A whole-slide imaging based workflow reduces the reading time of pathologists

A. Baidoshvili, M. Khacheishvili, J. van der Laak and P. van Diest

Pathology International 2023;73:127-134.

DOI PMID Cited by ~4

AbstractEven though entirely digitized microscopic tissue sections (whole slide images, WSIs) are increasingly being used in histopathology diagnostics, little data is still available on the effect of this technique on pathologists' reading time. This study aimed to compare the time required to perform the microscopic assessment by pathologists between a conventional workflow (an optical microscope) and digitized WSIs. WSI was used in primary diagnostics at the Laboratory for Pathology Eastern Netherlands for several years (LabPON, Hengelo, The Netherlands). Cases were read either in a traditional workflow, with the pathologist recording the time required for diagnostics and reporting, or entirely digitally. Reading times were extracted from image management system log files, and the digitized workflow was fully integrated into the laboratory information system. The digital workflow saved time in the majority of case categories, with prostate biopsies saving the most (68% time gain). Taking into account case distribution, the digital workflow produced an average gain of 12.3%. Using WSI instead of conventional microscopy significantly reduces pathologists' reading times. Pathologists must work in a fully integrated environment to fully reap the benefits of a digital workflow.