The College recognises the significant role of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in patient care. Pathologists are at the forefront of Healthcare Informatics using automated laboratory systems and computerised reporting systems.
Information and Communications Technology involve almost all aspects of patient care, in addition to diagnostics – data transfer between primary and secondary care, coding and performance management. Telepathology systems enable closer collaboration with clinicians and facilitate easier communications between specialists worldwide.
Over the past decade, the College has been closely involved with the NHS National Programme for Information Technology and Connecting for Health. The role of informatics has become even more important, given the restructuring of these programmes and the modernisation and reconfiguration of pathology.
Some of the fastest evolving fields occur in the histopathology subspecialty of digital pathology and in the increasing use of voice recognition in reporting across all subspecialties. Additional opportunities are to be found in the rapidly evolving areas of decision support systems and diagnostic algorithms.
Informatics plays a significant role in two other main areas: communication with the Fellows of the College and the ever important field of education. Advances in mobile technologies are faster than ever and we endeavour to embrace and use available technologies for the benefit of our patients and our discipline.
In recognition of this, the College has an official post of Informatics Advisor. The role provides a conduit between the College Council and the membership. The aims are to keep abreast of new advances and share best practice and expert opinion with the Fellows of the College.
Further information can be obtained by contacting the Informatics Advisor, Dr Laszlo Igali, care of the College (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Over recent years, with the introduction across the NHS of the National Programme for Information Technology and Connecting for Health, the importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has become prevalent. Informatics publicationsGuidance on telepathology
Evidence, safety and quality - an information strategy for NHS pathology (August 2008), published by NHS Connecting for Health and endorsed by The Royal College of Pathologists, the Institute of Biomedical Science and The Association for Clinical Biochemistry