CHUM digital pathology platform: transformation of the practice, deployment in production mode, integration with healthcare services and knowledge transfer


In Quebec and several industrialized countries, the number of histopathological analyzes is constantly increasing because of higher life expectancy which, consequently, increases the incidence of cancer, but also because of the success of cancer programs screenings. Recent studies have shown that the digital conversion of a pathology service treating a volume of specimen similar to that of the CHUM allows an efficiency gain for the work of the pathologists and generates time savings for the laboratory personnel. In addition to simplifying the workflow, the digital pathology platform contributes to greater productivity, improved diagnostic reliability, good sample traceability, and minimizes the waste of time associated with distribution, transportation and archiving and unarchiving glass slides. In a context of medical technologists’ shortage of labor, digital pathology platform would allow to assign these important resources for more valuable tasks.
In partnership with the industry, the CHUM acquired modern facilities for the deployment of a high-volume digitization platform. Our project is a project of organizational transformation and aims at exploiting digital technology to its maximum in order to trade traditional diagnostic tools – namely the microscope and glass slides – by scanners and computer screens. We also want to define performance indicators to compare the current workflow with the digital one. In the long term, we want to show that this transfer to full digital is an added value in the efficiency of the practice of pathology that will have a positive impact on the trajectory of care for the benefit of patients, in addition to laying a foundation for future application of artificial intelligence (AI) in pathology.