The transition to digital pathology is happening: How are you going digital?

Sanj Lallie of Source LDPath looks at the benefits of transitioning to a digital pathology workflow and charts a vision of a virtual histopathology department for every NHS trust.

Pathology departments across the UK are in a state of operational emergency. While the NHS workforce continues to grow, the demand for services continues to expand – with an emphasis on diagnostic testing. The COVID-19 pandemic, along with a multitude of challenges pathology departments currently face on a day-to-day basis surrounding case overload and staffing shortages, has positioned substantial strain on laboratory reporting and subsequently the delivery of patient care. Uncertainties generated from the COVID-19 pandemic surrounding elective treatment administration and pathology-based interventions make it challenging to accurately predict how quickly, and on what operational basis, UK hospitals will be able to recover the facilitation of these services. With this said, it is not difficult to conclude that the most influential factor in creating such change is to address the rising case numbers for pathology reporting, and then work to operationally meet this capacity. 

Digital technology presents a platform for clinical workforces to address this change, allowing pathology departments to deliver services that are more streamlined; increasing the efficiency of case reporting and closing the gap between case formulation and the delivery of treatment. The opportunity for pathology services to turn to a complete digital workflow, providing end-to-end digital solutions for a faster and more effective case turnaround, brings benefits that will advance the practice of pathology across hospitals worldwide.

UK pathology diagnostic services 

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