Review of consultation needs in pathology informatics programme

Pathology informatics programme “should involve major stakeholders to improve safety” finds PRSB review of HSCIC initiative.


Pathology services are fundamental to diagnosing and treating illness and developing a systematic way of sharing information about test results is a key priority for the PRSB and health and care colleagues. The NHS spends £2 billion annually on this essential service. At present there is no consistent way of reporting pathology results and this can lead to misinterpretation that may affect patient safety and care. Standards will reduce unnecessary repeat tests, errors and improve outcomes for patients and clinicians.

NHS Digital commissioned the PRSB to carry out a preliminary review of pathology information standards and the PRSB made recommendations in 2014-15 to improve the current systems including how to engage the clinical and professional communities to ensure a successful transformation of the service.

In addition, the PRSB carried out a consultation last year, conducting user testing with experts in laboratories and primary care on a set of professional
standards for reporting pathology test results. The expert user group agreed that a proposed National Laboratory Medicine Catalogue should be supported and the PRSB outlined a set of practical steps to develop and implement national pathology standards.

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