New informatics program for pathologists

Aims to get lab workers conversant with EHR technology
By Mike Miliard
10:47 AM

The College of American Pathologists, along with the Association of Pathology Chairs and the Association for Pathology Informatics, has launched a new graduate medical education curriculum for clinical informatics.

[See also: Clinical informatics: data in action]

Pathology Informatics Essentials for Residents is meant to prepare pathologists for an evolving healthcare landscape where electronic health records are changing the way providers interact with lab data.

"Training pathology residents in clinical informatics is 'a must' to build the skills required now and in the future," said APC President-Elect Donald S. Karcher, MD, chairman of the Department of Pathology at George Washington University in Washington, DC, in a press statement. "We designed PIER with the residency programs in mind and have created a flexible curriculum, which can be integrated throughout residency training."

[See also: Laboratory IT systems poised for growth]

PIER presents informatics topics identified by leading experts in the field, offering key training elements for residency program directors and faculty to implement informatics training, while meeting the milestone requirements outlined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

"PIER serves as a research-based instructional resource," said Liron Pantanowitz, MD, director of the Pathology Informatics Fellowship Program and associate director of the Pathology Informatics Division at the University of Pittsburgh. "We plan to update PIER as technology advances to ensure residents receive the most current knowledge in this field."

The program is designed for all pathology residents – those specializing in anatomic or clinical pathology, or both, officials say. It exposes residents to information technology in pathology as they participate in their anatomic and/or clinical pathology rotations and residency activities related to management; quality assurance and control; and regulatory and accreditation issues; as well as the daily flow of information into and out of the laboratory and the proper utilization of that information. Each topic includes key outcomes mapped to pathology informatics ACGME milestone levels.

"Information management will continue to play a crucial role in pathology," said Walter Henricks, MD, medical director of Pathology Informatics at the Cleveland Clinic, and co-leader of the PIER working group. "By developing PIER, we are empowering pathologists in clinical informatics with the knowledge and skill sets necessary to meet the demands of the current and future health care environment."

"Today's healthcare environment calls for pathologists with competencies in clinical informatics to manage technology advances for the diagnostic management of patient care," added CAP President Gene N. Herbek, MD, in a statement. "PIER addresses this education and workforce need."

Learn more about PIER on the APC's website.