Challenges of Telepathology at the Cleveland Clinic | Tribun Health

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Challenges of Telepathology at the Cleveland Clinic | Tribun Health

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[APRIL 6TH, 2023]

Telepathology has been gaining traction as a tool for remote pathology interpretation and diagnosis. At the Cleveland Clinic, telepathology has been a priority for the past few years. Dr. Brian Rubin, the Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic laboratories, has been instrumental in advancing the use of digital pathology at the institution. During the Exhibitor Seminar held at the USCAP 112th Annual Meeting in March 2023, Dr. Scott Kilpatrick, professor of pathology at Cleveland Clinic, explored the benefits and challenges of telepathology. Access the replay and find below a brief overview of the different topics covered by Dr. Scott Kilpatrick during the seminar.


1. Background of Telepathology at the Cleveland Clinic

The Cleveland Clinic jumped into telepathology in 2009, when the institution began using digital pathology for teaching and research. Under the leadership of Dr. Wally Hendricks and Tom Bower, the facility also began using digital pathology for conference presentations and legal consultations. As technology evolved, the Cleveland Clinic expanded its use of telepathology to include slide control scanning and the availability of digital slides for pathologists. This has allowed pathologists to access their slides remotely and eliminate the need to transport physical slides from one hospital to another.


2. Benefits of Telepathology at the Cleveland Clinic

One of the main benefits of telepathology at the Cleveland Clinic is its use in consultative services. The institution has partnered with Tribun Health, and works with the TeleSlide telepathology software to provide international consultative services. This allows pathologists from other countries to send their cases to the Cleveland Clinic for review by a specialist. This has been particularly helpful in countries with a shortage of pathologists or limited access to specialized expertise. The Cleveland Clinic has also started dabbling in domestic consultative services, providing support to smaller hospitals and clinics that don't have the resources to employ a full-time pathologist.

Another benefit of telepathology at the Cleveland Clinic is its use in education and research. With digital slides, pathologists can collaborate on research projects regardless of their location. They can also use digital slides for teaching purposes, providing remote access to students and trainees.


3. Challenges of Telepathology at the Cleveland Clinic

Despite the many benefits of telepathology, there are some challenges that the Cleveland Clinic has faced. One of the main challenges is the cost of implementing digital pathology. While the technology has become more affordable, it still requires a significant investment in hardware, software, and training. Tribun Health provides a dedicated support service to assist you throughout the change management process.

Another challenge is the need for standardization. With digital slides, there is the potential for variability in image quality depending on the scanner and software used. The Cleveland Clinic has been working to standardize its digital pathology practices to ensure consistency in image quality and interpretation.

Finally, there is the challenge of regulatory compliance. Digital pathology is subject to the same regulations as traditional pathology, including requirements for quality control, specimen tracking, and record-keeping. The Cleveland Clinic is working to ensure that its digital pathology practices meet all regulatory requirements.


4. Conclusion

Telepathology has the potential to revolutionize pathology by providing remote access to expertise and resources. The Cleveland Clinic has been at the forefront of this movement, using telepathology for consultative services, education, and research. While there are challenges to implementing telepathology, the benefits are significant. With continued investment in technology and standardization, telepathology has the potential to improve patient care and outcomes. Access the replay for more information on the benefits and challenges of telepathology at the Cleveland Clinic.