Pathology archive: evaluation of integrity, regulatory compliance, and construction of searchable database from print reports.
Smith, Matthew A
Barnes, E Leon
Chiosea, Simion I
American journal of clinical pathology 2011 May; 135(5): 753-9
Tissue repositories maintained by pathology departments represent an abundant resource of clinically annotated human specimens. The storage expenses associated with pathology archives are known to administrators of most pathology departments. However, such basic repository characteristics as the quality of stored materials, ease of access, and search and retrieval rates are often unclear. The aims of our work were to design a framework to assess the quality of a historic pathology archive, to propose the definition of "archive integrity," and to provide benchmarks for tissue block retrieval rates and DNA integrity. We share our experience with scanning approximately 120,000 pathology reports from 1956 to 1979 into an electronically searchable archive, with a $9,000 budget, completed in 6 weeks. Several ethical and legal considerations that shaped the technical side of this project are discussed.
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