Raymond D. Aller, MD,
Hal Weiner and
Michael Weilert, MD
informatics poised for a push
more than two decades after it was introduced, pathology informatics
is poised to move into a growth stage. “In essence, it’s
now reaching for critical mass,” says Bruce Friedman,
MD, pathologist and professor of pathology at the University
of Michigan Medical School,
of pathology informatics, which involves using computers to
manage and analyze clinical and research pathology data, has
been picking up steam during the past 10 years, but the last
five years have been particularly strong, says Dr. Friedman,
who has been involved in pathology informatics for 21 years
and has played a key role in developing the discipline. Three
factors attest to that growth, Dr. Friedman says.
sizable annual meetings focus on pathology informatics: Automated
Information Management in the Clinical Laboratory (AIMCL), Ann
Arbor, which has been held for the past 21 years; Advancing
Pathology Informatics, Imaging, and the Internet (APIII), recently
renamed Advancing Practice, Instruction and Innovation through
Informatics, Pittsburgh, first held in 1996; and the American
Association for Clinical Chemistry’s Lab Portal Jamboree,
which is in its third year. Pathology informatics is also a
topic at the annual meetings of such organizations as the College
of American Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology,
Clinical Laboratory Management Association, and AACC, as well
as at the Executive War College.
the Association for Pathology Informatics, formed in the summer
of 2000, has grown to approximately 220 dues-paying members.
numbers of academic centers are recognizing pathology informatics
as a formal area of disciplinary inquiry. “The better
academic departments feel deficient if they don’t have
some expertise in this area,” Dr. Friedman says.
academic divisions of pathology informatics exist, all of which
have at least one faculty member whose main responsibility is
to develop, implement, maintain, and improve lab information
systems, says Michael Becich, MD, PhD, chairman of pathology
at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Shadyside. Dr.
Becich, who has been working with Dr. Friedman since 1991 to
further pathology informatics, directs UPMC’s Center for
of Pittsburgh Medical Center, through its Center for Pathology
Informatics and Center for Biomedical Informatics, and Johns
Hopkins University, through its Center for Computer Science
in Medicine, offer formal fellowship training in pathology informatics.
stresses that growth of this discipline is critical to other
medical specialties, especially oncology. For instance, he says,
the University of Pittsburgh, which has 10 pathology informatics
faculty members and more than $13.3 million in funding and research
in this area, is moving aggressively to use what has been learned
in pathology informatics to transform cancer informatics.
the majority of work needs to be done in what I would consider
the true research environment around pathology informatics—true
basic science around what pathology informatics is—and
our impact on our brethren in medicine,” says Dr. Becich.
“Only a few [academic] divisions have such intellectual
rigor and discipline. But every program I talk to is building
Desktop printer designed to meet proposed FDA rules
has unveiled the TLP 3842, a dedicated thermal
label printer for the desktop, in anticipation of FDA guidelines
on unit-of-use marking.
offers reduced space symbology support, 300 dots-per-inch high-resolution
printing, and such connectivity features as USB communications interfaces
and the optional internal ZebraNet PrintServer II.
was introduced after the FDA proposed a rule that would require
individual medication doses to be labeled with its national drug
code number encoded in a bar code. The FDA plans to issue its final
rule by year-end and proposed that it take effect three years later.
Connectivity for Stratus CS analyzer
Holdings is offering a connectivity solution for the Stratus CS
analyzer in acute care diagnostic environments via a strategic partnership
with Telcor Inc.
management tool, Quick-Linc, automatically inputs patient test results
into the patient record, ensuring that required data is captured
for electronic medical record and billing files.
Dade Behring Holdings
FTC action says it all: do not call
As if spam e-mail
isn’t enough, as we discussed in last month’s “Newsbytes”
column, spam voice mail messages, or telemarketing calls, are also
wasting our time.
have a “do not call” list service, which means that
20 states do not. But now the Federal Trade Commission is stepping
in and providing consumers with the ability to place their phone
numbers on a national “do not call” registry. After
October it will be illegal for most telemarketers to call a telephone
number listed on the registry. Those that do could be fined up to
$11,000 for each violation.
The FTC will
require telemarketers to check the national registry every 90 days
for phone numbers they are prohibited from calling. Consumers will
be able to register online or by telephone starting this month.
Telephone sign-up will be phased in over an eight-week period, starting
on the West Coast.
however, are exempt from this process, including companies with
which a consumer has an existing relationship, banks, insurance
companies, airlines, and telephone companies. Also exempt are solicitations
for donations, surveys, customer satisfaction, and debt collection,
as well as all business-to-business calls. But if you ask an organization
not to call you, it must honor your request. You should document
the date, time, and person with whom you spoke, and request a written
confirmation that the company will remove you from its calling list.
more information about the FTC’s initiative.
New version of Instrument Manager released
has introduced Instrument Manager version 8.02, the latest release
of its data-management system.
runs on Caché version 5, adding support for Windows XP. It
can hold patient results based on Westgard quality control rules
and notify users of this event via pop-up window, pager, or e-mail.
option allows users to collect data from one or more connections
and output that information to a text file. The user defines the
data to be collected and the file format.
In a separate
announcement, Data Innovations Asia reported that Venus Technology
Co. (VTEC) and Fortune Julong Technology GOY (Julong) have joined
its business partner program.
Thailand, a marketer of specialty medical products, will distribute
Instrument Manager and ImExpress, Data Innovations’ medical
device and laboratory instrument interfacing product.
China, develops hospital and laboratory information systems. The
company, which has more than 200 hospital customers throughout China,
will use ImExpress.
Memorial Health Services of Southern California
has gone live with Xifin’s accounts receivable management
system and services.
Texas Health Resources has contracted to install Cerner’s PathNet laboratory
information system in the 13 hospitals in its system. Cerner Corp.
Dr. Aller is director of bioterrorism preparedness and response for Los
Angeles County Public Health Acute Communicable Diseases. He can be reached
at email@example.com. Mr. Weiner
is president of Weiner Consulting Services, LLC, Florence, Ore. He can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr.
Weilert is director of laboratories, Community Hospitals of Central California,
Fresno. He can be reached at email@example.com.