Digital Pathology Transformation in a Supraregional Germ Cell Tumour Network.
Colling R., Protheroe A., Sullivan M., Macpherson R., Tuthill M., Redgwell J., Traill Z., Molyneux A., Johnson E., Abdullah N., Taibi A., Mercer N., Haynes HR., Sackville A., Craft J., Reis J., Rees G., Soares M., Roberts ISD., Siiankoski D., Hemsworth H., Roskell D., Roberts-Gant S., White K., Rittscher J., Davies J., Browning L., Verrill C.
BACKGROUND: In this article we share our experience of creating a digital pathology (DP) supraregional germ cell tumour service, including full digitisation of the central laboratory. METHODS: DP infrastructure (Philips) was deployed across our hospital network to allow full central digitisation with partial digitisation of two peripheral sites in the supraregional testis germ cell tumour network. We used a survey-based approach to capture the quantitative and qualitative experiences of the multidisciplinary teams involved. RESULTS: The deployment enabled case sharing for the purposes of diagnostic reporting, second opinion, and supraregional review. DP was seen as a positive step forward for the departments involved, and for the wider germ cell tumour network, and was completed without significant issues. Whilst there were challenges, the transition to DP was regarded as worthwhile, and examples of benefits to patients are already recognised. CONCLUSION: Pathology networks, including highly specialised services, such as in this study, are ideally suited to be digitised. We highlight many of the benefits but also the challenges that must be overcome for such clinical transformation. Overall, from the survey, the change was seen as universally positive for our service and highlights the importance of engagement of the whole team to achieve success.