Digital whole slide imaging (WSI) is an emerging technology for pathology interpretation; however, little is known about pathologists’ practice patterns or perceptions regarding WSI. A national sample (N = 252) of pathologists from New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Alaska, Maine, and Minnesota were surveyed in this cross-sectional study (2011–2013). The survey included questions on pathologists’ experience, WSI practice patterns, and perceptions using a six-point Likert scale. Agreement was summarized with descriptive statistics to characterize pathologists’ use and perceptions of WSI. The majority of participating pathologists were males (63 %) between 40 and 59 years of age (70 %) and not affiliated with an academic medical center (72 %). Experience with WSI was reported by 49 %. Types of use reported included CME/board exams/teaching (28 %), tumor board/clinical conference (22 %), archival purposes (6 %), consultative diagnosis (4 %), research (4 %), and other uses (12 %). Most respondents (79 %) agreed that accurate diagnoses can be made with this technology, and that WSI is useful for obtaining a second opinion (88 %). However, 78 % of pathologists agreed that digital slides are too slow for routine clinical interpretation. Fifty-nine percent agreed that the benefits of WSI outweigh concerns. The respondents were equally split as to whether they would like to adopt WSI (51 %) or not (49 %). About half of pathologists reported experience with the WSI technology, largely for CME, licensure/board exams, and teaching. Positive perceptions regarding WSI slightly outweigh negative perceptions. Understanding practice patterns with WSI as dissemination advances may facilitate concordance of perceptions with adoption of the technology.
- Digital whole slide imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Computer Science Applications