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Pathology SIG Mission and Charter Statement

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Anatomic Pathology data has traditionally been confined to abstruse text reports and HL7 has provided the standard mechanism to exchange such reports. Increasingly Pathology Laboratory Information System (LIS) vendors include ways to capture structured data about pathology cases, and increasingly clinicians demand these structured data sets (also called “synoptics”) to more accurately interpret anatomic pathology reports. For instance, the U.S. College of American Surgeons requires that at least 90% of anatomic pathology reports include such structured synoptic data.


This group supports the HL7 mission to create and promote interoperable standards for anatomic pathology laboratories and for the communication of anatomic pathology findings to clinical data systems. This will be accomplished by:

  • Promoting and developing anatomic pathology specificity in standards for text reports and structured data
  • Serving as a point of entry for anatomic pathologists and system vendors specialized in anatomic pathology to network with HL7 and become part of HL7


Work Products and Contributions to HL7 Processes

  • Create specializations of the Clinical Document Architecture standard specific for anatomic pathology, with the goal of providing a single interoperable specification for communicating the content of anatomic pathology reports.
  • Identify and promote data standards for encoding of synoptic data elements and other structured data that is contained in anatomic pathology reports.
  • Identify and promote data standards for identifying and tracking specimens and specimen derivatives in anatomic pathology, pathology imaging, and tissue banking.
  • Coordinate and cooperate with anatomic pathology societies and other data standards groups in the field of anatomic pathology.
  • Enable and promote use of these standards nationally and internationally by:
    • Creating detailed implementation guides that will increase broad adoption and practical interoperability
    • Facilitating pilot programs for multiple system vendors to demonstrate the interoperability gains

Formal Relationships with Other HL7 Groups

This WG will work in close cooperation with the other laboratory-related WGs which include Orders and Oberservations (OO), Clinical Genomics (CG), and Imaging Integration (II) and other WGs as needed.

Formal Relationships with Groups Outside of HL7

This WG acknowledges and cooperates with the DICOM WG 26 (Pathology Imaging), includes representation from the existing College of American Pathologists and will seek participations from speciality societies in the fields of anatomic pathology, cancer researchers, and public health. These liaisons will be with the approval of the HL7 Board in accordance with Policy and Procedures.