Rationale and Objectives
The 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
Materials and Methods
RadPath 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.
During 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.
With 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.