Dr. Ji-Yeon Kim, API's New President


Welcome API Members!

On behalf of the Association for Pathology Informatics (API) and its Governing Council, happy new year and welcome to 2023! We are now three years into a global pandemic that gave everyone a crash course on using laboratory tests to make critical decisions for school, work, travel, and everything in-between. In the meantime, the sheer amount of lab and pathology data, as well as audiences interested in it, has exponentially increased. The 21st Century Cures Act accelerated the sharing of electronic health information in and outside managed networks, in addition to patients directly, while healthcare has been further digitized and distributed across virtual platforms and non-traditional consumer spaces.

What does this mean for pathology informatics? Imagine a data stream from each laboratory carrying gold nuggets and trash, feeding a river which goes into a lake, and ultimately, the ocean. These fuel personalized medical decisions and population health management, and the job of curating and tagging elements in these streams falls largely to the pathology informatician. However, those of us working in this space know that even routine tasks, such as the naming of test orders and results and flagging of “abnormal” findings, are not standardized between any two laboratories. So even though multiple streams now end up in the same data lake, they remain for the most part, like oil and water, immiscible. (All this for the electronically discrete, structured data - we still have faxes!)

Our 2023 Pathology Informatics Summit (PI Summit) features two expert speakers, Drs. Ila Singh and Alexis Carter, who are pioneers and champions for standardization in pathology informatics. Dr. Ila Singh is the founder of TRUU-Lab, a national initiative supported by the CDC to promote test names that are more easily understood so tests can be ordered more appropriately. Dr. Alexis Carter has authored numerous guidelines as a thought leader with the Association of Molecular Pathology, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), College of American Pathologists, among others, and she will be discussing the ground-breaking CLSI AUTO14 barcode standard that may eliminate the need to relabel samples sent between laboratories. Please join us for these impactful sessions, along with many others, as we wrestle with old and new challenges in providing patient-centered and patient-facing care together.

Under the prior stewardship of Drs. Toby Cornish and Joseph Sirintrapun, and our Executive Director, Nova Smith, a robust offering of online workshops, programs and talks has emerged from the pandemic to serve the needs of our members and trainees. Seeing many of you at last year’s PI Summit felt like a warm family reunion, and, as far as it is possible, we look forward to holding this gathering space for our community to meet in person again.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, and I look forward to connecting with you throughout this year!