Milestone in Synoptic Reporting for Pathology in the Netherlands!

As one of the first countries in the world, the Netherlands started the implementation of Synoptic (or standardised) Pathology reporting nearly a decade ago. Last week we filed the ONE-MILLIONth report in our national Pathology database at PALGA Foundation.

The introduction of Synoptic Reporting (SR) is driven by the importance of detailed and accurate information in pathology reports. In the Netherlands we started with the development of SR for colorectal and breast cancer late 2008, based on multidisciplinary guidelines, WHO Classifications and since 2011 based on the minimal datasets of the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR). PALGA Foundation develops, distributes nationwide and maintains all the national Pathology Protocols for Histology, Cytology and Molecular Testing, currently 28 different protocols. Direct distribution and daily maintenance is possible due to the connection of all Dutch laboratories within the PALGA network. 

After the pilot years, in 2012, PALGA performed a complete overhaul of the software systems and developed a complete new framework for the use of SR in daily practice. This was necessary because due to the implementation of more protocols, already between 20-25% daily workload of a pathologist is related to Synoptic Reporting and so the protocols should be incorporated with the normal work flow for both pathologists and laboratory organisations. The new framework enables us to combine different protocols in one pathology report, including standardised reported molecular outcome data, derived from next generation sequencing.

The data from the standardised reports are made available to a number of registries, ensuring high quality accurate pathology data. Direct data transfer connections are present with the National Cancer Registry, the Dutch Institute for Clinical Auditing and the Population screening programs for colorectal and cervical cancer. Through interoperability the pathology data are directly imported in these registries without intervention of data managers, this saves time and registration burden. 

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