College of American Pathologists
Printable Version

  New this year: Fields of View education course


CAP Today




January 2011

Barbara Blond, MBA, MT(ASCP)

The CAP has a new online education program this year that will be of value to laboratories and those who use computer-assisted screening for Pap tests.

The program, Fields of View, uses online microscopic fields and whole-slide images to mimic workflow in the laboratory. Participants can choose from modules that feature SurePath (FOVK/FOVK1) or ThinPrep (FOVM/FOVM1) Pap tests. Participants in either module will earn 10 continuing medical education/continuing education credits annually.

Fields of View is a unique education simulation that closely follows workflow within the laboratory. The FOV online control panel features a large image field for review of the cells, case history, and tools to move among the fields of view and anywhere on the slide. The user will press online “buttons” to move between fields of view, mark or unmark fields, change the microscopic objective (4×, 10×, 20×, 40×), and review the whole-slide image (digital slide).

In the laboratory, primary screeners preview slides before the secondary screener. In the Fields of View program, the primary screener (usually a cytotechnologist) will view preselected microscopic fields on a stained SurePath or ThinPrep Pap slide. The primary screener will electronically mark preselected fields that have abnormalities, as well as additional cells or areas of interest on the slide. If marks are made during review, the participant must review them on the whole-slide image. Finally, the primary screener will provide cytopathologic interpretations on an online result form and additional information related to each case.

In the laboratory, slides and paperwork pass from the primary to the secondary screener. In the program, secondary screeners (pathologists) can view the primary screener’s result form and the individual microscopic fields and whole-slide image as marked by the primary screener in their laboratory. The secondary screener can also mark the individual microscopic fields on the primary screener’s entry, if so desired. Alternatively, the secondary screener can view unmarked preselected fields and an unmarked whole-slide image. After completion, the secondary screener will submit cytopathologic interpretations and additional answers for each case based on the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology 2006 consensus guidelines for managing women with abnormal cervical cancer screening tests.

Here are the advantages to enrolling in the Fields of View program:

  • Immediate feedback on interpretation after the individual result form is submitted and approved.
  • Education for primary screeners who use computer-assisted screen-ing devices to evaluate Pap tests.
  • Insight into internal educational needs, based on pathologists seeing how their cytotechnologist staff use and mark the preselected fields using a computer-assisted screening system.
  • Education for those who do not use computer-assisted screening instruments to evaluate Pap tests but would like to have the experience through an online course.
  • Practice in use of whole-slide images.
  • An understanding of the transformation value of the Fields of View product, because the screener must provide information on the next steps needed in managing the patient after Pap test interpretation through use of the ASCCP guidelines.
  • Firsthand experience of the productivity gains that real-world computer-assisted screening systems afford—the ability to scan a slide for abnormalities in a fraction of the time needed with a traditional microscope.
  • A participant summary report for each lab that will show peer performance on cases that are the same for all enrollees in each module.

Like any CAP online program, Fields of View can be accessed from a computer at any site. You can earn your CME/CE credits in your workplace, home, or library. Participation in Fields of View will require a Mac or Windows operating system, Internet access, and Adobe Flash. You may need to explain the program requirements to your network administrators to unblock facility firewalls. Use of one of the following browsers is recommended: Internet Explorer 8.× and higher, Firefox 2.×, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome.

Users of SurePath slides should order FOVK and, for each additional participant, FOVK1. Users of ThinPrep slides should order FOVM and, for each additional participant, FOVM1. To enroll in or ask questions about the program, call the CAP customer contact center at 800-323-4040, option 1.

Barbara Blond is CAP technical manager, Surveys.