The modern laboratory information system (LIS) evolved in the late 1970's and was a "turn-key" system designed to manage test results from the chemistry and hematology labs using interfaces to the analyzers in these two labs. This market need was driven by the large amount of data generated in these labs and also because numerical data was relatively easy to manage and report as opposed to textual data. The earliest anatomic pathology systems, now referred to as AP-LISs, were initially similar to word processors and were designed to publish surgical pathology reports.
LISs, managing mainly numerical data from CP labs, and AP-LISs, to use the modern term, evolved on different paths. I have posted a number of notes over the years calling for closer integration between the disciplines of clinical and anatomic pathology (see: Integration of Anatomic and Clinical Pathology) and also their computer systems two unify the specialties. This is not an unreasonable goal because there has always been a high degree of integration in the field of hematopathology with these practitioners knowledgeable about both the morphology of normal and abnormal blood cells as well as the interpretation of the various tests from the hematology lab.
The rapid progress in molecular pathology and genomics now requires that surgical pathologists have a deep understanding of the morphology of malignant lesions as well as the molecular and genetic tests performed for these patients. A recent press release by Sunquest announced that its two anatomic pathology systems, PowerPath and CoPathPlus can now be integrated with its Mitogen Genetic Analysis tool (see: General Availability Sunquest Anatomic Pathology Solutions Can Now Integrate with Sunquest Mitogen Genetic Analysis). Below is an excerpt form it:
With the availability of this integration, AP labs conducting next-generation sequencing (NGS) can now benefit from integrated, actionable reporting, combining the power of our pathology-focused LIS and our genetic variant annotation and interpretation offering. More specifically, labs integrating AP and genetic reporting will benefit from:
• Single, integrated reports... that combine pathology and genetic testing results
• Elimination of manual and duplicate data entry in multiple systems
• Contextual access to results
•[Unlocking] the power of AP and genetic data in one solution
•[Unlocking] efficiency and ...[reducing] turnaround time
•[Improving] patient care and safety with diagnostic insights from combined resulting
Surgical pathology, from its earliest years, has been based on the the gross and microscopic appearance of a lesion plus additional information that could be gleaned from, say, special stains to arrive at a diagnosis of a lesion. This was particularly true in hematopathology. Surgical pathology is now being transforming such that the molecular and genetic analysis of a lesion, particularly tumors, will soon be the major factor leading to a diagnosis with the morphology used to confirm these conclusions. The term AP-LIS will thus shortly become obsolete with one information system in place in pathology departments -- the LIS.