Pathology Department Streamlines Operations Through Digital Workflow


One of the largest Pathology lab operations in the country, which processes all laboratory tests for a twenty-two hospital system, performs approximately five hundred anatomic pathology lab tests per day. As the organization and demands on the lab system continued to grow, it began to explore technology solutions that would help streamline and manage this critical lab test service and the associated processes.

GRM developed and implemented a digital-centric workflow and file sharing solution that dramatically streamlined the lab testing process as well as a range of associated operations such as client service and billing.


When this healthcare organization received a specimen for testing, it was accompanied by a requisition that identified the patient and the specific tests to be performed. During the accessioning process, a unique accession number was generated, barcode labels were printed containing the accession number, and then they were placed on the requisition form as well as the physical specimen to be tested.

As the specimen was transferred through the various departments and different buildings for testing, the requisition form accompanied the sample in order for the pathology staff to confirm patient and test information. An around-the- clock courier service physically delivered specimen slides and related requisitions to the required locations.

The manual delivery of paperwork placed the lab in jeopardy of mishandling or losing the requisitions and increased the time required for a pathologist to receive a requisition. Additionally, the mutual reliance between the sample and the paper requisition resulted in major delays for associated processes such as quality management, client service and billing — that only required the requisition for them to proceed. Delivering a less than optimal level of patient care resulted, in addition to the obvious operational downsides of wasted money and time.


GRM deployed a comprehensive ECM and Records Management solution for the organization that allows them to effectively manage structured and unstructured data from multiple sources; migrating lab records to digital and mobile for a diverse set of lab processes and associated business operations. A strictly-managed, level-based access structure ensures the highest levels of security and HIPAA compliance.

Pathology lab information automation

GRM’s eScan and ORC Connect search utility was deployed as part of lab operations in order to allow immediate scan and retrieval of requisitions through VisualVault, the GRM digital content management platform. The documents are stored in VisualVault’s document library and organized utilizing a unique index field based on accession number. This allows users from multiple departments at each location to access the associated requisition to initiate processes without having to wait for the courier service.

The ROI Analysis

A detailed ROI analysis demonstrated that this new solution will directly save lab operations hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Additionally, the solution helps decrease the costs associated with managing growing volumes of content in the enterprise – allowing the pathology labs to focus on using information to drive growth, further automating business processes, improving customer service and lowering costs. Additionally, the data structure and records delivered with this solution position the organization well in terms of GRC and future audit requirements.



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