PAP/NGC Programs Review
William D. Tench, MD
The CAP Web site recently underwent significant changes that give its visitors easier and more intuitive access to a wealth of information. Changes in registration and log-on activities have created one-click access to the Web site that can be maintained on the user’s computer. As with any other Web site, however, registrants should be thoughtful about the unique identifying information provided for registration because all Web sites may be subjected to hacking. It may be prudent to not provide the same information financial Web sites require, such as mother’s maiden name, and instead substitute other easy-to-recall personal information. Once you have logged in to the new home page, you will be greeted by welcome changes.
The new home page provides an array of task bar choices that require scrutiny but make access available to various functions. First, one can readily access personal profile information, including educational transcripts for CME documentation, by viewing the left side of the home page. Useful news, announcements, and archives information populate the right side of the page, and general access to pathologists and the public form the central part of the page. Also in the center is direct access to e-Lab Solutions, which makes it possible to submit proficiency test results, review answers, and manage PT data. One of the most useful sources of information for pathologists can be accessed through the menu bar function, Reference Resources and Publications.
The Reference Resources and Publications page provides access to the ever useful cancer protocols and checklists, Laboratory Accreditation Program checklists, and CPT coding information. Updates to the protocols and to LAP checklists are posted when they are completed. The CPT Coding page, which visitors can access by clicking on this option, provides a useful index to all of the CPT-related articles that have appeared in CAP TODAY. Included are answers to frequently asked questions that appear with regularity on pathology- and cytology-related listservs. The CPT page also makes it easy to submit a CPT coding question to the CAP staff. Accessible from the Reference Resources and Publications page, too, are options that allow access to CAP newsletters, topic centers, the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, and CAP TODAY.
Topic centers are general anatomic and clinical pathology listings of subspecialties and more that can lead the surfer to areas of interest that may appear also on other Web pages. Each specialty area page consists of resources, literature, products, and programs relevant to the specialty area. For example, the cytopathology page includes the Year End Summary Report for the Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Nongynecologic Cytopathology, an interesting group of cytopathology unknown cases, information on the slide-donation program, and useful cytopathology links. An easy link on this page, and on all of the specialty pages, provides access to the CAP Cytopathology Committee Web page. Committee Web pages include a definition of the responsibilities of the particular committee and a list of all committee members. In the future, the articles written by committee members that have appeared in CAP TODAY and Archives within the past five years will be listed on this page.
The menu bar provides access also to Education Programs, Accreditation and Laboratory Improvement, and Membership. The contents of these various pages is generally apparent from their titles, and some of the information is accessible through other page links. Revisions, updates, and special notices are found on these sites. For example, the Accreditation and Laboratory Improvement page contains a specific site on the complexities of the new gyn cytology proficiency testing program, including the CAP program description, information on slide donation, and, perhaps most important, a full explanation of the appeals process and a mechanism for online submission of an appeal.
Dr. Tench, a member of the CAP Cytopathology Committee, is with Palomar Medical Center, Escondido, Calif.