activity in our department.


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