Move to the forefront of your field
In the age of increasingly complex laboratory information systems, electronic health records, big data, and personalized health care, pathologists hold a critical position in patient care. Through clinical informatics—the application of information management in health care—pathologists promote safe, efficient, effective, personalized, and responsive care. When properly applied, clinical informatics can benefit individuals, institutions, communities, and whole populations.
Clinical Informatics and Pathology
Pathologists need to be familiar with clinical informatics—an understanding of clinical informatics affords pathologists the opportunity to lead in their practices and institutions through analysis of laboratory data. The 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.
Information You Can Use
- "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 under-utilization 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.
- "Demystifying Regulatory Requirements for the Management of Lab Information and Information Systems" requirements to help you maintain the integrity of data and to keep patients safe through the effective management of information that comes from the laboratory. Presented by Teresa P. Darcy, MD, FCAP.
- "Whole Slide Imaging (WSI) for Primary Diagnosis: Is Your Practice Prepared for the Digital Future?" addresses common questions pathologists have about this approval and its implications for the field of digital pathology. Presented by Andrew J. Evans, MD, PhD, FCAP, Marilyn M. Bui, MD, PhD, FCAP, and Liron Pantanowitz, MD, FCAP.
- "Real Intelligence About Artificial Intelligence" introduces various AI and ML models used to analyze clinical data and staffing qualifications, as well as training necessary to perform these associated duties. In addition, case discussions regarding the use, validation, challenges, and pitfalls in evaluation of these products are presented. Presented by Matthew Hanna, MD, FCAP and Ronald Jackups, Jr., MD, PhD, 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.
- View all of the for-credit and non-credit informatics educational offerings.
- Read our Informatics Competency Model For Pathologists to compare your knowledge and skills against those demonstrating proficiency in this discipline.
- 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.
- Pathologists' Place in the Electronic Health Record Landscape
- Stand-alone Laboratory Information Systems Versus Laboratory Modules Incorporated in the Electronic Health Record
- Management of Laboratory Data and Information Exchange in the Electronic Health Record
- Accreditation and Regulatory Implications of Electronic Health Records for Laboratory Reporting
- Pathologists as Stewards of Laboratory Information
- 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.
- Download our useful glossary of clinical informatics-related terms and acronyms (PDF, 516 KB).
Programs and Services
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.
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 Pathology Informatics Essentials for Residents (PIER) curriculum and its development as well as the implementation process and available Resource Toolkit.
Cancer Reporting Tools
- Electronic Cancer Reporting Tools. Create the highest quality cancer reports and help to ensure excellent patient care.
- Our 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.
Get Involved With CAP Informatics Projects
Are you interested in informatics? Consider applying for the Informatics Committee