Re: Patient history cards

Michelle Fuller asks, in a situation where a distant laboratory has replaced 
the pathology services of two hospitals (that's why there are so few jobs in 
my dismal specialty!) whether it is necessary to search old history card 
files for the three hospitals. >>Some of our [pathologists] feel that it is 
very important to have this [information] available to them, others do not 
even look for past history.<<

In this elderly surgical pathologist's opinion, it is necessary to search the 
history cards. (I frequently do it myself in jobs where the staff are 
unwilling to do it.) Some pathologists help take care of patients, while 
others look at three square inches of glass. Both approaches have their uses, 
but they create very different needs for patient information.

It's mind-boggling that most surgical pathology services still keep their 
patient records on file cards. Functioning personal-computer data bases came 
along about 1987, suggesting that in about 2007 these data bases will be 
available to all of us, since it takes 20 years after something is invented 
before ordinary pathology services can have it. (Does anybody know when this 
countdown began for immunohistochemical staining? I'm sure looking forward to 

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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