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News > 81st MDTS pioneers with new pathology scanner
81st MDTS pioneers with new pathology scanner
Technician Adam Schiffer, center, Aperio’s field services regional supervisor, shows, 81st Diagnostics and Therapeutics Squadron members, from left, lab technicians Senior Airmen Quinton Moll and Johnathon Skrocki, anatomic pathology supervisor Terry Augustine and medical director for microbiology and director of telepathology Maj. (Dr.) Nicholas Lancia the basic software that drives the scanner June 14, 2012, at the Keesler Hospital, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. He also explained some of the basic errors they might encounter and how to fix them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Pivnick)
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81st MDTS pioneers with new pathology scanner

Posted 6/27/2012   Updated 6/27/2012 Email story   Print story


by Steve Pivnick
81st Medical Group Public Affairs

6/27/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- The 81st Diagnostics and Therapeutics Squadron Pathology Department is one of the first in the Air Force to receive a state-of-the-art scanner that allows the staff to share specimens with colleagues worldwide.

Maj. (Dr.) Nicholas Lancia is the medical director for microbiology and director of telepathology for the squadron's pathology and clinical laboratory flight.

He explained, "Installation and training were completed June 13 and 14. The machine creates high magnification, high resolution digital images of glass slides, which can be shared with colleagues and specialists across the globe via the internet."

He continued, "This particular technology is called 'Whole Slide Imaging.' Among its benefits, the scanner will allow us to consult subspecialists and experts on difficult tumors within a matter of minutes (rather than days by 'snail mail'), strengthen our quality assurance procedures (reducing errors and increasing quality of care), show much greater and thorough detail at conferences such as Tumor Board (a multi-disciplinary conference to determine treatment for difficult cases in the hospital), enhance resident teaching and education, expedite the centralization of technical services within the lab and lend greater force flexibility to the military branches that deploy it."

The major noted the scanner installation at Keesler was only the second of four in the Air Force. Travis Air Force Base, Calif., was the first.

"By September, the four initial scanners will have been installed. Wright-Patterson (AFB, Ohio) is next and Lackland (AFB, Texas) is scheduled for late August. A broader network will be deployed in a phased timeline. This program builds off the first shared digital slide image on the Air Force network, which was shared by myself at Keesler on April 24 and was viewed by personnel at Travis' hospital.

"Telepathology research projects have been ongoing for nearly a decade, but this technology is showing the most promise at improving patient care, resident and physician training and error mitigation. Everyone involved is excited to see it come to fruition and we are happy to be a part of the leading edge here at Keesler."

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