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Perceptions of pathology informatics by non-informaticist pathologists and trainees.

Walker A, Garcia C, Baron JM, Gudewicz TM, Gilbertson JR, Henricks WH, Lee RE - J Pathol Inform (2016)

Bottom Line: Differences in departmental informatics culture can be attributed to the varying perceptions of PI by different individuals.Incorrect perceptions exist, such as conflating PI with IT and help desk services, even among those who claim to understand PI.Further efforts by the PI community could address such misperceptions, which could help enable a better understanding of what PI is and is not, and potentially lead to increased acceptance by non-informaticist pathologists.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cleveland Clinic, Robert J. Tomisch Institute of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44120, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Although pathology informatics (PI) is essential to modern pathology practice, the field is often poorly understood. Pathologists who have received little to no exposure to informatics, either in training or in practice, may not recognize the roles that informatics serves in pathology. The purpose of this study was to characterize perceptions of PI by noninformatics-oriented pathologists and to do so at two large centers with differing informatics environments.

Methods: Pathology trainees and staff at Cleveland Clinic (CC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) were surveyed. At MGH, pathology department leadership has promoted a pervasive informatics presence through practice, training, and research. At CC, PI efforts focus on production systems that serve a multi-site integrated health system and a reference laboratory, and on the development of applications oriented to department operations. The survey assessed perceived definition of PI, interest in PI, and perceived utility of PI.

Results: The survey was completed by 107 noninformatics-oriented pathologists and trainees. A majority viewed informatics positively. Except among MGH trainees, confusion of PI with information technology (IT) and help desk services was prominent, even in those who indicated they understood informatics. Attendings and trainees indicated desire to learn more about PI. While most acknowledged that having some level of PI knowledge would be professionally useful and advantageous, only a minority plan to utilize it.

Conclusions: Informatics is viewed positively by the majority of noninformatics pathologists at two large centers with differing informatics orientations. Differences in departmental informatics culture can be attributed to the varying perceptions of PI by different individuals. Incorrect perceptions exist, such as conflating PI with IT and help desk services, even among those who claim to understand PI. Further efforts by the PI community could address such misperceptions, which could help enable a better understanding of what PI is and is not, and potentially lead to increased acceptance by non-informaticist pathologists.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Responses to “I have a good understanding of what pathology informatics encompasses.” With the exception of Massachusetts General Hospital trainees, roughly half of these respondents selected incorrect pathology informatics activities, despite believing themselves to understand what pathology informatics entails
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Figure 1: Responses to “I have a good understanding of what pathology informatics encompasses.” With the exception of Massachusetts General Hospital trainees, roughly half of these respondents selected incorrect pathology informatics activities, despite believing themselves to understand what pathology informatics entails

Mentions: Just over half (54%) of all respondents felt that they understood what PI is. CC trainees had the lowest self-reported understanding, at 40%, in contrast to at least 50% of respondents in all other groups [Figure 1]. The non-Likert question described earlier in the methods section, intended to assess self-reported understanding of PI, resulted in interesting findings. Out of a total of fifteen listed activities, the eleven correct PI activities were chosen by a varying majority, ranging from 92% of respondents agreeing that “reduction in inappropriate test ordering” is a part of PI, down to 56% agreeing that PI has a role in “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance.” Four activities belonging to the computer help desk domain were included on the list. Many respondents selected these incorrect choices as well, of which “resolving technology problems with display of presentations” was the most popular choice, with 45% of respondents selecting. Interestingly, help desk-type situations were selected by a significant percentage of respondents who believed that they understood what PI is [Figure 1]. In a separate question, where the term “computer help desk” was explicitly used, 20% of all respondents, including 60% of surveyed CC attendings, agreed that providing those help desk services was a part of informatics. Another preconceived notion about informatics, that computer programming or code writing skills are necessary for its practice, was addressed in another question. Fifteen percent of all respondents felt that these skills were necessary for a practicing informaticist.


