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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1997 Nov;121(11):1176-82.

Outcomes and informatics.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis 55455, USA.



To provide an overview of the potential contribution that informatics can make for pathologists who become involved in outcomes assessment and management.


Contemporary scientific articles centered on pathologists and the assessment of outcomes, the definitions of outcomes assessment and management, and related methodologic issues, especially those pertaining to information technology and outcomes, and a summary of eight independent group process sessions involving volunteer pathologists and a group facilitator discussing issues related to informatics and outcomes as structured by a clinical scenario with focusing questions.


Articles reviewed were drawn primarily from the literature published since 1985 and found through Medline key word searches of titles and abstracts; likely articles were then selected for subsequent detailed review on the basis of the abstract's contents. Group process data were drawn from summaries of each of the eight groups as prepared by the facilitator from notes taken during the session by a designated scribe.


It is crucial for pathologists to participate in clinical outcomes studies. Informatics can serve as a tool kit for performing outcomes studies relevant to pathology (eg, collect data or analyze data), or it can be seen as a malleable component of health care processes that can be modified to achieve improved outcomes. Pathologists see many potential avenues for using informatics to leverage the impact that the pathologist and laboratory can have on clinical outcomes. Focusing on some specific informatics learning objectives can help the pathologist become a leader in outcomes studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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