Background: The surgical pathology report remains the primary source for information to guide the treatment of patients with cancer. Failure to report critical elements in a cancer report is an increasing problem in pathology because of the heightened complexity of these reports and number of elements that are important for patient care. The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (ACS-CoC) in concert with the College of American Pathologists (CAP) developed checklists that contain all of the scientifically validated data elements that are to be reported for cancer specimens. Most institutions do not as of yet have pathology information systems in which CAP checklists are embedded into the laboratory information system (LIS). Entering the required elements often requires extensive text editing, secretarial support and deletion of extraneous elements that can be an arduous task.
Materials and methods: We sought to develop a web-based system that was available throughout the workstations in our department and was capable of generating synoptic reports based on the CAP guidelines. The program was written in a manner that allowed automatic generation of the web-based checklists through a parsing algorithm.
Results: Multiple web-based synoptic report generators have been developed to encompass required elements of cancer synoptic reports as required by the ACS-CoC/ CAP. In addition, utilizing the same program, report generators for certain molecular tests (KRAS mutation) and FISH studies (UroVysion(tm)) have also been developed. The output of these reports can be cut-and-pasted into any text-based anatomic pathology LIS. In addition, the elements can be compiled in a database.
Conclusions: We describe a simple method to automate the development of web-based synoptic reports that can be entered into the anatomic pathology LIS and database.
Keywords: Cancer registry; cancer checklists; cancer report template; synoptic reporting; tumor reporting.