Abstract: The construction of a pathological diagnosis is the time, space and place in which cellular imaging, clinical informatics and the cognitive skill of a pathologist’s intracranial neural network combine to make a prognostic or predictive statement as to the likely outcome for a given patient.
The tools that surround and support this “diagnostic time, space and place” are critical to the success of the work. When we focus on the environment of a pathologist’s diagnostic work activities, the structure and processes of that environment have changed only slowly over the past several decades. The digital laboratory information system has certainly been a significant change and pathologists have adapted their diagnostic information workflow from paper to a computer screen. The core of the process that is the review and interpretation of cellular images has, however, changed little. Pathologists still assemble cases and view them under a microscope in much the same way as was done 50 years ago. The intensity of the activity is certainly much greater, but the review process is much the same.