Rationale and objectivesThe current paradigm of cancer diagnosis involves uncoordinated communication of findings from radiology and pathology to downstream physicians. Discordance between these findings can require additional time from downstream users to resolve, or given incorrect resolution, may adversely impact treatment decisions. To mitigate this problem, we developed a web-based system, called RadPath, for correlating and integrating radiology and pathology reporting.
Materials and methodsRadPath includes interfaces to our institution's clinical information systems, which are used to retrieve reports, images, and test results that are structured into an interactive compendium for a diagnostic patient case. The system includes an editing interface for physicians, allowing for the inclusion of additional clinical data, as well as the ability to retrospectively correlate and contextualize imaging findings following pathology diagnosis.
ResultsDuring pilot deployment and testing over the course of 1 year, physicians at our institution have completed 60 RadPath cases, requiring an average of 128 seconds from a radiologist and an average of 93 seconds from a pathologist per case. Several technical and workflow challenges were encountered during development, including interfacing with diverse clinical information systems, automatically structuring report contents, and determining the appropriate physicians to create RadPath summaries. Reaction to RadPath has been positive, with users valuing the system's ability to consolidate diagnostic information.
ConclusionsWith the increasing complexity of medicine and the movement toward team-based disease management, there is a need for improved clinical communication and information exchange. RadPath provides a platform for generating coherent and correlated diagnostic summaries in cancer diagnosis with minimal additional effort from physicians.