Informatics for the Clinical Laboratory: A Practical Guide for the Pathologist / Edition 1

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Overview

This book will highlight all aspects of laboratory informatics, with a focus on information management and the corresponding hardware and technical processes involved. In addition to a comprehensive introduction on laboratory informatics, the book emphasizes the importance of information and resource management as opposed to simply covering the role of computers that support the information system.

As a Professor of Pathology and the Director of Laboratory Information Services at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Dr. Cowan has witnessed the shift in focus in the laboratory from the information generation to information management, and increasing resource limitations demand a higher level of management precision than can be gained from manual methods. The American Board of Pathology now requires an increasing sophistication in information management from candidates for certification. Thus, this book is intended for pathologists and residents in pathology, clinical laboratory scientists, and laboratory and information managers.

Following the broad-based introduction on laboratory informatics, the book's topics include: computer basics; development and validation of the laboratory information system; computer networks; security and confidentiality on computer systems and networks; total cost of ownership; essential software; interfaces; process modeling; artificial intelligence and expert systems; bar coding in the laboratory; image analysis and computer-assisted quantitation; and telepathology.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Shaun Grannis, MD (Indiana University Medical Center)
Description: The book describes information technology concepts as they relate to laboratory information sciences. The book covers a wide range of issues ranging from technical subjects such as computer basics and computer networks to management-related issues such as determining total cost of ownership (TCO) and ensuring security and confidentiality in the lab.
Purpose: The book is intended to help the reader become both literate and familiar with major issues related to clincal laboratory informatics as well as the major tools used in the field. An understanding of clinical laboratory informatics is critical to the development of a comprehensive Electronic Medical Records and clinical data repository. Laboratory information drives many decision support systems. Therefore, the development of robust, standardized laboratory information systems is critical to the enterprise health care information system. The authors describe general aspects of laboratory informatics, but fail to emphasize the need for information standardization, and the consequences of non-standard information. To this end, the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) encoding system and "Logical Observations, Identifier Names, and Codes" (LOINC) were reviewed but in insufficient detail.
Audience: As described in the preface, this book emerged from a laboratory informatics course for pathology residents and clinical laboratory science fellows. As a result, the material is introductory in nature but written using a sophisticated vocabulary. The authors often use clinical terms and scenarios that may be unfamiliar to those not well-versed in clinical nomenclature. Therefore, the appropriate audience for this includes medical residents, advanced allied health care professionals, and practicing health care providers with a need to learn about laboratory informatics. A majority of the authors hold professional degrees (M.D. and/or Ph.D.) and are all members of the faculty and staff of the Department of Pathology of the University of Texas Medical Branch with experience in the areas in which they write. Three of the ten authors list B.S. degrees only.
Features: The book addresses the following general areas: concept utilization, organization and management of laboratory information systems, including security considerations; technical aspects of computer systems and networks; and an overview of specific laboratory information system applications. One interesting and informative feature of the book is that it includes an entire chapter describing bar code technology. Such technology, while ubiquitous in healthcare, is infrequently described in clinical informatics literature. Further, end-of-chapter glossaries are included, which provide easy access to unfamiliar terms. One shortcoming of the book is the lack of an introductory outline at the beginning of each chapter. An outline, or chapter summary helps guide the reader through complex topics. Notably missing were references later than 1998. It appears that perhaps the book's manuscript was completed in 1998, given the lack of references after that year. Given that the field of laboratory informatics is rapidly evolving, that is a substantial shortcoming. Additionally, there was little mention of the emerging field of genomics and its relationship to laboratory informatics. Arguably, a large portion of the forseeable future of research in laboratory information sciences and clinical informatics will focus on managing and analyzing genetic information. This topic was not adequately covered. One would be careful to note that the discussion of "genetic algorithms" included in the book should not be confused with "genomics." These are two entirely separate fields of study.
Assessment: This book is appropriate for health care workers who seek a broad introduction to laboratory information sciences. Readers will also learn about information management in addition to core issues of information modelling, database design and technical computer basics. However, the book fails to discuss the role that laboratory information sciences will play in managing and analyzing the human genome. Because genomics and proteinomics are emerging as important areas for laboratory informatics research, the lack of its inclusion is a shortcoming.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387244495
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 5/19/2005
  • Series: Health Informatics Series
  • Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Laboratory Informatics and the Laboratory Information System; 2. Developing the Laboratory Information System; 3. Validation of the Laboratory Information System; 4. Security and Confidentiality on Laboratory Computer Systems; 5. Total Cost of Ownership; 6. Computer Basics; 7. Computer Networks; 8. Interfaces; 9. Bar Coding in the Laboratory; 10. Wireless Communication in the Laboratory; 11. Essential Software: Databases, Spread Sheets, Word Processing, and Presentation Software; 12. Clinical and Anatomic Pathology Database Design; 13. Process Modeling; 14. Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems; 15. Imaging, Image Analysis, and Computer-Assisted Quantitation: Applications for Electronic Imaging in Pathology; 16. Introduction to Telepathology; Glossary
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2008

    This is an excellent book for learning how to implement information systems in the lab

    The clinical laboratory is the gatekeeper of most information in the hospital. It is important to be aware of how technology can help disseminate that information. This book describes the techniques of implementing these information systems and pitfalls to avoid.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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