A nationwide telepathology consultation and quality control program in China: implementation and result analysis
From 12th European Congress on Digital Pathology
Paris,France.18-21 June 2014
Telepathology may play an important role in pathology consultation and quality control for cancer diagnosis in China, as the country has the largest population of cancer patients worldwide. In 2011, the Pathology Quality Control Center of China and Ministry of Health developed and implemented a nationwide telepathology consultation and quality control program for cancer diagnosis in China. We here report the results of the two-year implementation and experiences.
the program built an Internet based telepathology platform to connect participating hospitals and expert consultants. The hardware and software used for the platform were validated in previous validation studies in China. The program had three regional centers consisting of Peking Union Medical College, Huasi Medical College of Sichuan and. and 2nd affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University. It also had 20 provincial consultation centers based in the provincial referral hospitals. 80 provincial or national pathologists served as expert consultants for the program, providing telepathology consultation for cancer diagnosis for more than 60 participating hospitals.
from 2011 to July 2013, 16,247 pathology cases were submitted to the platform for consultation. Among them, 84% were due to diagnostic difficulty and 16% were due to request by patients. The preliminary diagnosis provided by submitting pathologists were in agreement with expert opinion in 59.8% of cases but was in disagreement with expert opinion in 24.2% of cases. 16.0% of cases were not provided with preliminary diagnosis. The distribution of pathology cases by system or organ were: digestive system, 17.3%; gynecologic system, 16.7%; head and neck, 15.7%; bone and soft tissue, 10.4%; lung and mediastinum, 8.6%; breast, 7.6%; urinary system, 7.5%; hematopathology, 6.4%; skin, 5.2%; neuropathology, 2.5% and cytopathology, 1.3%. Expert consultants also provided assessment of quality of slide preparation and staining, online lectures and guidance for pathology quality control.