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The 7 Steps to Digital Pathology

“There’s nothing wrong with the microscope.”

“Our Information Systems won’t integrate with other technology.”

“Change is hard.”

These are a couple of the concerns pathologists have about digital pathology. But as they learn more, pathologists are finding that their apprehension about going digital is holding them back from reaping significant benefits. They are also discovering that old methods can’t compete against today’s digital solutions.

The evolution can seem daunting, even to those who realise that digital methods offer increased speed, accuracy, efficiency and collaboration, but best practices and expert resources are available to help.

Using a digital pathology workflow offers many benefits. These are just a few:

  • Image quality and improved accuracy
  • Faster speed to results and improved workflow
  • Cost savings versus shipping slides
  • Better innovation and real-time collaboration
  • Easy access to archived slides, improved analysis and insight mining

The process of embracing digital pathology can transform an organisation. So, it is important to know the steps and how to get started.

Champion digital pathology
  • Choose both an executive sponsor and pathologist
  • Understand the benefits of digital pathology
  • Read case studies and research best practices
  • Survey barriers and high-level needs
  • Use visual management to create a new workflow
  • Compile the business case
  • Seek buy-in, get feedback
Define needs and goals
  • Map out a detailed new workflow
  • Initiate needs list including equipment, processes, teams, and roles
  • Pilot a proof of concept test
Specify infrastructure and Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) needs
  • Select a project technology leader and ensure buy-in from IT
  • Determine networking, storage and security needs
  • Compare requirements to tools, budgets and timelines
  • Prioritise specifications for short and long term
Build workflow
  • Write a statement of work for each phase of digital conversion (image acquisition, pre-analytics, image management and analysis)
Configuration and training
  • Prior to full adoption, use both digital and non-digital processes. Compare, analyse and refine digital workflow
  • Offer lunch and learn, peer to peer, tutorial and other training methods for stakeholders in all locations
  • Hold on-going status meetings to determine progress and gaps
  • Recognise that full conversion takes time
  • Fully convert manual processes to digital
  • Leverage benefits at full rollout volume
Analyse and expand applications
  • Review speed, volume, and cost improvements
  • Measure reductions in overtime and damaged slides
  • Survey customer satisfaction
  • Use more accessible data to increase collaboration
  • Gain new insights from advanced data analytics
  • Analyse the process to uncover insights. Collaborate with providers on upgrades and refinements

Leica Biosystems is a global leader in workflow solutions and automation, integrating each step in the workflow. We are pleased to welcome them as Platinum Sponsor at the upcoming Digital Pathology & AI Congress.


Find out more about the benefits of Digital Pathology workflows at the Digital Pathology & AI Congress: Europe. Have a look at the agenda to find out more.

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