By learning more about how the dermatopathology laboratories oversee transportation, complete request forms, manage correlation, provide skilled lab technicians, and cover the cost of an EMR interface, your dermatology clinic can get more out of your partnership and continue to give your patients the quality care they deserve.
Transporting and Receiving Samples
Transporting tissue samples from your clinic is the dermpath lab’s responsibility. Since the United States accumulates over 20 million tissue specimens every year, this task requires careful management. After preparing the biopsy specimens in containers, packaging, and labels supplied by the lab, it is up to the lab to ensure materials arrive safely.
When shipments reach the lab, an inventory is performed to count all of the bottles and confirm that the orders match the tissue samples. Missing specimens can be frustrating for dermatologists and their patients, resulting in costly delays. This audit process is critical to catch any errors up front before biopsies reach lab technicians and dermatopathologists.
The information your dermatology clinic provides in the request form is vital to share clinicopathological correlation with the dermpath lab. The form’s necessary patient information includes biopsy site, type and duration of lesions, patient age, and past treatments or illnesses.
However, when a dermatopathology laboratory reviews the request form, they are responsible for ensuring there aren’t any missing pieces. Just as 61 percent of patients avoid revealing information (information which could benefit their healthcare), it’s equally important for your clinic to provide a complete form with every specimen. If important information is omitted, a good lab will proactively reach out to you to fill in the blanks.
Correlation in Challenging Cases
You and your patients rely on your dermpath lab partner to deliver accurate results. With approximately 100,000 Americans diagnosed with melanoma every year, the chances of your dermatopathologist running into difficult cases are high.
Your dermpath lab often seeks correlation from dermatopathologist associates or outside consultants to avoid misdiagnosis on challenging skin biopsies. Working with full-service dermpath labs like PathologyWatch enables correlation with academic-level experts with assistance from digital pathology images. In an instant, multiple dermatopathologists can correspond and come to an accord on the specimen.
Behind every great dermatopathologist is a qualified lab technician. With responsibilities that include processing, cutting, embedding, and staining skin specimens, these individuals don’t often receive the credit they deserve for preparing specimen slides for evaluation.
Like three out of five dermatology practices, you may be utilizing an EMR system to manage, store, and recall patient information. At one point, President George W. Bush praised EMR systems for helping the healthcare industry to “avoid dangerous medical mistakes, reduce costs, and improve care.”
To maximize the capabilities of your EMR system, make sure you’re partnering with a dermpath lab that embraces the ability to digitally distribute and synchronize information between your clinic and the laboratory. It may come as a surprise that dermpath labs are responsible for funding and installing your EMR interface. They are also obliged to train your staff on how to utilize the system effectively.
Like anesthesiologists, there are many beneficial functions and services your dermatopathology partner provides without a lot of fanfare. By understanding the importance of dermpath lab offerings, such as managing the transport of specimens, inspecting request forms, correlating with specialists, employing skilled lab technicians, and covering the costs of EMR interfaces, you can ensure your dermatology practice has the tools and technology to continue providing patients with optimal experiences.