New digital pathology model to help tackle post-pandemic diagnostic waiting lists announced by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and Source LDPath
Source LDPath have launched a milestone digital pathology integration with East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) as part of Source’s ground-breaking approach and proprietary technology to transform diagnostics within the NHS.
For several years, the nationwide pathologist shortage has been delaying cancer diagnoses and straining a workforce already under immense pressure1, with demand for histopathology increasing by 4.5% every year whereas 6 week waits for diagnostics in pathology rising 17% annually since 2010.2,3
The COVID-19 pandemic, with numerous postponed elective surgeries, has only worsened these statistics, with almost 400,000 patients on the over 6 week wait list in March 2022.3
Digital Pathology has the potential to address these issues; however, extreme pressures of demand and complex legacy systems provide significant barriers to the application of these innovative technologies to benefit service users and improve diagnostic outcomes.
Source LDPath has a history of innovation and flexibility in adopting new digital possibilities for partners as they take their first, or further, steps into the digital world.
The Digital Pathology integration of Source LDPath with EKHUFT involved connecting two secure systems and the implementation of a state-of-the-art digital slide scanner that converts traditional glass slides into Digital Slides - high resolution, interactive, digital images relating to diseases, including cancer.
Connecting systems and sharing images in this way allows the EKHUFT laboratory to assess and diagnose patients far more rapidly, due to digital sharing of samples with a wide network of medical professionals for diagnostic purposes, providing reports to clinical colleagues and facilitating the sharing of complex cases with multiple pathologists at unprecedented speeds.
Although in its early stages, Source LDPath has already reported over 4000 cases since the project launched in December 2021 with an average of 2 days taken to issue a diagnostic report directly - and securely - back into EKHUFT’s records, in comparison to two weeks or more seen in many NHS Trusts.
This is the first integration of its kind in the UK, bringing renowned histopathology expertise and rapid diagnoses to NHS patients whilst considerably alleviating the pressures currently facing this NHS Trust. Wider adoption of these systems is expected to help with the immense backlogs seen across the rest of the country.
Contact us today to find out if a digital set up could benefit your pathology lab.
- BBC News, Pathologists shortage 'delaying cancer diagnosis': https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45497014; last accessed 06.06.2022
- Keele University Independent Study, The National Pathology Benchmarking scheme. https://www.smvn.scot.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/KUBS.pdf
- NHS data March 2022: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2022/05/DWTA-Report-March-2022_17J0T4.pdf