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ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Day One at CAP Packed with Information

Published October 11, 2009 7:43 PM by Jill Hoffman

The sun was shining just outside of Washington, D.C., as CAP ’09 kicked off its first official day at the Gaylord National Resort. Attendees funneled through registration and on to their first educational courses.


Bright and early, in the 8 am “Embracing the Future: An Introduction to Virtual Microscopy and Telemedicine,” Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, FCAP, former chair of Pathology, University of Arizona, and director, Arizona Telemedicine Program, and Keith J. Kaplan, MD, FCAP, associate professor of Medicine and Pathology, department of Anatomic Pathology, the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, talked about the status of telemedicine and telepathology at their respective institutions and in the United States today.


They traced the history of the technology--from static images to virtual slides, discussed relevant research, available equipment/technology and current and future applications. They also noted benefits (e.g., bringing quality health care to rural sites, decreasing turnaround time, increasing surgical pathology consultations, etc.) along with weaknesses (e.g., sustainability, regulatory issues, telecommunications infrastructure costs, etc.)


To the question some may ask: “Radiologists did it, why can’t we?” Dr. Kaplan explained that radiologists give impressions while pathologists make diagnoses. Though pathologists are about a decade behind radiologists in implementing telemedicine, Dr. Kaplan says, “I think we’re gonna get there.”


In the afternoon, Richard J. Zarbo, MD, DMD, FCAP, chair of Pathology, and senior vice president for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Henry Ford Health System, and Rita D’Angelo, MS, CQE, SSBB, quality improvement specialist, Henry Ford Production System, department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Henry Ford Health System, talked about implementation of LEAN principles at their facility. They explained how the continuous improvement system empowering employees creates more engaged, satisfied workers. The essential ingredient to changing an organization: a cultural shift embraced by the least to the most senior members.


During “2009 Special Scientific Presentation: CAP and ASCO Join to Develop ER/PR Guidelines,” Diana Rowden, breast cancer survivor and vice president of the Affiliate Network for Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, shared her personal story and highlighted the importance of breast cancer patients and pathologists, who are often “just a name on a report,” becoming more familiar with each other.


Following Ms. Rowden’s talk, C. Kent Osborne, MD, professor of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biology, director of the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, and director of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, all at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, a key contributor to the ER/PR guidelines being developed, discussed how the guidelines would help pathologists achieve a more accurate diagnosis.


Later in the day, CAP held its Spotlight Reception titled “Leadership Lessons: How the Past Can Help You with Change Today” featuring historian and storyteller Doris Kearns Goodwin with lessons in leadership for today’s pressing issues.


All in all, these offerings (just a smattering of available courses) were interesting and engaging, with much promise for more to come.

posted by Jill Hoffman


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