What Hematopathology Tells US About the Future of Pathology Informatics (Special Section–First World Congress on Pathology Informatics) (Report)

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The Changing Role of the Pathologist In 1900, the laboratory information system for the University of Michigan was a single leather-bound ledger with handwritten diagnoses. Amazingly, a substantial number of the entries did not list the patient’s name and were identified only as specimens submitted by a particular doctor. At a time when there were few effective therapies, the diagnoses often consisted of the single word carcinoma or leukemia. That sufficed, as there was little more that could be done for the patient. The development of effective therapies for a variety of hematologic malignancies, including Hodgkin lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, created new demands for more specific diagnoses. This fact, along with a number of developments outlined below, has created great demands for pathology informatics. Today’s hematopathology report often spans multiple pages and incorporates a wide range of data culled from different laboratories as well as from clinics.

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