[Histonet] Re: Pathology to OR Communication System

Robert Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Tue Jun 23 11:06:58 CDT 2009

In the many surgical pathology services I've worked in as a locum tenens
pathologist, I have almost never seen anything but a squawk-box system for
communicating with the surgeon in the OR. Communication fails if the OR is
noisy or if the surgeon doesn't speak English very well. Often I wind up
talking to an illiterate circulator.

I suppose this arrangement is prescribed in the Hospital Administrator's
Top-Secret Handy-Dandy Book on How to Make Life Hard for the Pathologist. (I
am deeply convinced such a document exists, since I see exactly the same
problems in multiple pathology services.)

What I don't understand is - presumably surgeons in the OR rather often need
telephone communication with the outside world - how do they do it for
important communications, like about a golf game or a hot market tip? I'd
want to find this out if I were setting up a system.

I never thought of a video link. It would indeed be useful for orienting
skin specimens, but adequate macro magnification would be essential, since
these specimens are often quite small. Photomicrography would require still
another set-up.

The traditional frozen section set-up in the operative suite would require
all duplicate equipment. We've had this problem for years with microscopes -
the worst microscope in the lab is always relegated to the FS suite. I'd
want to do the frozen sections in the pathology lab, if I were setting up a
new system and could have my druthers.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

More information about the Histonet mailing list