Perceptions of pathology informatics by non-informaticist pathologists and trainees.

Walker A, Garcia C, Baron JM, Gudewicz TM, Gilbertson JR, Henricks WH, Lee RE - J Pathol Inform (2016)

Responses to “I have a good understanding of what pathology informatics encompasses.” With the exception of Massachusetts General Hospital trainees, roughly half of these respondents selected incorrect pathology informatics activities, despite believing themselves to understand what pathology informatics entails
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4837799&req=5

Figure 1: Responses to “I have a good understanding of what pathology informatics encompasses.” With the exception of Massachusetts General Hospital trainees, roughly half of these respondents selected incorrect pathology informatics activities, despite believing themselves to understand what pathology informatics entails
Mentions: Just over half (54%) of all respondents felt that they understood what PI is. CC trainees had the lowest self-reported understanding, at 40%, in contrast to at least 50% of respondents in all other groups [Figure 1]. The non-Likert question described earlier in the methods section, intended to assess self-reported understanding of PI, resulted in interesting findings. Out of a total of fifteen listed activities, the eleven correct PI activities were chosen by a varying majority, ranging from 92% of respondents agreeing that “reduction in inappropriate test ordering” is a part of PI, down to 56% agreeing that PI has a role in “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance.” Four activities belonging to the computer help desk domain were included on the list. Many respondents selected these incorrect choices as well, of which “resolving technology problems with display of presentations” was the most popular choice, with 45% of respondents selecting. Interestingly, help desk-type situations were selected by a significant percentage of respondents who believed that they understood what PI is [Figure 1]. In a separate question, where the term “computer help desk” was explicitly used, 20% of all respondents, including 60% of surveyed CC attendings, agreed that providing those help desk services was a part of informatics. Another preconceived notion about informatics, that computer programming or code writing skills are necessary for its practice, was addressed in another question. Fifteen percent of all respondents felt that these skills were necessary for a practicing informaticist.

Bottom Line: Differences in departmental informatics culture can be attributed to the varying perceptions of PI by different individuals.Incorrect perceptions exist, such as conflating PI with IT and help desk services, even among those who claim to understand PI.Further efforts by the PI community could address such misperceptions, which could help enable a better understanding of what PI is and is not, and potentially lead to increased acceptance by non-informaticist pathologists.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cleveland Clinic, Robert J. Tomisch Institute of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44120, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: Although pathology informatics (PI) is essential to modern pathology practice, the field is often poorly understood. Pathologists who have received little to no exposure to informatics, either in training or in practice, may not recognize the roles that informatics serves in pathology. The purpose of this study was to characterize perceptions of PI by noninformatics-oriented pathologists and to do so at two large centers with differing informatics environments.

Methods: Pathology trainees and staff at Cleveland Clinic (CC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) were surveyed. At MGH, pathology department leadership has promoted a pervasive informatics presence through practice, training, and research. At CC, PI efforts focus on production systems that serve a multi-site integrated health system and a reference laboratory, and on the development of applications oriented to department operations. The survey assessed perceived definition of PI, interest in PI, and perceived utility of PI.

Results: The survey was completed by 107 noninformatics-oriented pathologists and trainees. A majority viewed informatics positively. Except among MGH trainees, confusion of PI with information technology (IT) and help desk services was prominent, even in those who indicated they understood informatics. Attendings and trainees indicated desire to learn more about PI. While most acknowledged that having some level of PI knowledge would be professionally useful and advantageous, only a minority plan to utilize it.

Conclusions: Informatics is viewed positively by the majority of noninformatics pathologists at two large centers with differing informatics orientations. Differences in departmental informatics culture can be attributed to the varying perceptions of PI by different individuals. Incorrect perceptions exist, such as conflating PI with IT and help desk services, even among those who claim to understand PI. Further efforts by the PI community could address such misperceptions, which could help enable a better understanding of what PI is and is not, and potentially lead to increased acceptance by non-informaticist pathologists.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus