Move to the forefront of your field
In the age of an increasingly complex laboratory information systems (LIS), electronic health records, big data, and personalized health care, the pathologist holds a critical position in patient care. Through clinical informatics—the application of information management in health care—pathologists can promote safe, efficient, effective, personalized, and responsive care. When properly applied, clinical informatics can benefit individuals, institutions, communities, and whole populations.
In today's health care environment, all pathologists need at least passing familiarity with clinical informatics. An understanding of clinical informatics affords pathologists the opportunity to lead in their practices and institutions through analysis of data. Application of Clinical Informatics:
- supports scalable, sustainable change in test utilization at the individual, practice, and health care system levels
- proves delivered measurable value in an evolving health care landscape (eg. through population health studies)
- supports the development of clinical informatics best practices
The CAP's Informatics Committee and Pathology Electronic Reporting (PERT) Committee provide publications, educational offerings, and electronic cancer reporting that empower pathologists to be recognized leaders in clinical informatics.
- "Explore Tools For Lab Analytics" will help you learn about the capabilities big data analytic tools provide compared with LIS and spreadsheets. Presented by James Harrison, MD, PhD, FCAP.
- "Integrating Clinical Decision Support and Patient Engagement in Value-based Laboratory Services" will help you discover how to improve care efficiency and clinical and financial outcomes using informatics-driven approaches. Presented by Philip Chen, MD, PhD, FCAP.
- "From Landscape to Roadmap: Inappropriate Laboratory Testing—Overuse and Underuse by the Numbers" explores both the overutilization and underutilization of laboratory testing and discusses how systematic differences in initial versus repeat testing, measurement criteria, and other factors suggest new priorities for improving laboratory testing. Presented by Ramy Arnaout, MD, DPhil, FCAP.
Our educational offerings build your knowledge and skills in critical clinical informatics topics. Log in anytime, anywhere to access these expert-authored online programs.
- The Clinical Informatics Resource Guide, the newest volume in the CAP's resource guide collection, is a compilation of recent informatics resources in one convenient package. This guide, updated in 2018, is available in electronic and print formats.
- Empowering Pathology in the Era of the Electronic Health Record is a special section published in Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, March 2015. The following five articles, commissioned by the Informatics Committee (formerly DIHIT), review key elements of managing a laboratory information system within the electronic health record. Various issues are discussed such as data exchange, order entry, result reporting, interfaces, and the role of the laboratory medical director.
- Clinical Informatics: To Measure Once, Think Twice by Alexis B. Carter, MD, FCAP, explains the required skills to remove ambiguity from health care systems and processes.
- Pathology Informatics Essentials for Residents: A Flexible Informatics Curriculum Linked to Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Milestones, Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, January 2017, describes the PIER curriculum and its development as well as the implementation process and available Resource Toolkit.
- CAP Comments on the FDA/CDC/NLM Workshop on Promoting Semantic Interoperability of Laboratory Data, September 2015 (PDF, 91 KB). Read the CAP's comments to the FDA/ONC/NLM, outlining issues facing pathologists regarding the use of Logical Observations Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) and the Unified Code for Units of Measure (UCUM).
- Laboratory Interoperability Best Practices, March, 2013 (PDF, 613 KB). A brief guide to understanding common issues with laboratory interfacing and the top 10 mistakes to avoid.
- A Call to Standardize Preanalytic Data Elements for Biospecimens, (Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, April 2014.) Learn about the most important data elements to collect on all biospecimens.
- A Call to Standardize Preanalytic Data Elements for Biospecimens, Part II. Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, September 2015. Learn about the specific variables (data fields) applicable to clinical chemistry and microbiology specimens.
- Electronic Cancer Reporting Tools. Create the highest quality cancer reports and help to ensure excellent patient care.
- The CAP electronic Cancer Checklists (eCC) enable pathologists to better manage their cancer patient data through standardized electronic reporting, which integrates with their anatomic pathology-laboratory information systems workflow.
- Download our useful glossary of clinical informatics-related terms and acronyms (PDF, 516 KB).
Pathology Informatics Essentials for Residents (PIER) Curriculum
PIER is a free informatics graduate medical education curriculum for pathology residency programs developed by the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC), the Association for Pathology Informatics (API), and the CAP.
PIER presents training topics, knowledge and skill statements, educational strategies, and learning resource options for program directors and faculty to effectively provide informatics training to their residents and meet Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education informatics milestone requirements.
LOINC Encoding Services
Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC ®) and Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine—Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT ®) are key standards for use in the US for the electronic exchange of laboratory test information.
We offer assistance to laboratories of all sizes with assessment of laboratory information terminology needs:
- Best practices of mapping, validation, or maintenance of LOINC and SNOMED CT for laboratory orders or observations
- Education on terminology best practices
- Steps to develop and maintain a data dictionary for your laboratory
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Get Involved With CAP Informatics Projects
Are you interested in informatics? Consider applying for the Informatics Committee.
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